Part One: Do Your Homework
In today’s market, the average US driver holds onto their vehicle loner than in the past. That means contemplating both your present and future needs.
Are you expecting your family to grow over the next few years? How would a change in gas prices affect your daily commute? Thinking about starting a business? What’s your cargo space needs? These situations should be considered when shopping for a used car.
Once you know what type of used car you need, the next step is to determine how much you can reasonably put towards your payment. A few things to examine include:
- Your monthly budget
- Current credit score
- The value of your trade
- Average insurance rates based on your location
Part Two: Start Your Search
Here’s where the journey really becomes exciting. Use your smartphone or laptop to explore our complete lineup of used cars, trucks, and SUVs. You can save your results, chat online with our experts, and even schedule a personal test drive from anywhere!
Is your heart set on a pre-owned BMW? Make sure to read through our comprehensive list of BMW reviews and comparisons. Chock full of relevant info, you can quickly compare model years to see which best fits your desires.
Every used car comes with its own unique history. That’s why it’s also a smart move to always check the CarFax® Vehicle History Report™. You can do this through our site or by asking one of our on-site professionals.
Part Three: Taking the Test Drive
You’re finally at the dealership. Your potential future ride is in front of you. What are some things that you should make a point in checking out? Let’s break things down into three parts:
Take a few spins around the vehicle and don’t be afraid to up close and personal. A few questions to answer include:
- Are the tires in good shape and do they match?
- Any significant dings, scrapes, or signs of repair?
- Any modifications or mismatched paint?
- Do all the exterior lights properly work?
- Are there any window or mirror cracks?
Take a seat inside the cabin. We actually recommend sitting in each seat to get understand how your passengers will feel. While inside, make it a point to review the following:
- Available cargo space
- Seat belts, LATCH, and other safety restraints
- Do the windows and handles all properly work?
- Do all the dashboard controls function as intended?
- Any noticeable scents, stains, or upholstery tears?
The Road Test
Finally, it’s time to take your potential used car for a spin. While you’re on the road, take note of how the vehicle steers and brakes. What’s the noise level inside the cabin? Are you able to easily see around the outside of your vehicle?
Last but not least, you should review the instrument panel. Mention any warning or indicator lights that turn on. You may also want to play around with the audio and entertainment system to see how easy it is to navigate.