Tips for Buying a Used Car

Tips for Buying a Used Car

With so many incredible options, buying a used car can often be a smart path to consider. Whether you’re brand-new to the world of car buying or consider yourself a seasoned pro, it’s a smart idea to do a little homework before jumping into your search.

Here at Key Cars, we help thousands of drivers throughout Milford, Manchester, and Middletown find the perfect used car, truck or SUV. We do it so often, we managed to pick up a few tricks over the years.

Continue reading to see our tips for buying a used car before scheduling your next test drive!

Budget written on a notepad next to a coffee, phone, and wallet on a desk

Tip #1: Determine Your Budget Ahead of Time

Next to home ownership, buying a car, truck or SUV is often the second largest investment a driver will make over their life. That’s why it’s important to first open your books and take a quick look over your current finances.

An easy way to get a clearer picture of your future monthly payments is to use our online calculator. Simply enter the vehicle price, your preferred term length, and down payment to receive an estimate.

If you’re like most drivers, you’ll probably apply for an auto loan. During this process, our network of banks and lenders will most likely take a look at your credit score. Having a good score can really make a difference in terms of securing a favorable rate.

Several third-party sites including Experian and Equifax will let you peek at your current score before sitting down with our finance pros. This can help you better strategize and figure out what type of used car you can best afford.

Customer Using Online Tools on a laptop

Tip #2: Do Your Homework

You wouldn’t buy a new house without an inspection, right? The same thinking applies when the time comes to search for a used car. With thousands of options to pour over, how can you be sure your next ride is going to be up to the test?

The easiest way to instill some confidence is to request a vehicle history report. The good news: Our sales team keeps an up-to-date report on every used vehicle inside our lot! You also can access this report through a third-party site like CARFAX® or AutoCheck™.

Some of the important info you’ll find inside a vehicle history report include:

  • Accident and damage reports
  • Odometer readings
  • Service history and recall notices
  • Existence of any salvage or junk titles
  • Previous ownership and registrations

Customer Using Online Car Shopping Tools on a Tablet

Tip #3: Play a Little Private Eye

You don’t have to be a gear head or super sleuth to determine if a used car is worth your time. All you really need to know is where to focus your attention and a bit of patience.

Once you have a like-new ride in your sights, schedule a test drive through our online portal. On the day of your visit, take a few minutes to inspect the car’s exterior. Look for any signs of rust along the fenders, discolored headlamps, and any chips or scratches.

Take a close look at the wheels. See any sidewall cracks or worn treads? You also should ask the rep to turn on the car and let it run for a minute or two. If the engine and exhaust sound normal, go ahead and hop in!

Once inside, pay close attention to the cabin’s overall condition. Make sure to check that all the windows properly open and that all electronic devices and buttons are in good order. You also should check to make sure the heat and A/C work to your satisfaction.

Start Your Search For a Used Car Today!

Buying a used car is an exciting process, especially when you go in armed with the best information and plan of attack.

If you live near Milford, Manchester or Middletown, contact the team at Key Cars to start your search today!

Contact Us

We would love to hear from you! Please fill out this form and we will get in touch with you shortly.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Key Cars CT 41.7662541, -72.7155011.