Buying A Used Car – 8 Tips

Buying A Used Car – 8 Tips

Tax Time and New Used Vehicles

It’s almost tax time again. People use their taxes every year for bills, towards car repairs or looking into buying a new used car.

Here are my Tips for Researching and Buying that Used Car…

Vernon Motor Cars

1 – Decide what type of vehicle you need or want and what you are willing to spend on it.  Always have a budget in place.

Decide on Make, Model, color, body style (2wd, 4wd, or all wheel drive), options like A/C, roll up or power windows, AM/FM or XM radio, CD or tape player, ect.)

2 – Go online and search either KBB (Kelly Blue Book) and NADA (National Automobile Dealers Association) to see what they get for the car that you are looking for.

3- Find out what type of MPG you will get with the vehicle. For example you’ve decided on a Hundai SUV.

So you would search: “mpg ratings for 2005 hundai tucson” if it’s a Tucson you want. You’ll see a bunch of listings for it.

4 – If you find the car online or craigslist or anything, go with a mechanic or someone who knows cars. If it’s a bad neighborhood, you could ask a police officer if they’d be willing to come with you .

5 – If it’s a dealer you are purchasing it from, go to the Better Business Bureau site and check to see if they have any negative marks on their record. If there are a lot – go somewhere else – that is NEVER a good sign.

6 – If it’s in your price range, get the VIN number (Vehicle Identification Number) and the mileage. Call the service dept and tell them that you’d like to know if this vehicle you’re looking at has a recall or if there are any service records on it.

7 – Insurance. Make sure you check with your insurance company about the vehicle you want to purchase. Give them the VIN and mileage on it.  If it’s going to be too much insurance cost,  you might want to think about another vehicle.

8- If everything is good, affordable and in order, but you still need a loan, ask your bank if they can pre-qualify you for one. Credit Unions are better for getting loans, the interest rates are lower and they are more willing to work with you.

Buying from a dealer? Then see if they have a Bad or No Credit Approval Program in place to help you. 

For Example…

Vernon Motor Cars

John Regina owns Vernon Motor Cars in Vernon, CT.  He buys used cars, fixes them and resells them.  He has been in business for over 23 years. He is one car dealer that I know I can say is Respectful, Trustworthy and Honest(Click on picture to see his available used cars.)

Parents buy their kids’ cars there and if they break – they bring it in to get fixed for $74 hour (Labor) or if it gets wrecked, those same people will come back and buy another good car. 

If there is a specific car you are looking for, and John does not have it, talk to him. He has a lot of resources at hand and can find you the car you are looking for within your budget. If you need help getting a car, he also offers the low credit/no credit program to help get you started in your new used car!

People of all ages and walks of life come to look at his cars and maybe even buy them. Some folks are just getting their first car, and some replacing the one that they currently have with a better one.

He has a excellent track record with the BBB (Better Business Bureau). He also is one of those dealers who has the Bad or No Credit Approval Program in place to help people get a car. 

He takes care of his customers and they ALWAYS come back. 

Always do your research first!  Impulse buying when it comes to a vehicle may lead to a painful experience. Especially if it’s the first one you’re buying. 

Work Smarter – Not Harder


I hope this article was helpful?  Please leave a comment or question as I check back often.  Thank you for visiting!

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39 responses to “Buying A Used Car – 8 Tips”

  1. David says:

    Thanks for this info. These are very practical and useful tips.
    I recently bought a used car (2014) model and I am very pleased with its performance so far. I used most of what you advised here from a standpoint of experience in buying cars.

    I hope many will see this post and be well informed.
    Thanks again!


    • Thanks David!

      I’m so glad that some folks already have the knowledge they need to find the right vehicle. For those who do not, that is why I created it. I know it’s very important in the car buying process.


  2. Gifty Conteh says:

    This is so simply laid out. Even a newbie in car buying cannot miss the info. Thanks, Sylvia.

