Your Used Car Buying Guide: 7 Tips to Know

used car for sale at dealership

Are you interested in buying a used car?

Buying a car can be exciting for first time buyers, but it can also be a daunting experience if you don’t know what to do. Used cars are affordable alternatives to used cars because they’re cheaper and have been broken in.

Some people don’t invest in used cars because they fear that there could be something wrong with them, but you can avoid that by taking several steps.

Continue reading this used car buying guide to learn 7 tips to know when buying a car.

Decide What You Need

When buying a car, it’s important to decide what you will be doing with it. If you’re someone that often drives children around, it’d be wise to get a minivan. If you haul a lot of material, you should get a truck.

Knowing what kind of vehicle you need will narrow down your options and give you fewer things that you need to look at. This will also help you if you decide to go to a dealership because you can tell them what you want.

You also need to decide if mileage is something that you’d like to consider. If you don’t want to spend a lot on gas, you should get a vehicle that can drive for many miles with each gallon.

Try to find a vehicle that is well-suited for your area because some cars perform better on highways whereas others are better in stop-and-go city environments.

Make a Checklist

After you’ve decided what kind of vehicle you need, you should make a checklist of things that you’d like the car to have. This includes mileage, radio, lights, etc.

Making a checklist of a car’s features and condition will help you decide if it’d be a good buy or not. A checklist will also allow you to further narrow down your options.

Compare Several Dealerships

With buying anything, you should always compare the options before coming to a conclusion. There are many dealerships that are willing to sell you their product, but what matters is finding the cheapest deal.

Be sure to look at all the dealerships in your region and compare the prices of their cars. Try to expand your range so you can find more dealerships that offer cheaper prices.


Negotiation is a skill that’s used by everyone that buys and sells products. When you’re a buyer, you can’t let yourself get pushed around. It’s important to go in with knowledge beforehand so you can get yourself better deals.

Because you’re buying a used vehicle, it’s much easier to negotiate since it’s coming from a dealership or individual rather than the manufacturer.

When you negotiate, you can try to lower the price or get them to throw in free things. Either way, you’re getting something for a lesser price. You can also look for a car that already has a discounted price.

Because you have browsed several dealerships, you know if you’re getting a good deal when you see inventory. You can bring up the fact that another place is selling the same car for cheaper and walk away, this will get them to chase you.

Test Drive

One of the best tips for buying a used car is to test drive it. When you buy a used car, you must test drive it to ensure that it is fully functioning.

There are a few things that you can do during the drive to make sure it’s a good purchase, such as checking the wheels and driving various routes. Take the car on the highway and a city environment with several stops.

This will give you the opportunity to see how the car’s brakes are and if there are any problems with its handling. You can also get a better feel of how the interior will treat you when driving, such as the legroom and comfort of the seat.

Buying from a Dealer Can Be More Expensive

While a dealership can provide more protection because they inspect vehicles and often include warranties, this also means that they can be more costly.

Because dealerships will make their cars look better and replace faulty parts, they will drive the price up to compensate for the parts and labor. This is something to keep in mind when going to a dealership.

If you’d prefer to take the safer route, you should buy your car at a dealership. However, you can still strike gold with independent sellers. If you buy privately, be sure to bring someone with you that knows a lot about cars.

Having someone that can examine the vehicle for you will ensure that you don’t accidentally buy a bad vehicle.

Arrange Insurance and Get Plates Before Taking the Car Home

It’s illegal to drive a car without insurance and plates, and this includes driving a brand new car home from the dealership. You need to get these taken care of before you take it on the road to avoid any hassles.

If you get pulled over because you’re missing plates, many cops will give you a pass if you show documents of your purchase, but the lack of insurance can get you into serious trouble should you get into an accident.

Avoid paying a ton of medical and maintenance fees by arranging an insurance plan beforehand, and try to get plates for your vehicle, too.

Apply This Used Car Buying Guide

The best time to buy a used car is when you’re ready. Use the tips from this used car buying guide to ensure that you make the best use of your money and you will be able to get a great used vehicle without a problem.

Be sure to browse the rest of our blog for more automotive information!