Financial Success - Used Car Tips

Woman buying new car.

Buying a Used Car? Here’s What to Look For.

Used car prices are finally coming down! If you’ve been waiting and are now ready to look for an affordable but quality used car, here are some things you should do first:

  • Look for Vehicle History. If you have a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) for the car you’re interested in, you can access its history report from companies like Carfax or AutoCheck. The report includes information like how many owners the car has had, where it came from, or if it has been in an accident.
  • Take a Test Drive. Never buy a car without driving it first! On your drive, listen for any concerning noises. Make sure you have good visibility and that the car rides comfortably.

  •  Get an Inspection. If you know a mechanic who will go with you on your test drive, ask them to check the vehicle’s condition before purchase. If you don’t have time to get a mechanic, make sure to look for things like damage, uneven paint, visible rust, and bald tires.

  • Don’t Forget to Inspect the Interior, too! Make sure the interior and seats aren’t frayed, worn, or otherwise permanently stained or damaged.
  • Check the Market Value. A car’s market value can help you determine if you’re paying the right price based on its mileage, condition, age, and other factors. Check the market value in guides like the Kelley Blue Book to make sure you’re getting a fair price.
  • Don’t Rush into a Decision. By taking your time and carefully considering all your research, you can make sure you’re comfortable with your purchase. Don’t allow your circumstances or a salesperson to rush your decision!