Tips for Buying Your First Used Car

Buying a used car for the first time can be an exciting yet puzzling experience. There are so many makes and models to choose from, and because there’s such a wide selection, it can be hard to know where to begin. Whether you’re working your first job or attending school, having a reliable vehicle can make all the difference, and we’re here with some tips on how to browse used cars, narrow down your choices and understand your payment options.

Before Your Browse

While you might think the first step in finding a quality used car is to browse vehicles online or visit car lots, it’s a good idea to organize your finances first. Gather your monthly bills so you can calculate what you can afford in the way of a monthly car payment, obtain a copy of your credit report and take the time to ensure all the information on it is correct. If you don’t have a credit history yet, our salespeople can let you know about your financing options and which choice might be best for you.

The Selection Process

Browsing used cars can be the most exciting part of the buying process. However, while you might have a specific make or model in mind, it’s helpful to keep an open mind as well. You may find a vehicle that’s a great fit for your current lifestyle, such as one that gets good gas mileage for your daily commute. You may want to write down a list of questions to ask our salespeople, as this can help narrow down your choices.

After You Buy

Once you purchase your vehicle, you might have questions about how to maintain it. We can help you create a plan for caring for your car in the long term, from servicing the engine to tire maintenance.

Choosing that perfect vehicle from a wide selection of used cars isn’t always easy for a first-time buyer. However, with a little planning and guidance, you can find a car that’s a perfect fit for your budget and lifestyle.

How to Pay Off Your Car Loan Early

You have just chosen your new car and negotiated the terms to pay for it. You may be content at first, but that five-year note may take the edge off your excitement after a while. You may begin to feel as if there is no end in sight, but there are some practical ways you can shave quite a few months off the life of your loan and pay less interest overall.

Make Payments

The simplest way to pay off car loans in a timely manner is to make payments on time and never skip a payment. If your payment is late, the lender might tack on a fee to your loan principal. Not only does this increase the amount you owe, you will also be paying interest on that fee. Your lender may occasionally offer you the opportunity to skip a payment as a reward. While this may be tempting, fight the urge to skip. Skipping a payment only adds time to the life of your loan.

Round Up

Paying a little extra than the contract terms require each month is another good way to pay your loan off early. If you budgeted for $300 a month, but your finance plan only requires you to pay $250, go ahead and pay the higher amount that you planned every month. This not only takes months off the terms of your loan, it also lowers the amount you pay in interest.

Pay More Often

Some lenders charge penalties for making extra payments, but if your contract terms will allow for it, try to make an extra payment every once in a while. An easy way to do this is by making a half-payment every two weeks. Over the course of a year, instead of the 12 payments you would have made if you had paid once a month, you will make 13 full payments.

Your car loan may seem like it lasts forever. With a little extra effort, however, you can pay it off faster than you originally planned.

Why Buying a Used Car From a Dealer Makes Sense

If you are in the market for a new used car, you have a couple of choices. The first choice is to buy from a private seller. This has many obvious disadvantages, including only getting to look at one car at a time. The second and we believe better choice is to buy from a dealer. The benefits to this approach for buying used cars are many and powerful.

Selection

Our lot is are filled with over a hundred great pre-owned cars for you to look for all in one place. It is like going to the candy store, with a large selection of desirable treats for you to drool over. You can consider sedans, trucks, crossovers, SUVs and other styles of vehicles, all in one convenient place. We also have a full assortment of price ranges, colors and ages. So if you are looking for a sports car that is bright yellow and priced under $10,000 we are likely to have it.

Convenience

Not only do we offer over a hundred cars for sale, we can also hook you up with financing. Our finance department can set you up with a loan that makes sense for your budget. We can work with you to get monthly payments that are affordable, and we can even take care of registering the car for you.

Relationship

When you buy one of our used cars, we hope to develop a lifelong relationship with you. Our goal is to take care of all of your car needs, now and into the future.

Buying a Used Car: How to Choose a Payment Option

When the time comes to buy a used car, there are many financial factors to consider. Perhaps your budget will narrow your used car choices, or you may not be aware of the payment options available. We are ready to show you some ways you can pay for your vehicle and to show you that the make and model you desire most may well be within your reach if you plan carefully.

Consider the Time Frame

As you consider payment options, one of the first factors you might want to think about is how long you will be paying for your car. Whether you secure a loan through the bank or choose in-house financing with us and depending on your credit, your loan could be as brief as two or three years or as long as five. It is important to understand the exact terms of the length of your loan before you sign off on a vehicle.

