To get you started, we co-operated with to bring you some car buying tips to make sure you get the best deal on the right vehicle.
TIPS ON BUYING A USED CAR
Find Out How Much You Can Afford
Many of us may remember when buying a used car ranked right up there with a trip to the dentist. But times have changed and buying a used car need not be the horror it once was. Today's consumer has so much information (at least, the information is available), as to make the experience of buying a used car far less stressful. This transformation will occur, however, only if you obey a rule taught to every first-grade student: DO YOUR HOMEWORK.
Decide What You Want to Spend, and Can Spend
Before considering the purchase of a used car, it is wise to establish the amount you are willing to spend or, if taking a loan, calculate your maximum monthly payment - and then make a firm commitment to stay within that amount.
Once you figure out how much your payment should be, research your financing options. You can work out a loan with the dealership or manufacturer, but it is also possible to walk into a dealership with financing already secured through a third-party source, such as our official, preferred lender LightStream, an online lending division of SunTrust Bank, and the preferred lender of Kelley Blue Book. Third-party financing can generally be obtained without having to indicate a specific make or model of vehicle ahead of time. Some institutions will give you a lower interest rate if you have direct deposit and an electronic loan payment, so be sure to ask about these options when applying for financing.
Don't forget to consider the costs of tax, title, registration and insurance for your new car. As a very broad, general rule, and depending upon where you live, tax, license, assorted fees and other costs will add roughly 10 percent to the purchase price. This makes the price of a $30,000 car actually about $33,000 and, if you're financing the deal, you will be paying interest on that additional amount. You should be able to afford the car as well as its costs of ownership. Insurance can be a deal-breaker for some, since some companies will raise your rates considerably, depending upon the type of vehicle you choose and your driving record. Typically, sport cars, anything with "turbo" or "supercharged" in the name, higher performance vehicles with larger or more powerful engines and vehicles with four-wheel drive will give you higher insurance rates. Also, consider that vehicles with histories of being stolen can demand a premium. It always pays to shop around, so check rates with your insurance company before you buy your new vehicle. Get a quote on geico.com. 15 minutes could save you 15% or more. Finally, if you have a long-standing and positive relationship with your current insurance company it may be best to stay with it, even though it may not offer the lowest of all rates.
Be certain the car you desire can accommodate your daily needs.