Looking to buy a used car? Before you visit your first dealership lot, you'll want to prepare yourself with the right information. In doing so, you can step foot on a used car lot with confidence and be one step closer to driving off the lot in the used car that's right for you. Before you venture out, there are four simple steps you can take to make your car-buying experience a more enjoyable one.
Research Fair Pricing
If you have a few makes and models in mind, start by researching fair pricing on these vehicles through reputable and free services like the Kelley Blue Book. These resources can give you a better idea of how much a specific make and model may be worth based on its model year, mileage, condition, and other factors. Don't hesitate to print out copies of your KBB reports and bring them with you to the car lot for reference or as a negotiation tool.
Review Your Credit Report
If you'll be applying for financing for your used car, it's a good idea to know where your credit stands. Take some time to review a copy of your credit report to see what your current score is and be on the lookout for any errors on your report that could be negatively affecting your score. If there are any errors on your report, be sure to formally dispute them and have them resolved before you apply for a car loan.
Consider a Loan Pre-Approval
Getting pre-approved for a specific dollar amount can be a great way to streamline your shopping experience. Most banks allow you to get pre-approved for a used car loan online; from there, all you have to do is print out your pre-approval letter and bring it to the dealership.
Find a Trusted Mechanic
Even with the most reputable of used car dealerships, it's in your best interest as a buyer to have a licensed and experienced mechanic inspect any used vehicle that you're thinking about buying. This can alert you to any underlying issues that you can ask the dealership to address before you buy a car. And of course, if the inspection comes back clean, this can give you added peace of mind with your purchase.
Taking some proactive steps can go a long way in making your next experience at a local used car lot an enjoyable one. For more information, contact local used car lots.