This post is sponsored by Bob Pulte Chevrolet
If you have never bought a used vehicle before , it can be hard to figure out what to look for. Do you know how much you can spend? Do you know what type of car you want? Have you looked at any cars yet? Even if you have bought used cars before, going about it in a different way can help you make a better purchase. Here are three tips to help you over the hurdle of buying a used car.
- Get Your Financing Approved First
In the past, I have always just wandered into a car dealership and looked at cars, making an impulse decision to buy one based on the way it looked. The last time, though, I was determined to get a better deal and know that the car I was buying was a good one.
This time, my husband and I decided ahead of time how much we could afford to pay per month for a car. Then, we went to our credit union and sat down with a loan officer to see how much we could spend and keep our payment at or below our target amount. For instance, we wanted to pay no more than $200 a month for a car. The loan officer approved us for a loan of up to $12,500 that we could spend on a vehicle that was no more than six years old. If we spent the full amount, our payment would be just a dollar or two over $200.
- Shop Online To Find Vehicles Within Your Approved Loan Amount
Once we knew how much we could spend, and how old of a car to look for, I googled “used cars under $12,500 in west Georgia”. The search results brought many, many vehicles to look through. We quickly deleted certain vehicles based on size, make, and model that we were not interested in looking for. By searching online, we could see at a glance what was available to buy for the amount of money we had. Since we made this purchase in 2013, we found that we could afford a medium sized three year old sedan. We narrowed our list of cars to look at down to five before we ever walked out the door.
- Test Drive Several Cars
Now that we had a short list of vehicles that were available to buy, in our price and size range we made a day of driving to different dealerships to test drive those vehicles, and look them over in person. We eliminated two of those five autos immediately because they were smaller than we thought they would be. A third vehicle was eliminated because the mileage was too high. Of the two cars that were left to test drive, we chose a 2010 Chevrolet Impala. The mileage was low, the car looked like it was taken car of very well, and the price was lower by over $1000 than the other car on the list. We drove out of the lot with our new vehicle for under $10,000 and a payment of just $167 a month. We feel like we got a great deal.
Going into the purchase of a “new” used car with some planning can save you money. What other tips would you give someone who is looking for a used car?