Used Car Guide: What to Look For
The used car industry is rapidly growing throughout the United States. This is great for the economy, as well as for used car shoppers, but it does come with some unforeseen issues. Because of the influx of used cars in the market, buying a used car has become more complex than ever—even with the internet and advanced search tools.
Recently, used car buyers in Oklahoma City have come to Zeck Auto with good questions about the right way to buy a used car. But as more used vehicles have entered the marketplace, simple issues like mileage, condition, and more have evolved in complexity. Therefore, we’ve had to re-evaluate the answers to these questions as well as anticipate new questions that car buyers will have.
Based on car buyer questions, comments, and concerns regarding the used car industry, we’ve put together this comprehensive used car buying guide.
Narrow Your Search to Find Your Next Used Car
1. Research, Research, Research.
Like many things in life, buying a used car takes research. Researching cars should always be your first step. Here are some of the things you should be researching every time.
- Do a deep dive into your finances and set a stringent budget. All car buying should start with a close examination of your finances. This will help you make sound decisions about the type of car you plan on buying. Additionally, this will take the stress out of loan repayments over time. Try to aim for a car payment that lets you pay less over time (including less interest), but isn’t so high that you have no budgetary wiggle room for surprise household expenses.
- Make a list of your hobbies, personal needs, and family needs. Believe it or not, it’s essential to consider these things before purchasing your next car. This will help you determine what type of car to purchase, how many seats it might need, and whether or not you need to think about your gas consumption.
- Expand your car search. Don’t get stuck on a particular make or model. Most people go into car searches with a vague idea of what car they might like to purchase. This is fine, but be sure to include many different vehicles in your search. Not only will this give you a better idea of where to shop, but it might save you some money!
- Finalize a list of cars you like, and research their market value. Once you’ve come up with a list of vehicles you could see yourself driving around, be sure to research their market value. This will help you determine if these cars truly are ideal for you, or if you need to refocus on affordability.
2. Choose a trusted dealership, like Zeck Auto.
To get the best vehicle at the best price, you should make sure you’re visiting a car dealership you trust. It might be tempting to buy a used car from your neighbor, but dealerships like Zeck Auto in Purcell complete 120-point inspections on every vehicle on their lot. They make sure the vehicle runs like it should, and doesn’t have any physical damage that must be addressed.
You can also count on Zeck Auto for our no-haggle pricing policy and no-pressure personal shoppers—not commissioned salespeople—who are determined to help you find the right car for you.
3. Test drive a few cars before making any decisions.
Auto dealerships certainly expect you to test drive vehicles, and most private-party sellers will also anticipate you taking their car for a test drive. Never feel awkward about doing this! Test drives are what allow car buyers to understand whether they like the car.
As you drive, think about how the car handles and runs, whether the seat feels comfortable to you, and whether the size and layout of the interior will suit your lifestyle. When you test drive with Zeck Auto, you also can use this time to ask our personal shoppers questions about the vehicle and the car-buying process. They’re always ready to help you with your big car-buying decision.
4. When you do decide on a car, check the vehicle history.
If you buy from an independent seller or a car lot unaffiliated with any auto manufacturer, you run the risk of not receiving information on the full history of the vehicle. In those cases, you would need to look up the car’s VIN and vehicle history on your own.
At Zeck Auto, you can rest assured knowing that in addition to our 120-point inspection, we also provide vehicle histories on all our inventory. These vehicle inventories include accident histories and maintenance logs, so you can be sure the used car you’re buying from us has been maintained to your standards.
5. Figure out your finances.
So, you’ve done your homework. You know exactly what type of car you want, and you’ve found it. You’re ready to pay for it now.
If you don’t have the full amount required to pay off your used car, don’t worry! You’re not alone. If you’re buying your vehicle from an auto dealership, you can usually get financing while you’re sitting in the office. Dealerships like Zeck Auto work with second parties, like banks, to get you the financing you need.
Alternatively, if you buy from a private seller, you’ll need funding. You will need to shop around at banks and other financial institutions to secure a car loan. This process will likely take a bit longer than working with a dealership, so be prepared for a waiting period between looking at the vehicle and loan disbursement. If you have your eye on a specific used car on the Zeck Auto lot, letting us help you find financing will help make sure you get what you want.
6. Finalize your paperwork, sign, and drive!
You’ve done your research, gone for test drives, chosen a car, and secured funding for it, you’ve reached the home stretch! All you need to do now is sign some paperwork—including a transfer of title, any dealership financing paperwork, and insurance paperwork—and you’re ready to go.
Buying a used car doesn’t have to be hard. If you’ve found the search for your next vehicle to be tiresome, visit one of our Zeck Auto dealerships in Kansas or Oklahoma. We have a huge selection of pre-owned cars at the best prices, and we’re ready to help you get into your next vehicle today.