Give Yourself Time

Even if you find yourself needing a new vehicle for your commute to work or school, you should avoid jumping into a deal right away. Take the time to consider your options, as this may help you avoid hefty payments that might be hard to handle later on. For example, ask yourself whether your current car is a valid trade in or if you can secure a down payment that may help lower the cost of a vehicle.

Review Your Budget

One mistake many people make when they shop for used cars is to miscalculate how much they can afford to pay monthly. To avoid this error, you will need to factor more than just the car payment into your auto ownership budget. The cost of insurance, gas and other taxes and fees that will need to be paid when you purchase a vehicle should all be included in your budget to ensure you do not overextend it.

Buying a used car can be a challenge, especially if you are unsure of your payment options. However, being prepared and asking the right questions can help you get the car you want at an affordable payment.

Factors Affecting the Cost of Your Car

Everyone likes to get a good deal. When you are offered a low monthly payment on your car loan, that might seem like the best deal of all. In the long run, however, that low monthly payment might actually end up costing you hundreds of dollars more than you intended to pay. In order to understand the true total cost of car loans, you must look at three different factors.

Loan Amount

The initial amount you borrow is called the loan principal. The amount of principal you have left at the end of every billing cycle is one half of the equation that determines how much you will pay in interest. To lower the total amount you pay on the entire loan, it is a good idea to start with a lower principal. If you are able to pay 20% of the initial $25,000 cost in a down payment, that is $5000 of the purchase price that never figures into the interest you are charged.

Loan Rate

The other half of the interest equation is the interest rate itself. Bargaining for a lower interest rate can significantly reduce the price you ultimately pay for your next vehicle. A great credit score and other factors, such as dependable income, can lower your risk factors with the lender and thus can result in a lower APR, saving you a great deal of money.

Loan Term

A lower monthly payment might be tempting. When you accept a lower monthly payment, however, you are lengthening the term of your loan, postponing the date when the car will be paid off and costing yourself a lot of money in the process. You will pay significantly less interest with a 2- or 3-year loan term than with a 4-year loan.

When negotiating the terms of car loans, fight the urge to take it easier than your monthly budget can handle. Factor in the amount, rate and term of your loan to get the best deal overall.

Can You Get a Loan for a Used Car?

If you are like many car buyers, you want to buy a used car instead of a new one. For many reasons, that makes a lot of sense. You might wonder, though, if car loans are available for used cars. Generally, the answer is yes. Here are some things to consider when applying for a used car loan.

Think About Purchasing at a Dealership

If you need to finance your used car purchase, you should consider buying the car from a dealership. Generally, dealers are in a better position to finance used cars than other institutions. In fact, many dealers routinely finance used car loans. While there are exceptions, banks, credit unions, and financing companies generally prefer to finance new cars. Because they have a better chance of realizing a return on their investment with new cards, traditional financing companies often have rigorous application processes for used car loans. While you might ultimately be successful, getting such a loan from a conventional lender can be extraordinarily stressful. Thus, if you want to finance a used car, you should probably buy your car at a dealership.

Know Your Credit Score

Like with financing a new car, you will be better able to negotiate beneficial used car loan terms if you know your credit score. Before you start shopping for your car, request your score from one of the credit bureaus.

Don’t Choose Too Old of a Car

The newer your used car is, the greater your odds of securing financing. While there is no absolute limit, generally cars older than four or five years are more difficult to finance. On the other hand, if you run into trouble financing your older used car, you might look for a new car. Often, those who are unable to get a used car loan have no problem with new car financing.

Before you shop for used car loans, consider the unique challenges of applying for one. By knowing what to expect, you will be in a better position to secure financing for your used car.

The Possibilities Created by Used Car Financing

Many people throughout Canada have the dream of one day owning a car. Owning a vehicle makes commuting to work a capability, and opens many other exciting doors. If you have a family, having an automobile is a necessity almost along the lines of water and food. Luckily for everyday people who would wish to avoid having a significant chunk of their savings eaten by the purchase a car, used car financing makes the dream of owning a car a much realer possibility.

Different Financial Options Available

A bank or loan agency will in all likelihood be able to offer you a payment plan that meets your specific needs. Some people like to pay higher monthly installments so that the vehicle is in their sole ownership sooner. Other people like to extend the duration of their payment plan so that each month requires only a small installment; that way, they have more money for the normal operating costs of their household. Going through a third-party loaning service, such as a credit agency or bank, is more attractive to the person selling their automobile. This is because the loaning service will fully compensate them up front and you will effectively be borrowing directly from the bank or credit agency.

Stipulations of a Loan

The normal stipulations associated with used car financing are not unfair. Usually, one of the only stipulations is that there is an early termination fee if the borrower does not pay off the full value of the vehicle. Also, the seller of the loan may say that you can only put a maximum number of miles on the car each year, as an attempt to avoid excessive wear and tear on the car if they think you are not looking to eventually own the vehicle outright.

