A Financial Primer on Buying a Used Car

Buying a used car is one of the bigger decisions a consumer makes in his or her lifetime, so getting it right is important. In reality, the financials of buying one of our used cars isn’t really all that complicated; nonetheless, there are several key things to keep in mind. Following these steps will help the buyer master the financial aspects of car buying.

Paying Cash

If the car buyer has enough cash on hand, it is always nice to pay for it all at once. Not having monthly car payments can free up money for other things and leave a cushion for maintenance costs. The buyer should make sure he or she has enough money left over to pay for gas, routine repairs, license fees and car insurance. Also, sometimes the buyer can negotiate a better purchase price by paying in cash.

Getting a Loan

When taking out a used car loan, there are a few rules of thumb to keep in mind. It is a good idea to put 10 percent down on the car and to try to pay off the entire loan in three to four years. The total cost of the car should not exceed 20 percent of the buyer’s monthly take home pay. These are just general guidelines and the loan should be structured to meet the budget of the buyer.

We offer a full service finance department that can guide customer’s through the steps of getting a car loan. In most cases, this can be taken care of in an hour or two. It is a great convenience for the buyer to handle everything all in one place.

Saving Money

Used cars are a great deal for the buyer. They can save the customer a large sum of money by reducing purchase price, taxes and insurance costs while providing a vehicle that will provide dependable transportation for years.

Maintain Your Brakes for Your Safety and Budget

Proper car maintenance is necessary to keep your car running and performing to its highest potential. Among the top services that are not only important for performance, but also for safety is keeping your brakes maintained. Being able to stop your vehicle when you need to is a crucial part of its operation, and changing out your brake pads when necessary should be a priority for any car owner.

Driving Habits Affect Wear

What kind of driver are you? If you are a fairly aggressive driver, you are more likely to wear down your brakes faster than individuals who are more cautious. If you tend to follow other vehicles more closely and drive quickly up to stop lights, it is important to get your brakes checks frequently to ensure proper functioning.

Urban Versus Rural Drivers

Another factor that will influence your brake wear is where you live. Driving in cities in increased traffic times can wear down your brakes quickly. Rural drivers typically have less braking time than city drivers, but road conditions can affect wear if brake pads are exposed to dust and dirt on a frequent basis.

Address Problems Early for Safety and Your Wallet

Many brake pads come with a built-in wear indicator that can be easily inspected by a mechanic. Having these evaluated during routine maintenance is easy and can catch problems before they become a major safety issue and financial burden. If your brakes start squealing, have them checked out as soon as possible. It can become a bigger and much more expensive mechanical repair if you wait too long. When brake pads completely wear down, you can start to hear grinding which often means you will need your rotors replaced. The longer you wait, the more likely your brakes are to fail, and this danger can be prevented through proper maintenance of your brake pads.

Tips for Choosing a Used Car

If you’re looking as used cars for your next vehicle purchase you may be wondering how to choose the best one for you. There are a number of factors to consider from your lifestyle to the vehicle history. Here are a few tips to help you select your new car and get on the road again.

Choose Based on Your Needs

Consider your lifestyle when selecting your vehicle. Do you need a small car with great gas mileage for a daily commute? Or perhaps a small van with room for the whole family? If you haul gear or go off-roading you may prefer a truck or SUV. Consider what you need in your vehicle for both work and play. This will allow you to narrow down your model options so you have a place to start looking.

Ask About the Car’s History


It’s also important to ask about a car’s history when selecting your next vehicle. How much mileage does it have on it compared to age? Were any parts replaced recently? Were any alterations made from the base model? These things can give you a feel for performance any any potential maintenance needs the car may need in the future.


Consider Driver Comfort

Your comfort level while driving is an important factor when purchasing any vehicle. The dealership should be happy to set you up with a test drive so you can feel how the car handles, check visibility, and see how comfortable you are in the driver’s seat. You should also be able to get a feel for things such as seat belt position and control handling. Some things may be able to be adjusted to work better for you.

When considering used cars for you next vehicle think about your lifestyle, the car’s history, and how comfortable it is to drive for you. Each of these things can play a part in making your selection. Remember, if you have any questions the dealership staff can help.

Things to Keep in Mind When Buying Used Cars for Teenagers

There are a lot of reasons why we think that buying used cars for the teenage drivers in your household is a good idea. It teaches your kids financial responsibility and important adult concepts like car maintenance and insurance terms. Before you take your teenager out shopping, here are a few important things to keep in mind.

Get Preapproved and A Budget in Mind

The first thing you’ll need to do is get preapproved and figure out your budget. If you’re having the car financed, talk to the finance manager at the dealership about what you and your teen will be able to afford. Having a set budget in mind before you go shopping is going to be key in not getting more car than you can afford.

Research Makes and Models Online

Together with your teen, research online the different makes and models. For your teen drivers you’ll want to make sure the car has excellent safety ratings but also comes with the right price point. If your teen is going to be paying for their own gas or insurance or is going to be taking over all or a portion of the monthly payments, the vehicle needs to be reasonably priced so they can still focus on schooling while juggling a part-time job.

Let Your Teen Take It for A Test Drive

Have your teen take it for a test drive (with you in the passenger seat of course!). They should take the car out on the highway as well as in slower neighborhoods. Going for a test drive in stop and go traffic is a good indicator of how well the car’s brake response functions.

An increasing number of parents are getting used cars for their teenage drivers. If you choose to do this, you’re doing a great thing for your teen and for yourself. Keep the above tips in mind before you start so you can get the best deal on a car for your kids.