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Buying a Used Car – Here’s What to Look For

Buying a Used Car – Here’s What to Look For

With the continued increase in price tags for new cars, today’s society has been moving to purchasing used cars.  There can be a significant savings when purchasing a used car, but you still need to make sure you’re purchasing a used car that is of high quality.

Used cars can be sold with hidden damages that were not relayed to the used car buyer.  These types of damages can be very costly in the long-term of owning the vehicle.  To make sure you’re getting the best quality used car, and not a lemon, follow the checklist below when you’re purchasing your next used vehicle.

1.  Mechanical inspection

You want to be sure that you inspect a used car mechanically before purchasing it.  Here are 4 things you should definitely test:

  • Inspect every area of the exterior and interior of the car (it is best to have a second set of eyes look these areas over also)
  • Take the car for a test drive
  • Perform a leak test (leave this to a mechanic)
  • Have a mechanic inspect the entire vehicle

2.  Research the car

After you have confirmed the car is in good condition, consider researching the vehicle further:

  • Decode the VIN number
  • Calculate a reasonable price to purchase the car
  • Research the make and model
  • Check the vehicle history report
  • Look to purchase a certified pre-owned vehicle
  • Take your time – don’t rush in to purchasing a vehicle

3.  Where can I find a used car?

When purchasing a used car, there are many different places you can go.  You want to make sure that the company/person you’re dealing with is reputable and has good reviews.  Here are a few options on where you can purchase a used car:

  • Online dealerships – you can find both licensed dealers and private sellers
  • Trading forums – this is where people sell their cars and you can find a great price, but make sure you do your research on the vehicle before you purchase
  • Classifieds – People still use the newspaper, so this is still a good place to check, also websites like Craigslist
  • Used car dealerships – you will have the largest selection of used cars at these dealerships, they should be licensed, and the car should come with some type of warranty

4.  How to finance a used car?

If you’re looking to finance your used car, there are a few different ways to do so.  The list below will give you a great starting point:

  • Secured loan – this requires you to use your car as security, but usually has lower interest rates (some lenders will not offer secured loans on cars that are over 10 years old)
  • Unsecured loan – this loan will not require collateral, but may have higher interest rates because it is a higher risk for the lender
  • Dealer financing – mostly all dealers have some form of financing options (be sure to negotiate a good rate)


If you have just purchased a car and need car insurance, be sure to reach out to us.  We would be happy to answer any questions that you may have!  CLICK HERE