Cactus Auto
Opens today at 11:00 AM

Top Tips for Buying a Used Car

A new car buyer gives a thumbs up before driving off from Cactus Auto

Top Tips for Buying a Used Car

In most of Arizona, including a city like Tucson, a car is a necessity for getting around. There are many purchasing options available, including both new and used vehicles. If you are thinking about purchasing pre-owned, the following buying tips can help you.

Why Buy a Used Car?

Before seeking advice on buying a used car, consider why you would want to purchase a pre-owned vehicle in the first place. The primary consideration may be economic. New cars are running $34,000 on average. That can put you into some serious debt, especially if you also have a house with a mortgage. Used cars usually cost a fraction of the price and are often nearly as good as new models.

Not only are new cars expensive, but they also do not hold their value. They start depreciating dramatically as soon as you drive them off the lot. Due to depreciation, you may soon be underwater on your car loan, meaning that the vehicle is worth less than what you owe on it. Used cars have already gone through the worst of their depreciation and so do not lose as much value.

Tips for Buying a Used Car You Actually Want

The selection of used cars at dealerships in Tucson, even the smaller ones, is almost as wide as the selection of new cars. Therefore, it is more than likely that the used vehicle you want is out there. The following buy used car tips can help you find it and make sure it is everything you expect it to be.

Step 1: Set Your Budget

A good place to start is to figure out how much you can afford for your monthly car payment before you even start going to dealerships to look at cars. This allows you to narrow your search to vehicles in your price range and prevents you from falling in love with a vehicle that turns out to be out of your reach.

You should spend no more than 20% of your monthly income on car expenses. That includes everything, including fuel, insurance, and repairs. Therefore, your car payment should account for no more than 15% of your take-home pay on a monthly basis.

Step 2: Find Your Ideal Car

Make a list of things that you need from your vehicle as well as things that you want. The car you end up with should meet all of your needs and give you as many of the things you want as possible. If it can meet all your wants and needs, that would be ideal, but it may not be possible depending on your budget.

Step 3: Shop for a Used Car

One of the most important tips is to concentrate your search on independent, family-owned dealerships rather than big corporate outfits or private sellers. Independent dealerships offer friendly, focused service while still being accountable to you. The selection is similar to what you would find at a big dealership, while the service you receive is more personal.

Step 4: Figure Out the Used Car’s Value

There are a couple of ways to figure out the value of a used car. One is to compare it to previous sales of the same make and model. This gives you a reasonable price range within which to work.

Each car, pickup, or SUV sold in the United States has a unique vehicle identification number. A VIN search on a website such as Carfax can tell you about the vehicle’s history, such as whether it has been in any accidents, which could affect its value.

Step 5: Inspect the Used Car Yourself

Be sure that the vehicle you want is in good condition before you commit to buying. Inspect the vehicle yourself or take it to an independent mechanic for a professional evaluation.

Step 6: Go for a Test Drive

The test drive is intended to show you how the car handles under various circumstances. Therefore, you should take it over different types of terrain and on different roadways with a wide range of speed limits to give you an accurate representation of its performance.

Want To Save a Little Extra Money?

If you have your heart set on a new vehicle, you can save some money by first leasing it and then buying out the lease near the end of its term. Here are some buy used car tips for buying out a lease:

  • Let the leasing company make the first move; they will usually call you about 90 days before the lease’s expiration date.
  • Assess the car’s worth, including both wholesale and retail value.
  • Think about the timing of the lease, as you may spend more on an early buyout.
  • Shop around for financing to get the best price.

Cactus Auto offers a wide variety of used autos in Tucson . Search on our website or visit our facility today.