What are the Steps for Buying a Used Car?

August 23rd, 2021 by
Used Car Buying Steps

Just the thought of buying a car can seem nerve-wracking, especially if this is your first vehicle or you have been turned down for financing in the past due to bad credit. While you’re hoping to find the right vehicle for your needs, you may also be worried about paying a fair price and the reliability of the vehicle.

At CarHop, we’re here to help you navigate the sometimes-confusing process of buying a used car. These steps can help walk you through the process as you begin your next vehicle purchase journey.

Step #1: Determine Your Budget

Start by reviewing your budget to see how much you can afford to pay for your new vehicle. If you don’t have one, this will be a great time to make a brand-new budget.

Keep in mind that your monthly payment is only one part that will factor into the cost of owning a vehicle. Other things to keep in mind for your vehicle include:

  • cost of fuel
  • insurance
  • maintenance expenses

Step #2: Consider Length of Term

Creating a budget will allow you to know what you can afford for a new vehicle. One thing to keep in mind is the length of term for your financing and how this will affect your overall budget and car buying experience.

CarHop has shorter financing terms than many dealers, which can be as short as 24 months and most are less than 36 months. Your local dealer will be able to give you all the details when you stop by for a test drive.

Step #3: Research What Kind of Vehicle You Need

Once you’ve established an affordable price range, make a list of specific features you need as well as ones you’d like your next car to have. Some features might include a spacious back seat or third-row seating for kids, fuel efficiency for long commutes or trips or even a towing package for utility trailers.

Then you can research makes and models that may meet your needs and include your desired features, which will make it easier for you to search for specific used vehicles in your area that can fit within your budget.

Step #4: Shop for Used Cars

After setting a budget and picking out some features you’d like, it should be much easier to start shopping for your next vehicle. At CarHop, we have dozens of locations in 14 states, and when you shop for used cars in our inventory, you can even set a maximum distance from your zip code to see vehicles in your area.

Step #5: Schedule a Test Drive

Once you find the vehicle you’re interested in and that fits your desired features, be contact the dealership to make sure the car is still available and to make arrangements for a test drive. Once you arrange an appointment for the test drive you will be able to see the vehicle for yourself and have an opportunity to ask the salesperson any questions you have about the vehicle and get the best overall understanding of your purchase.

Step #6: Inspect the Vehicle

Before getting into the car, look for any visible signs of wear and tear on the outside of the vehicle. This can include missing head or taillights, rust patches or cracked windows and windshields.

When you drive the vehicle, turn the radio off so you can listen for any unusual sounds or vibrations coming from the vehicle. Identify any concerns you have after your inspection and ask the seller to give you any context to the issues, how they may be repaired and if they are covered under any warranty if you are making the purchase from a dealership.

Step #7: Sign & Drive

After you’ve finalized your deal with the dealership or independent seller, the only thing left to do is sign on the bottom line and drive away in your new ride.

Shop CarHop

At CarHop, we know that purchasing a new vehicle can be a challenge for some. We have a wide variety of used cars available, so with the help of our team you’re sure to find one that’s right for you.

Our team at CarHop is dedicated to helping you find your new ride no matter your circumstances. With low down payments and fast approvals we are in the business of helping people drive. Find your local CarHop today to get started on the journey of buying your new vehicle.