  3. Trevor says:

    This is a wonderful site full of useful information. Good job.

  4. Amanuel says:

    Very helpfull ,i share my wife and she love your advices so she will use the same system to buy her car.

  5. Smary Liyana says:

    When we are shopping for cars,we are often confused about which cars we should buy: new or used cars. But a person who is financially not stable generally decides to buy a used car. Here is a list of tips that we must follow while buying a used car. First we have to decide how much we can afford for a car. Accordingly we fix our budget. Fixing a budget will help us to narrow down our search. Then we search for cars through different websites in the internet. We find out cars basing on our lifestyle & requirement. If we are purchasing from a dealership we must inspect it properly by a mechanic. Again we must check it in a business bureau site to check if they have any negative marks on their record ;if they have a lot, we must leave them. We must know the insurance cost of the car, if it is too much we should look for another vehicle.

    • Hi Smary, to find out the answer to the insurance question, get the VIN (vehicle identification number) located on the dash or the paperwork of the car and give the information to your insurance person to check for you. Usually they want a VIN to make sure you get the right price on the insurance you want. I hope this helps.

  6. I like that you suggested having a mechanic or someone who knows cars if you find a used car online. My husband told me that he’s interested in buying a used Ford car for our son. Since we want to buy a car that’s in good condition and won’t require us to pay more for its repairs, it will be a good idea for us to have the used car that we want to buy inspected by someone that’s experts in cars. Thanks for sharing this.

    • Hi Latoya,

      I’m a firm believer in the Ford products. I have owned a old Crown Victoria, and 3 Taurus’s. They are reliable, need little maintenance, and they’re good on fuel. Make sure you check for RECALLS, and make sure the car doesn’t have a 3.8 liter engine as they are prone to Head Gasket issues. That means half the engine gets taken apart to replace it and it’s not a guaranteed fix.

      I’m planning on buying another Taurus, like my old wagon only it’s a sedan. Same year, color, engine and interior. 😀

  7. Pamela Brown says:

    I do like that you suggested checking the Better Business Bureau site if you’re planning to buy a used car from a car dealer to make sure that you will only deal with a car dealer that has not negative marks on their record. This is something that I will make sure to take note of because I’m planning to buy a used Chevrolet Malibu. My goal is to find a car dealer that’s reputable and trustworthy so I can purchase a car smoothly. I will make sure to consider all your tips.

    • Hi Pamela,

      Those are really nice cars! It’s a General Motors car, so make sure you get the VIN (vehicle identification number) off of the car, check with the service dept to make sure there are no recalls that are needed … why should you have to bring it back for that? Also check the service record… it can tell you what service the car has had. Please take someone who knows cars really well, that way the person can help you negotiate a price for you… say if something is damaged and you have to fix it (less money to pay out).

      If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact me. Have a great day!

  8. Ava Murphy says:

    I like that you suggested determining the type of vehicle that you’re looking to buy so you can get an idea of the budget that you should set. My husband is planning to buy a used Chevrolet. At the moment, I am uncertain what exact model of Chevrolet car he wants to buy, so I will make sure to talk to him so I can help him in finding the best pre-owned car. Thanks for sharing this.

    • I’ve been driving a lot of new Chevys for my job. Have him go to the Buick, GMC, Cadillac or Chevrolet dealer and look around. If he wants a truck, go into the showroom and ask for the truck specialist. It seems to me that the Chevy dealers usually have specific specialists for any particular vehicle. I’ve dealt with a few of them and they are very knowledgeable folks.

  9. It did catch my attention when you suggested setting your budget in buying a used car. My sister mentioned to me that she’s looking to buy a pre-owned vehicle, and it’s important for her to know the best way how she can start finding the best car for her that will work on her budget. I will make sure to share your blog with her so she can start her search using the budget that she has. Thanks!

