9 steps to buying a used car.

Are you in the market for a used car? There are many advantages to buying a used vehicle, especially when it comes to the price tag.  Although they’re not guaranteed, other advantages include less depreciation (resulting in a better investment for your money), lower customization add-on costs, and potentially lower insurance rates

Buying a car in general can be a very daunting and stressful experience. Buying a used car, however, has its own set of unique characteristics. Below, we’ve listed our nine step process to successfully buying your next used car.

  1. Crunch the numbers – This is your time to figure out how much you can afford. Use our Vehicle Payment calculator to determine how much your monthly payment will be.
  1. Do your research – It’s recommended to create a wish list prior to launching your research. Knowing what features you want in your vehicle will help narrow down your search. Do you want a sedan or SUV? Is this a family vehicle or you do need something to just get to you work and back? What are the safety rankings? Find used cars for sale using our Member Auto Center.
  1. Create a target list – After thorough research, narrow down your choices to your top three model cars. At this time, you may also want to prepare the dealership’s contact information so that you have it ready to go.
  1. Get your auto loan – Check out our rates and secure your funding before you find the right car for you. You can get great rates directly from dozens of local dealerships in the Pittsburgh region. Shop at one of our dealership partners or get pre-approved today.
  2. Contact the seller – Reach out to see if your desired car is still available and to ask any initial questions you may have. If you feel good about the conversation, it’s time to set up a test drive.
  1. Test drive – Here’s your time to be picky! This vehicle is an investment, so make sure it fits all your needs and wants. While driving, make note of any details including legroom, acceleration, odd sounds, visibility, or any other points of contention.  
  1. Have it inspected – This can save you loads of aggravation and money down the road. Having the car inspected can help you judge the future quality of the car and potentially reveal any underlying complications that should be considered.
  1. Negotiate – It’s time to make an offer! Base your opening offer off of the average price you’ve seen your car listed at. Be prepared to have some back and forth during negotiations. But don’t get discouraged – it’s all part of the process. 
  1. Make it official – Ensure the registration and title are officially transferred to you. Congratulations on purchasing your new car!

Buying a used car doesn’t have to be difficult! Use our guide, follow our steps, and you’ll be driving around in style in your new used car.

Looking for more resources to bring your car-buying knowledge up to speed? Visit our Auto Buying Resource Center to learn more about financing, insurance, warranties, and more.

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