Used Car Buying Tips

When buying a used car, there are several different factors to take into consideration. In order to avoid getting overwhelmed with these variables, it's a good idea to make a checklist to follow when both choosing a vehicle, and making your purchase. This article covers some key points to remember when buying a used car, especially if you have bad credit.


This sounds so simple, but is so often overlooked. Just because a vehicle looks good and drives good, doesn't mean that there aren't underlying problems that can be very costly in the near future. Faulty transmissions and internal engine problems can be temporarily fixed with little "tricks of the trade", so you might not be aware on a test drive that there is any problem with the vehicle. Without going into detail about the various problems that could be hiding under the hood, it's a very good rule of thumb to ask the dealer if you can take the vehicle to an independent mechanic for a thorough inspection.

If the dealer doesn't want you to take the car to a mechanic of your choosing, you might as well forget about that vehicle - and probably the dealer altogether. Shop elsewhere.

If you are able to take the vehicle to your own mechanic, simply tell them upfront that you're looking at buying this vehicle and want to have an expert take a look at the things that might not be so obvious. Let the mechanic know that you're interested in any signs that show potential problems, that you want to know if the vehicle has ever been involved in a collision (they'll be able to tell) and if there are any signs that the vehicle has had major repairs in the past. Take their advice seriously if they recommend not making the purchase, no matter how good of a deal that it seems.

Also worth noting, is that the vehicle's overall condition (good paint, interior, etc) is a bargaining chip when negotiating price. Find out what some repairs are going to cost to have the vehicle in tip-top condition and ask for that amount to be subtracted from the final negotiated sale price.


Does the used car dealer offer any warranty on the vehicle? Most used cars are sold as-is and as soon as you drive it off the lot, all problems are yours. Regardless of whether the vehicle is advertised on the window sticker as being sold as-is or not, ask for a 30 day powertrain warranty in writing. Make sure you get this in writing! Most dealers, if they feel that they are selling a solid vehicle will have no problem with this small guarantee.


Just because you have bad credit, doesn't necessarily mean that you are not able to get a real auto loan through a real car loan company. We list some on this site that are willing to help people that have bad credit to get approved for car loans, so that they are able to buy cars from normal car dealerships, instead of buy here pay here car lots. If you don't have any other option, a buy here pay here dealer can be an easy way to get a cheap car so you can get back on the road. It's a great idea to refinance that car purchase if at all possible at a future date to reduce your interest rate and monthly payments. That's definitely something to consider. lists the largest number of buy here pay here dealers in the country. We encourage you to rate our dealers based on your experience as a buyer and/or also as a shopper.

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