  10. Deb Pearl says:

    Thank you for all the tips for buying a used car. I really want to buy a used car for my children to use when they go to high school. I really like your tip about always having a budget in place. I think that would be a good idea. I don’t want to spend too much.

    • You’re welcome! The thing we usually forget when making a budget is to make sure you include how much the insurance is on that vehicle to add to your policy. I forgot to do that once it cost me a lot more than I planned on spending. Please be careful.

  11. Ava Murphy says:

    The most helpful tip on your blog is when you suggested having a budget in place so you decide what type of vehicle you need and want to buy. I heard that my father is interested in buying used Ram car. It will be so much easier for him to find the model of the Ram that will fit his budget if he can determine how much is he willing to spend on buying a used Ram.

    • Also have him check look into the warranty on them. Chrysler and Dodge haven’t always warrantied their transmissions past 150,000 miles at times, especially with the minivans. If you plan on having the vehicle a long time, just make sure you are getting what you want.

  12. It was nice that you suggested checking the Better Business Bureau site to determine if there is negative feedback about the used car dealer that you’re interested in. My son is looking to buy a used car from a dealer. It’s important for him to ensure that he will end up buying a quality used car, so he only wants to deal with a used car dealer that has positive reviews and a good track record of happy used car buyers. Thanks for sharing this.

  13. Purchasing auto isn't an extremely awful idea and before obtaining the auto essentially check the expenses and endeavor to get the reviews of the auto in which you are contributing and consider the expenses from others before settling on the decision.

  14. Ellen Hughes says:

    It was helpful that you suggested checking the Better Business Bureau site to make sure that you will end up choosing a used car dealer that has no negative remarks. My husband is interested in buying a used car for our son. He’s looking for a used car dealer that’s reputable and is highly recommended by other people, so I will be sure to share your blog with him.

  15. Faye Wilson says:

    You made a good point when you suggested establishing a budget so you can determine how much money you’re willing to spend for a used car. My father is interested in buying a used vehicle, and he wants to make sure that it will be easy for him to find one that will meet his needs and budget. I will be sure to share your blog with him so he can consider all your tips on buying a used car.

  16. It got my attention when you pointed out that you should have a budget in place when you’re looking to buy a used car. My sister is looking to buy a used car for her son. She wants to make sure that it will be easy for her to find the list of used cars that will meet her financial capability, so I will be sure to share your blog with her.

  17. You made a good point when you pointed out the importance of considering your budget when you’re buying a used car so you’re aware of how much you’re willing to spend. My son is planning to buy a used car, and he’s wanting to get tips on finding the best-used car for him. He mentioned that his priority is to buy the most affordable used car based on his financial capability, so I will be sure to share your blog with her.

  18. jacky says:

    Excellent post.. good job man ! Thanks for sharing this tips with us.

  19. Jordan Miner says:

    My wife and I have been shopping for trucks for sale, and we could use some tips. I like that you talked about looking at the KBB value for a vehicle for sale, which I should plan on doing for any trucks. I’m going to have to keep that in mind and make sure we aren’t overpaying for any trucks for sale! Thanks!

    • Hi Jordan, May I ask what are you using the truck for? Dump runs, construction projects, work, or moving things? I see you like the Dodge Trucks. You should always check the MPG listing online to see what city/town ratings are, most places you can ask for a car fax, call service with a VIN and find out about the service record (if any), and what the warranty covers on it, how long and can you get an extended warranty.
      I currently work for a rental company and did you know that they resell their vehicles? Usually under 50,000 miles, everything is gone through, checked and/or repaired AND you can get a trade-in price (they use KBB to get that value) on what you have now towards the cost of the vehicle.
      I hope this helps. Good luck finding the right one!

  20. Wade Joel says:

    I like that you talked about deciding on a vehicle that you would be willing to spend money on. When it comes to a used car, I like to make sure that I can afford the ideal car I want before going out and buying. Thank you for your tips on buying a used car.

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