How to Buy Your First Used Car
Whether you’re a teenager, recent college grad, or adult just stepping into the world of used cars, purchasing your first used car can be a stressful process. Everyone has heard horror stories about people taking out an auto loan for used car and then finding out that the car needs major repairs or is worth far less than what they paid. People who are looking for used car loans for cars older than 10 years might be even more nervous, and justifiably so. This guide will help you buy your first used car and remove some of the stress and mystery from the process.
What Kind of Car Do You Need?
The first step to buying your first used car is to determine what type of car you need. People just driving to work and shopping probably don’t need a large SUV, and a family of seven is going to have problems fitting into a hatchback. One of the most difficult parts of buying a used car isn’t a lack of choice, but too many choices. Determining what kind of car you need will help narrow the range of cars you’re looking at and make it easier to make decisions.
How Much Can You Spend on a Used Car?
The next thing you should do is determine your budget. Many people buying their first used car will need to take out a loan. Thankfully, it is easy to find a used car loan calculator, (like the Chase used car loan calculator) that can give them an idea of their budget. Keep in mind that banks will offer you better interest rates on newer cars than on older ones because they are less of a risk for the bank. Once you’ve established a budget, your range of cars will be narrowed even further. Many sites will even tell you their average APR for used car loan with bad credit, fair credit, or good credit, so you can get an even more accurate idea of how much you can afford. At this point, it’s time to get up close to your potential car.
Inspecting the Car
Going for a Test Drive
When financing your car, one of the best things to do is pre-qualify with your bank of choice. This will tell you about how much you can afford to spend. Next, take the cost of comprehensive insurance into account, as your loan provider will want to be insured against loss. Finally, consider making a larger down payment in order to reduce the amount you’ll have to pay each month.
Buying your first used car can be an intimidating process, but breaking it down into smaller and smaller steps shows that it isn’t anything to be afraid of, so get out there and get the used car of your dreams!