Tips for Used Car Buying

March 10, 2020

Buying a Used Car

For some car shoppers, this is the first time they’re buying a used car. Others are seasoned pros, but we can all use some brushing up on tips for used car buying from time to time. Drivers near Macon, Warner Robins, and Milledgeville can use this handy checklist to guide their shopping experience.

We’ll walk you through the most important tips, from setting your budget to checking the vehicle history report. If you have any questions, reach out to us at Macon Car Credit for more information!

Set Your Budget

Setting BudgetCar shopping is always exciting. Before you start, though, you should set some parameters for yourself, so you stay within your means as you shop. Consider this: Will you finance your used car or pay for the car outright? If it’s the former, how much are you willing to spend on monthly payments?

Should you choose to finance your purchase, there are some rules of thumb you may want to follow. They won’t apply for everyone in every situation, but they’re a solid starting point. These rules ensure you have some wiggle room if your financial situation changes:

  • Make at least a 20% down payment
  • Finance for no more than 4 years
  • Keep monthly payments at no more than 10% of gross income

Find the Perfect Car

There’s so much to consider as you shop for the perfect car. Utility, style, comfort, and other features will factor into your decision. The most important thing you can do before you buy is to take a test drive. Get behind the wheel and confirm the car drives the way you like.

Browsing Dealership Inventory

Check the mirrors, adjust the seats and steering wheel, and make sure you feel comfortable with the driver’s seat setup. After all, it’s where you’ll spend most of your time! Make sure the infotainment is easy to use and be mindful of the space in the vehicle for passengers and cargo.

Be sure to drive on all sorts of roads—winding country lanes, stop-and-go city streets, and, of course, the open highway, if you can. You want to test that car’s limits before you buy.

Check the Vehicle History Report

Researching VehicleBefore you sign the dotted line, you should closely examine the CARFAX® Vehicle History Report™ for the vehicle you’re considering. If you’re shopping certified pre-owned cars, this will usually be offered freely to you by the dealership. You can always check it on your own—all you need is the car’s VIN.

The vehicle history report tracks the car’s accident history as well as the service records. You’ll see how the car was kept by its previous owners—and how many owners it has had. It will also tell you if there’s been any serious fire, flood, or other damage throughout the vehicle’s lifespan.

Questions? Explore Our Tips in Detail

At Macon Car Credit, we’re happy to help you learn more about our tips for used car buying. If you plan to shop pre-owned vehicles soon, feel free to reach out to us for more information and tips.

We’ll be happy to help connect drivers near Macon, Warner Robins, and Milledgeville with auto loans, too. Let us hook you up with the perfect used car loan today!