Checklist for Buying A Used Car

August 7th, 2022 by

Consider Before You Buy

There are many resources available for use when you are shopping around for used cars or used trucks for sale. It’s a big decision, so let’s take a look at ways to help you go in prepared.

Budget. Deciding on your budget in advance will help you resist the temptation to go for something out of your range, and help the dealer you are working with guide you to the right vehicle for you. For reference, the average selling price for a midsize sedan during the second quarter of 2018 was $26,336, with an average monthly finance payment of $462. Those numbers go up by about $20,000 for a truck.

Don’t forget to include maintenance costs when calculating how much you’d like to spend on your car. Operating costs like gas and regular auto service maintenance to avoid car troubles should factor into your pricing when looking at used cars for sale. Check expert buying guides to get an idea of how much a similar car in similar condition sells for so you know what price range to aim for.

Auto Finance. Once you know what you plan to spend, you’ll have a clearer idea of whether you can buy your car outright, or seek financing. There are many used car loans available; just be sure to avoid any predatory lending practices. A quality used car loan should help you build credit and ease the purchase while providing a reasonable payment plan.

Test Drive. The dealer will be happy to take a test drive with you so you can get a feel for how the car performs. With used cars for sale, the dealer will often provide you with a report on the vehicle’s history. When out on your test drive in Portage, WI, in addition to performance and signs that the car is in good condition, it’s important to confirm that the car is a good fit. You should feel comfortable and well-positioned in relation to the steering wheel, dashboard controls, and seat belt. Read more below for additional indicators and information to check while examining the vehicle in person.

Documents. When you have settled upon a car and price with your dealer, there are a number of documents required to complete the transaction. You will need to ensure the transfer of title forms are filled out properly and ensure your registration, license plates, and inspection sticker are all ready to go before hitting the road.

What to check for

Here at Portage Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, we know that our used vehicles represent the best of the pre-owned market, but for your own ease of mind, we recommend that you review a quick checklist when examining a used vehicle in person. Before confirming a purchase on your pre-owned vehicle, make sure you check the following so you can be confident and informed in your purchase:

  • Check Mileage
  • Check the vehicle’s history report
  • Examine for Rust and Paint discoloration
  • Tire Inspection
  • Undercarriage and Ground Leaks
  • Open the Hood
  • Check oil levels.
  • Look for signs of rust or corrosion under the hood.
  • Inspect belts for signs of wear.
  • Check transmission fluid.
  • Brake fluid.
  • Check antifreeze.
  • Check the battery.
  • Lights: Headlight, Taillights, and Signal Lights

Benefits of Buying Used

Buying a pre-owned vehicle is a great way to save on your monthly car payments, especially when you take advantage of our Used Vehicle Specials. Read below to discover the many other benefits of buying a Portage Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram used vehicle:

  • Avoid major depreciation: Because most new cars lose value rapidly during their first few years on the road, opting for a pre-owned model will help your investment go further. Your investment will depreciate slower due to already having lost a majority of its value within its five years. For instance, new vehicles already start at a premium which loses up to 30% of their value within the first year alone.
  • Lower Sales Tax: Most states have a straight percentage on auto sales. For example, if you pay $10,000 for your vehicle and have a 6% sales tax in your state, that’s an extra $600 in-state sales tax. By paying less for a used vehicle, you can plan on spending less on sales tax!
  • Lower Insurance: Used vehicles are typically easier to service and less expensive to fix, which could end up helping lower your insurance rate since they have more options and don’t have to stick to the requirements of a new car’s warranty.
  • Enjoy limitless options: With such a great variety of models available in the CPO market, you can secure the keys to the model of your dreams for far less. You may even be able to find models that are no longer in production or even be able to afford a specific vehicle that would be otherwise out of your budget if it were fresh off the lot.
  • Customize: When it comes to adding on customization to used vehicles, the marketplace may be larger than if it were brand new due to the time passing and the total quantity of that specific vehicle on the market.
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