This article was originally published in February 2020 and has been updated to reflect the market conditions of the current inventory crisis.
If you’re thinking of buying a new car, pre-owned vehicles are a great option to consider especially with the new car shortages spurred by COVID-19. But, with so many options and variations, it can be hard to know if you’re getting the best deal. Here are our three best tips for getting a great deal on your next car:
Know Your Budget
Falling head over heels for a car you can’t afford is a huge bummer. As with any big purchase, it’s important to know how much you can spend. Set a budget before you set foot on a lot and explore your financing options ahead of time so you avoid looking at cars that are out of your price range.
When you calculate your budget, be sure to include costs like registration and title fees, inspection costs, taxes, and any necessary repairs. When available, compare buying versus financing to see which is the better deal for you.
Review the Vehicle History
We’ve all heard the coined phrase, “Show me the CarFax!” And, though cheesy, it’s actually a good rule of thumb. Once you find a car you’re interested in buying, you should take a careful look at the vehicle history report and look for any red flags, especially accidents.
You should also be sure to ask for a test drive. Unless you’re buying a fixer-upper, or a vehicle with known repairs that would make it undrivable, request a test drive. This way you’ll be able to see, hear, and feel problems for the vehicle and, more importantly, you’ll be able to gauge how comfortable you are driving it.
Get your mechanic under the hood before any cash changes hands.
Before you buy a used car, you should always have a trusted mechanic take a look under the hood to look for any underlying issues—and estimate the cost of necessary repairs or replacements that will need to be made soon after purchase. Most used car dealerships will be upfront about any services that need to be done. Some, like ours, will even preemptively do them knowing that a car sells better when it’s running well; others will simply perform an analysis so you at least know exactly what you’re getting into.
At V&F Auto Sales we strive to provide our customers with top-quality inventory—while keeping their budget in mind. As a family-owned, full-service dealership with deep-rooted ties to the community, you can trust that our vehicles are in the best condition possible. We offer numerous financing options, from local credit unions to well-known banks. For more information, view our selection of inventory or contact our sales team.