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The Dos and Don'ts of Buying a Used Car

By: StaffSeptember 10, 20211 min

The following list of dos and don’ts is your map to avoiding some of the most common car buying mistakes.  Learn these tips and improve your chances of walking away with a great deal.

Do look for a late-model used car.

Used cars that are only two or three years old offer the some of the best deals on the market. Not only are these vehicles priced several thousand dollars lower than their new vehicle counterparts, but they often come complete with all the modern options and safety features. 

Don't forget about Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles.

A good deal on a Certified Pre-Owned car can be hard to turn down. Most of these vehicles have undergone a rigorous inspection, and many come with a fairly comprehensive warranty plan.  

Do try to get financing from somewhere else.

While seeking a loan through the dealer is convenient, it can often end up costing you hundreds of dollars. So before you start shopping for a used car, you should start shopping for a used car loan from your local bank or credit union.

Don’t forget to review your credit score.

Believe it or not, your credit score may be full of inaccuracies, which can negatively affect your credit rating and drive up your interest payments. To avoid this, you should request and review a copy of your credit report six months to a year before you begin the used car buying process. You can request copies by visiting

Do take an extended test drive.

Ask the dealer if you can take the car for an extended test drive. Some dealers, especially those who are motivated to sell, will even let you take the car overnight. Taking the car for an extended test drive will offer you the chance to explore how the car handles under real-world driving conditions.

Don’t skip the inspection.

Ask to have the vehicle inspected by a certified mechanic. While most vehicle inspections cost in the neighborhood of $125, that's a small price to pay compared to thousands of dollars in repairs for something that could have been avoided or prevented from the start.

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