What to Look for When Buying a Used Car

May 18th, 2024 by

Used cars on a car lot

Searching for the best used or certified pre-owned vehicle may be a difficult endeavor for drivers, but understanding what to look for when buying a used car from a dealer can alleviate a lot of the stress and hassle. Whether you’re a first-time buyer, haven’t bought a car in a while, or have had bad car-buying experiences in the past, you’ll be able to sit down with the team at Sam Leman Automotive Group and learn what to ask when buying a used car, as well as some tips to keep in mind so you know what to look for when buying a used car. Learn more about the car-buying process below, and if you’re ready to test-drive any of the used vehicles in our collection, contact us now. 



How to Buy a Used Car From a Dealer

There are various advantages to buying a used vehicle, including reduced prices and more accessible technologies. While looking for the perfect used car for your commute, you may find alternatives such as those priced under $20,000, certified pre-owned models, and other options at Sam Leman Automotive Group. Although you’re dealing with a company as opposed to an individual, it’s still important to know what to look for when buying a used car from a dealer: 

  • Set a Budget: Take the time to examine the cost of purchasing against the cost of ownership. Be careful to account for future repairs, new tires, normal maintenance, and whether a vehicle loan is required to finance the used car. A monthly payment should not be more than 10% of your monthly revenue. Our payment calculator can help you estimate your monthly payments. But budget is only the first step in knowing what to look for when buying a used car from a dealership. 
  • Find the Right Used Model: When learning how to buy a used automobile, there are several aspects to consider. The vehicle should be within your budget, match your mileage goals, and meet some of the major standards, such as the car history report. Start by generating a list of vehicles you’re interested in and comparing them to what’s available at the dealership. Then, go deep into the dependability evaluations on sites like Edmunds or KelleyBlueBook, and compare the price the vehicle sold for in your region. 
  • Test Drive/Inspection: It might be difficult to discover the appropriate used car or truck that fits your taste. Make sure you properly check the vehicle and have it inspected by a competent mechanic, and then take it for a test drive to confirm the performance you’re expecting on -area roads. 
  • Used Car Financing: Once you’ve discovered a suitable used car, take your time exploring your financing alternatives, taking into account additional costs and credits such as state sales tax, registration fees, and the trade-in value of your prior vehicle. When you close the sale, ensure sure you’re protected by any applicable warranties and auto insurance policies.

What to Ask When Buying a Used Car

When looking for a used car, there are a ton of options, so knowing what to ask when buying a used car is important as well. Remember, if you need assistance – don’t forget to contact our service team with any questions. Here are some suggestions for what to ask when buying a used car: 

  • Is there a history of maintenance?
  • Is the vehicle history report available?
  • Do the amenities and features work like they’re supposed to?
  • What is the ownership history?
  • What is the vehicle’s mileage?
  • Are there any current recalls on the vehicle?
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