Owning a Car is a Greater Possibility than Ever Before

Because of the wide array of financial services available to you, getting a set of keys to a nice used car has never been easier to do. There is truly no excuse to be missing out on economic opportunities or making things more difficult for your family due to not having an automobile.

Who You Should Bring Along When Shopping for Used Cars

Shopping for used cars can be a daunting experience. With so many makes and models to choose from and with so many ways to finance your vehicle, going it alone can make you feel less confident than you normally might. To make your experience more pleasant, we have some tips about who you might bring along as you shop and take test drives, as this may help you make a more confident purchasing decision.

Your Spouse

Having your spouse along with you as you shop for a used car might make you feel comfortable in terms of helping you decide what kind of car best suits your needs as a couple or a family. You can also bring them to help you keep track of your paperwork and for moral support as well, especially if this is your first time buying a used car on your own.

Your Mechanic

If you have a good friend who is a mechanic, they can be an invaluable individual to have along when you’re browsing used cars. You can ask them questions about which models have the best track record when it comes to safety and reliability. Taking them on test drives might also help you understand and identify any unfamiliar noises you might hear.

Your Adult Children

Having your adult children accompany you on your used car shopping trips can be extremely helpful, especially if you have not purchased a vehicle in some time and are now a senior. They can help you make decisions about which finance option is best for your budget and assist with filling out paperwork if you find yourself running low on energy. If you are not familiar with today’s technology, your kids can help a dealer explain features such as GPS, Bluetooth capability and more.

Shopping for used cars can sometimes feel overwhelming if you go it alone. Bringing along a spouse or a loved one can help you feel more confident that you are getting the most for your money. 

Why Go With Used Trucks

As many of us know, a car is an important but highly expensive purchase. When you add up the cost of the car, its insurance and its fuel, the final sum is quite impressive. This is why many people decide to buy used cars. The benefits in this situation often outweighs the potential disadvantages. Owning a truck can make a lot of things in life easier. It enables you to handle larger loads. Much like other used cars, used trucks can be highly reliable.

The most obvious benefit is the lower cost, but even this feature goes further than you might expect. Used trucks depreciate less, allowing you to get more money if you ever decide to sell it in the future. It has thoroughly been tested by the previous owner, so you know that it has some reliability to offer. You don’t have to go through the break in period, and used trucks are less likely to develop new mechanical or electrical problems. In the long run, this saves even more money on repairs. You can even go through a certification program to be sure that the truck you are buying has been tested for quality, and all those with problems have been weeded out. Many used vehicles also come with a manufacturer’s warranty. This is something else that is available through a certification program, and it protects you in case something goes wrong with the truck further down the line.

Trucks are known for being some of the most sturdy, reliable types of vehicles out there. This is no less true for used trucks. Buying used is an excellent way to save money and still be sure that you are getting a quality car. There are many advantages that any customer is sure to appreciate. Now you can get out on the road feeling good about your choices with the transportation and hauling power you need.

Financing a Used Car With Bad Credit

When you have bad credit, it can be difficult to finance a used car. Everyone needs reliable transportation, but having bad credit oftentimes translates to higher interest rates and car payments. Despite these common obstacles, there are ways to get financed, even if your credit isn’t in the best shape. If you have a low credit score and you are in the market for a used car, here are some things you can do to increase your chances of securing financing.

Make a Large Down Payment

Making a large down payment is a simple, yet effective way to boost your chances of getting approved for financing. It shows financial institutions that you are serious about purchasing a vehicle and that you are capable of saving and managing money. You also present less of a financial risk, since buyers who invest large sums of their own money are less likely to default on loans. Buyers who make a down payment may also gain access to better interest rates.

Rebuild Your Credit

This may seem like an obvious course of action if you have bad credit, but it is the most efficient way to ensure that you get approved for a loan. Paying off overdue bills and establishing a history of responsible credit use can go a long way when it comes to securing financing. Car buyers with lower scores will be subject to higher rates and less favorable payment terms.

Use a Cosigner

Using a cosigner can greatly improve your chances of getting financed. Enlisting the help of a spouse or close family member is the most common practice when it comes to cosigning. It should be noted however, that if you do not make your monthly payments on time, your cosigner will also be held responsible.

Don’t Despair

In the world of used cars, there are practical ways to secure financing with bad credit. We offer customers a variety of financing offers, and we are sure that we can work with you, regardless of your financial situation. Don’t give up just yet; there are many ways to finance a car with less than perfect credit.