What Do You Need When Buying A Used Car Extra Quality
Because of car depreciation, purchasing a 3-year-old vehicle for significantly less than the same model new is possible. At a time when consumers pay an average of $48,300 for a new car, buying used can mean significant savings.
what do you need when buying a used car
By nature, used cars can need services sooner than new cars. And unlike a new car or leased car that comes with new car warranties and sometimes complimentary maintenance, the responsibility of servicing a used car will be on you.
When buying used, we encourage Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) vehicles. CPO cars go through a rigorous examination process by a dealership and must meet certain parameters for things like their condition. Certified cars are backed by warranties. Before selling, dealerships service and detail vehicle inside and out. The idea is that a CPO car looks and performs as well or almost as good as a brand new one.
Finally, when safely parked, give it a tech test drive. Does your phone pair easily? Does it offer enough USB ports for your needs? If audio is important to you, play your favorite tunes. Check the trunk and other storage space in the vehicle. Will it fit your lifestyle?
If you like to haggle, by all means, you can try. But also be respectful and understand nobody wants a complete lowball offer, especially in this tighter market for older, used cars. If you hate dealing, you might be more comfortable buying from a dealer whose prices are pretty much set.
The best place to buy a used car is at a reputable car dealership. Dealerships make it easier for the purchaser than a private party seller unless you know the person selling the vehicle. However, expect to pay more when you do. Get started on Kelley Blue Book and our sister site Autotrader and search used car listings. You can filter the results to match your exact wants and needs. You will find cars in your desired search radius.
This article was originally written before the pandemic when vehicle inventory and prices were more stable and predictable. That said, many of the major elements still ring true. You'll still need to determine a budget, find the right car, and research prices to be able to spot a good deal.
It's no secret that the Honda CR-V and the Toyota RAV-4 make for good used cars. But they might cost a few thousand more than a comparable Ford Escape or Kia Sportage, even though these are solid cars too. So if you're looking to save money, consider more than one brand. We suggest making a list of three cars that meet your needs and fall within your budget. Edmunds reviews have great information to guide your choices.
An oft-overlooked factor you should consider when shopping for a used car is the cost of auto insurance. Prices can vary substantially based on the model you choose. Our guide to car insurance is the place to find the cheapest insurance with the right coverage for your new-to-you vehicle.
With our used car rankings, shoppers can compare pre-owned vehicles by their overall scores and individual factors car buyers tell us are critical to their buying decisions. These factors include predicted reliability, safety, performance, and interior comfort and features.
If you're sitting on a pile of money and plan to pay cash, you can skip this section. If, however, you're like most used car buyers, you'll need a loan to help pay for your used vehicle. It's true that you can have the dealership's finance office arrange your financing. Still, if you want to save money, you need to get a pre-approved financing offer before you get anywhere near a car dealer. A dealer may be able to beat your pre-approved loan, but if you don't have one, they'll have no incentive to do so.
If you're buying from a private party, you have no choice but to find your own financing. The process can be different for private-party buyers, so be sure to talk to your lender about what they'll need to move your loan application forward.
Community banks offer many of the same auto-lending services as large banks, but they do so with a smaller geographic footprint, fewer branches, and often a more personal touch. Like credit unions, community banks are great places for borrowers who need a bit more help to finance their used car purchase successfully. With their roots in the communities they serve, many will be able to offer tips about other businesses in the area that can help you through the car-buying process.
Just as smart buyers should talk to multiple car dealerships and other sellers before buying a used car, you should apply at multiple lenders to find the best financing deal. It's critical to do so during a short span of time, so the credit reporting agencies don't think you're taking out multiple loans and ding your credit score over and over. Do your shopping over a week or so, and they'll just see it as one transaction. That's important, because each transaction that pulls a credit report lowers your credit score by a few points.
It is vital to have a monthly payment that fits into your household budget. Still, you need to look beyond the payment when comparing loan offers. You want to look at the total cost of the car, including its financing. Fortunately, it's easy to do. Just multiply the monthly payment by the number of months in the loan term, then add the amount of any down payment you're making and the value of your trade-in, if you have one.
When it comes to used car dealerships, national or regional used car superstores are the new kids on the block. They offer many of the same advantages of franchised new car dealerships, such as expertise in handling paperwork, step-by-step buying processes, and access to an array of lenders. Many sell their own line of add-on products, such as extended warranties valid at any of their locations.
Sales Information: The sales information section of a vehicle history report will show when the vehicle first entered service and how many times its ownership has been transferred. Watch for vehicles that have been moved repeatedly from state to state, or from an area that has recently endured floods, fires, hurricanes, or other natural disasters. Not only is moving a car one way to mask title issues, but it can also be used to hide flood damage.
Taking a test drive is one of the most critical tasks in buying a used car. However, the rules have changed due to the coronavirus pandemic. You need to place your personal safety above all else. You should insist on taking your test drive solo. If the seller refuses, either walk away, or set strict ground rules about mask-wearing, drive with the windows down, and ask them to sit as far away as possible.
While you should note every flaw during the drive, not all should eliminate the car from consideration. Some issues can be used as bargaining chips when negotiating a price. All issues should be brought to the attention of your pre-purchase inspection mechanic.
A great test drive may have you ready to write a check and drive the car home right away. However, there's another critical step you have to complete before you decide to buy. With just one exception, you should not buy a used car without a comprehensive pre-purchase inspection by an independent mechanic. The only exception would be if you're buying a relatively new certified used car with factory warranty coverage from a franchised new-car dealership.
Some used car sellers, such as Carvana, are simplifying the car-buying experience by eliminating last-minute fees and pivoting to a no-haggle sales process. The car's advertised price is not negotiable, and no dealer or documentation fees are added to the purchase price.
It's more complicated when you buy a car in a private-party sale. One of you will have to create a bill of sale. It should note the date, mileage, price, and any special terms. Your lender may have a specific form they need you to use or require additional information to be included. In most cases, car sales between individuals are as-is transactions with no warranty coverage. If you negotiated repairs into the deal, they must be specified on the bill of sale.
Different states require different documents for a private-party sale. At the very least, you'll have to reassign the title from the seller to you and register the car in your name. In some states, you'll also have to file an odometer disclosure or have the odometer reading verified. If you're moving the car to an area with safety or emissions testing, you'll need to have that done before registering the vehicle. Some states will require you to have proof of auto insurance coverage and require payment of any taxes when applying for registration.
Buying a manufacturer-certified used car typically gets you factory warranty coverage, eliminating the need to immediately purchase an extended warranty. Other used vehicles are usually sold as-is, with no warranty past the car's original factory warranty. Once that warranty ends, or if it is already finished, you'll be on your own for repair costs. Consumer advocates almost universally advise against purchasing extended warranties. If you decide to anyway, be sure to compare the products available in the marketplace, their prices, and the companies behind them.
It's often overlooked, but buying car insurance to protect your new car isn't just a good idea; it's the law in nearly every state. Even if it's not, most lenders will require you to have insurance on any car they finance. The coverage that's needed will vary by your state and lender.
A guiding principle we follow at U.S. News & World Report is that you can't get a good deal unless you're getting a good car. That's why we've designed our new car reviews to answer the questions shoppers have when they're in the car-buying market. Our new car rankings and reviews are based on the country's top automotive journalists' consensus opinion, blended with quantifiable information about safety, predicted reliability, and other factors. Our used cars rankings add the cost of ownership to the list of factors we include. We don't accept expensive gifts or travel from automakers so that you can be assured of our impartiality. 041b061a72