Disclosure: Savvys, This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission if you make a purchase using the link. Thank you!


Buying a new car is great but there are some of us Savvys out there that get a rush when buying a used car. It feels good being able to walk off the lot knowing that you purchased a used car that you like and saved thousands of dollars. Financing a car does not have to be complicated.

I always hear people say that if you want a car with no problems then buy a new car. Well, that is not always the case. You CAN buy a great used car that will not give you problems. Besides, with the average new car note being $480 buying a new car is not always the best option for us money saving Savvys. Below are four steps to help you purchase a reliable used car.

Step 1: Set your Budget

Set a budget for your new used car. If you are going to buy your car with cash that is great. However, if you are going to need to finance your vehicle make sure that you get a monthly note that you will feel comfortable paying each month. That is why I highly recommend step 2.


Step 2: Get Pre-Approved Before You Go to the Lot

If you are going to finance your vehicle get approved prior to going to the car lot.  Did you know that dealerships do not make any money off of the purchase price of the car? They make their money off of the interest rate that they quote you when you arrive WITHOUT pre-approved financing!  When you arrive at their dealership WITHOUT pre-approved financing, they ask you to complete a credit application and they call of the same banks that you could have called or visited online yourself.  The banks then will give the dealer an interest rate. Lets’ say for example the bank gives the dealer an interest rate of two percent. The dealer then hikes up the rate to eight percent.  This is how they may their money. By the time the dealer gets back to you, they are telling you that they were able to get you a great interest rate of eight percent. Now that is crazy! Put in the work Savvys and talk to the banks before you go to the dealership. NEVER go into a dealership without your approved loan. This keeps you in the driver seat throughout the negotiation process of the vehicle. Now you can concentrate on getting the dealer to lower the price on your vehicle.


Step 3: Research your Vehicle

The best-used cars to purchase are the ones that were previously leased. Leased cars often have low miles and the car interior and exterior is often in good condition. People usually turn their lease back in after three years. This works for us Savvys because the value of the vehicle is a lot lower compared to you purchasing the same car new. Take the time to research the type of vehicle that meets your needs. There are plenty of apps (auto trader, car guru, KBB) that you can download with specs and customer reviews on the vehicle of our choice. I always take my time to read the customer reviews because the reviews from customers really tell you about the quality and longevity of the vehicle.  Research the rate for your car and the dealerships in your area that have your vehicle.



Step 4: Get a Vehicle Inspection

Once you visited all the dealerships on your list and selected your vehicle, be sure to pay for a vehicle inspection before you sign on the dotted line. Do NOT trust the dealership when they say that the car has already gone through an inspection or it is certified. It is in your best interest to get the car inspected by another dealership. Pay the $100 and get peace of mind that you are selecting the right vehicle. Do not be CHEAP and decide to save money on the inspection. Believe me, saving money on a $100 inspection CAN COST you a lot more than one-hundred dollars.

I purchased a used vehicle ( I will not say the name) and I have not had any major problems. Before signing the dotted line I asked the dealer to drop the car off at the dealership of my choice and I paid for the inspection. When I got the inspection back I was told that the two tires in the back need replacing and the brakes were on their way out soon. Everything else was fine with the car. I was able to go back to the dealership and state the findings on the inspection. I told the dealer that I would not purchase the car unless they replaced the tires and fixed the breaks. They did and I purchased the car.


Let me tell you about a time years ago when I purchased a used car and was too cheap to get the vehicle inspected. It cost me $1,600 in repairs within the first week of me owning the car. I regretted that purchase. I could of got a different car with the extra $1,600 instead of car repairs. That car went on to cost me a lot more in repairs over the years. Had I purchased the inspection before purchasing the vehicle these issues would have come up and I would not have purchased that vehicle.

Stay Savvy and go to a dealership with your approved loan and get ready for your inspection. Share this article with other Savvys on Facebook and Pinterest. Share your vehicle purchasing tips with the rest of us Savvys in the comments section below.