Serious car shoppers know that a successful used vehicle purchase starts with a little groundwork before even setting foot at the dealership. A little due diligence once you land on a particular model is also recommended to be sure you don’t walk away with a lemon. We have listed 3 of our must-do tasks before buying a used car below to help with the process.
[Read More: Identifying a Fair Trade-In Value for Your Used Car]
3 Things You Must Do Before Buying A Used Car
Create A Realistic Budget
Before setting foot at the dealership where expensive cars can tempt you to make a decision that ultimately isn’t good for your wallet, it’s important to create a realistic budget to identify what you can comfortably afford. We like to come up with a comfortable monthly payment first, and then work backward to get an overall purchase price. Keep in mind that the cost of the vehicle is only part of your monthly payment. Gas costs, insurance, and added fees should also be taken into account.
While most used car shoppers will naturally shop around at a few different dealerships to find just the right pre-owned model for their needs, it’s perhaps even more important for shoppers to shop around for their used vehicle financing. Don’t get stuck with whatever the dealership is offering. After finalizing your budget, compare auto loan quotes from a few different banks or credit unions around town and get pre-approved for a loan. If the dealership can beat the bank’s offer, great. If not, you’re still prepared for a more affordable purchase.
Get An Independent Inspection
After creating a budget and securing financing, it’s finally time for the fun part – finding your vehicle! Once you land on something you love, it’s time to take it for a test drive. But, that’s not where the inspection should end. The most important thing that shoppers can do to avoid purchasing a lemon is to get an inspection from a third-party mechanic. While this will cost a little more out-of-pocket, it could save you buckets in repair costs over time.
With hundreds of used cars, crossovers, SUVs, vans, and trucks in our current inventory, it’s not hard for shoppers to find something they love at a budget they can afford at Coast to Coast Motors. Visit your nearest dealership location or browse online to see what is currently available near you.