Tips for buying a used vehicle

Here are some tips when buying a used vehicle

Buying used vehicles can be a confusing ordeal if you are not already familiar with the whole process and the necessary paperwork. If you are buying from a used car dealer, they will take care of most of your paperwork so that you have a smooth buying experience. But choosing the right car that fits your needs is the most important factor of the whole process.

Buying a car is an expensive investment, so you have to be wise about your decision. We have compiled a few tips that we believe will help you make the right choice when buying a used car.


Make a clear cut budget

Before choosing the car that you would like to buy, fix a budget and stick with it. But do not limit this budget to justify the price of the car or the monthly payment you have to make if you are financing it. Ideally, the budget should account for the insurance costs, parking and fuel costs, and maintenance costs to give you a clear idea of whether you will be able to afford it.

People often overlook the effect that insurance costs can have on your car. It can vary drastically from model to model, even if the cars are priced similarly. The insurance prices for cars are calculated using several different factors such as the car’s make and model, year of manufacture, mileage, etc.

If you have searched for used cars, you will have noticed that the older the cars, the cheaper they are. It is because older cars are much more likely to develop problems later down the road, so it is a gamble, and you can save a lot of money if you know what you are looking for.

But the truth is that any car could develop some problems and might need some minor repairs. So it is best to go for a cheaper car and still have the financial ability to keep it running.



If you are going to finance the car, it is beneficial to get the loan pre-approved before setting foot in the dealership. It will help you decide how expensive a car you can afford as you get to know the upper limit of your loan.

It also reveals whether there are any problems with your credit score, so you will not have to struggle to find financing options after buying the car. It also gives you a clear idea about the interest rates, which means dealerships will not be able to charge you any higher than they have to.

Also, the longer the time period of the loan is, the more you will end up spending for repaying the loan, this is because of compounding interest. So it is better to choose to repay the loan in the shortest time frame that you can afford.


Research which car will best suit your needs

Cars are a very expensive investment, and you have a plethora of options to choose from. So sit down and list out your priorities. What do you expect from your car? How will you be using it? How long do you plan to own it? These are some of the questions you can ask yourself to find the perfect car that aligns with your priorities.

If you are mainly going to use your car to drive inside the city, and you only have to carry stuff during the occasional shopping, then a hatchback might be the one for you. They are small and easier to maneuver, and as a bonus, most of them are quite frugal.

On the other hand, if you have to carry a lot of people, or you require the additional space to carry some cargo, then an SUV or a sedan might be better suited to your needs. Shortlist the cars available in the particular price range and weigh their pros and cons.


Check vehicle history

Did you know that you can know if a car has been wrecked even before visiting a car for inspection and test drive? You can get that information by obtaining a vehicle history report. You will need the VIN, or in some cases, the registration number of the car that you wish to run the check for.

There are a lot of websites online that can provide you with all the information that you might need. Some are free, and some charge a very small price. Usually, it is worth going for the paid VIN decoders as they might have a much expansive database and might be able to provide a lot more information.

In addition, you can also see if the car has ever been recalled by the manufacturer. And if they were, you will be able to know whether the previous owners did the necessary repairs. Most reports will also show any major repairs and the mileage of the car.

You can also check on forums that are specific to each car to find out about common problems found in that particular car. Just google “*car name* + problems”, and you will find the common problems that plague that car.

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About DriveNation

We are about always putting our customers’ needs first, DriveNation is committed to getting all of our customers approved for financing and driving a quality used car, used truck, or used SUV.

We have a team of auto finance specialists that will work hard to make sure you get the best interest rate your credit will allow. Our promise to you is that if you have questions about our services we will do our very best to make your experience with us as easy and as rewarding as possible. Expect full transparency, great customer service, and a vehicle you can count on.

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