Tips for Buying a Used Car
At the Ocean Mazda financing center, Doral and Miami, FL, area drivers often ask us for tips for buying a used car. That’s a request we’re always happy to deliver on. Of course, buying a used car is also a unique experience for every driver in the Hialeah and Kendall area, since every driver has different needs and circumstances.
Still, there are five top tips that we give to all our customers who are shopping for a pre-owned set of wheels. Check them out below and then contact us to get your car search rolling along.
1.HAVE A SPENDING PLAN IN PLACE
Our top tip for buying a used car is to have a spending plan—also known as a budget. While used cars do have a tendency to carry a lower ticket price than their newer counterparts, it’s still important to have an idea of how much you want to make as a down payment, and how much you want to pay toward your vehicle every month.
As a general rule, experts say to put no more than 20% of your monthly income toward your car. This includes:
- Monthly payment
- Fuel costs
- Insurance and registration premiums
- Upkeep and maintenance costs
Once you have a spending plan in place, you can start browsing the inventory at your local dealership to see what they offer that fits within that plan.
2.DECIDE IF YOU WANT TO BUY A CERTIFIED PRE-OWNED OR A USED CAR
Tip number two is to decide what kind of used car you want to buy: used or certified pre-owned (CPO). Both come with all the benefits of buying used. For example, they both tend to be very cost-effective ways to take the wheel of a car. They also offer the opportunity to find rare or discontinued models.
However, with CPO Mazda cars, you also get the following additional benefits:
- 160-point detailed inspection by a factory-trained Mazda technician
- A 12-month/12,000-mile CPO vehicle limited warranty
- A 7-year/100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty
Plus, all Mazda CPO vehicles on our lot come with a complimentary AutoCheck® Vehicle History Report. Contact us to learn more about used vs. CPO cars.
3.WORK WITH A DEALERSHIP
When it comes to buying a used car, there are many routes you can take, but we recommend working with your local dealership. This is especially true if you want to buy CPO. The knowledgeable team at the dealership knows its inventory very well, so they can help you decide which model is going to be most ideal pick for your lifestyle, like:
- Mazda CX-9
They can also go over the vehicle history report and take you out for a test drive. If you’re excited to start looking, most dealerships list their full used car inventory online, so you can start browsing now from the comfort of your own home.
4.VIEW THE VEHICLE HISTORY REPORT
When you find a used car you love, ask to see the vehicle history report (VHR). The VHR uses the vehicle identification number (VIN) to keep an active record of the car’s full history. This includes information like:
- Number of previous owners
- Title and accident history
- Odometer readings and rollback alerts
Many used car dealerships provide this for free with their CPO inventories. While dealerships stand behind every used car on their lot, we’re always happy to provide this report for added peace of mind.
5.Get Your Used Car Loan
Our final tip for buying a used car is to work with the finance center at your dealership. When you do, you’ll be in the capable hands of a team of auto finance experts. They can help you secure an auto loan that fits your spending plan (remember tip #1?).
They’ll go over all your needs, talk with you about your credit score, and even tell you about any used car deals or incentives you may qualify for. This will ensure that you know all your options and can make a knowledgeable decision about your used car loan.
When you’re ready to make a deal, they’ll reach out to their network of local lenders on your behalf to help you secure your loan at the right rate for you.