What to Look for When Buying a Used Car

Used cars on a car lot

Many savvy shoppers in Savannah and Clarinda, IA look to used cars to save big on a great vehicle. And while there are plenty of opportunities for a steal of a deal, there are also plenty of lemons on the market. Knowing what to look for when buying a used car can help you shop strategically and save both time and effort in your search. Take a look at some of our research, and check out our used car inventory at Tri-State Chrysler Dodge Jeep® RAM today!

How to Buy a Used Car From a Dealer

While you could take your chances on the private market in Barnard, buying a used car from a dealership offers a number of advantages: access to tons of cars, offers and incentives, certified models, and more. So whether you’re looking for a car priced under 20k or a CPO Jeep, take a look at the steps to buying a used car at Tri-State Chrysler Dodge Jeep® RAM.

  • Set a Budget: Setting your budget will help you find the right car that won’t break the bank. Think not just of the sticker price, but also the costs of ownership when setting your budget. This includes everything from insurance to maintenance to future repairs. Most experts believe that your monthly payment shouldn’t exceed 10% of your monthly income. Use our payment calculator to crunch numbers from home! 
  • Find the Right Used Car: Beyond the budget, you’ll want to think about what you want out of your next vehicle. Think about mileage expectations, features, body style, and more. Make a big list of candidates and do a deep dive into sites like Edmunds or KelleyBlueBook, comparing reliability and safety scores as you go.
  • Test Drive and Inspect the Models: The best way to get a feel for your future vehicle is during a test drive. Take your time on each test drive and really put the car through its paces to simulate your daily commute. It’s also a good idea to get an inspection from a trusted mechanic, who may catch issues that you don’t notice.
  • Used Car Financing and Other Fees: Once you’ve found the one, discuss your financing options. Your auto financing will include your loan options, state sales tax, registration fees, and the trade-in value of your previous vehicle. This is also a good time to go over any warranty information and car insurance plans.

What to Ask When Buying a Used Car

It can be difficult to keep track of each vehicle as you shop, so here are some tips of what to ask about when buying a used car: 

  • Is there a history of maintenance?
  • Is the vehicle history report available?
  • Do the amenities and features work like they’re supposed to?
  • What is the ownership history?
  • What is the vehicle’s mileage?
  • Are there any current recalls on the vehicle?
  • How was the vehicle priced?
  • Can I take the car to a mechanic for an inspection?
  • Do you have the title in hand?
  • Is the car as is, or is it under warranty?
  • Does this vehicle affect your insurance premiums?

Shop Pre-Owned Vehicles at Tri-State Chrysler Dodge Jeep® RAM

Now you know what to look for when buying a used car and you know what to ask when buying a used car, so why not put your skills to work? Contact us at Tri-State Chrysler Dodge Jeep® RAM with any questions about the buying process, or feel free to stop by Maryville to peruse our inventory up close.


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