3 Actions to Take Before Shopping for a Used Car

Whether you're shopping used cars for the first time or need to replace your current vehicle, there are many decisions to make before you make your final choice. Your budget, transportation needs and lifestyle can all play a part in the car you choose. However, proper preparation can be an important part of the car-buying process, and we would like to share some advice that may help you purchase your next used car with confidence.


  1. Decide How to Pay

Knowing how you will be paying for your vehicle can help you be better prepared to discuss finances with a dealership loan officer. If you plan on making payments, calculate what you can afford before you shop so you don't get in over your head once you settle on a vehicle. If you have a trade in, research its current value and be prepared to give information regarding its condition, including current mileage and whether it is has ever been involved in an accident.


  1. Save up a Down Payment

Unless you need a car right away, it's a good idea to save up a down payment for your next vehicle purchase. Even a few hundred dollars can make a difference, and most dealerships that sell used cars are usually willing to work with you on what they require down on certain vehicles. Being able to offer a down payment can lower what you pay monthly and widen your buying options.


  1. Check Your Credit Report

Knowing what kind of information is listed on your credit report can help you avoid any unpleasant financial surprises while you're at a dealership. Order your report well in advance, review it and then note any possible errors. The more you know about what is being reported to lenders, the better prepared you can be to work with a loan officer.


Browsing used cars can be an exciting experience. However, taking time to prepare for the buying experience can make it convenient and simple as well.

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