Thanks to Cars on Market for collaborating on this post. All opinions are my own.
I bought a new-to-me used car in December. I’ve never actually purchased a brand new car and when I bought my last car, I purchased it from my brother. The car before I had since 2003 and I drove it for almost 10 years. So I am used to buying used cars. December was my first time dealing with a dealership, however, in more than 15 years. I love my new-to-me car (a Kia Soul) and would highly recommend anyone buying used in the future.
I think there are tips and tricks to buying used, or buy a car in general. It’s not something I want to do on a yearly basis, and I forgot some of the things I was going to have to deal with until I was signing all of the paperwork. (SO MUCH paperwork!) So hopefully I can help someone else who is in the market for a new-ish car.
Tips for purchasing your next used car:
Do your research. I knew that I was going to have to buy a car. My previous car was causing me a lot of headache with monthly problems. I asked friends what they were happy with, and once I decided I was going to buy Kia, I began searching various dealerships for prices and features I wanted.
Get pre-approved. While I had some savings, I knew I would be taking out a car loan. I got pre-approved in November with my credit union, and that helped when I walked into a dealership and began negotiating.
Let the dealership try for a better rate. The finance department was able to find a much better interest rate than my credit union could offer – and kept my payments $15 lower per month than I was aiming for!
Be up front with your sales person about what you are comfortable spending after all of the taxes and fees. You don’t have to budge on this. And if you have your list of “must-haves”, give it to the sales person. Go after what you want.
Take someone along with you. My husband was sick the day I was going to test drive cars, and he told me to take someone – anyone – with me, so I wasn’t making a rash decision. I took our son, who was able to tell me what he liked about the car we drove. (It also helped me figure out how car seats would fit into the car!) When it came to negotiating, I knew I didn’t have a lot of time before his patience wore out, so negotiations ended up being short!
Cars on Market is located in Wilmington, NC and offers a wide selection of used cars with prices starting under $5000! Their certified technicians thoroughly inspect and maintain the pre-owned vehicles to the highest levels for safety and performance.