One of the most difficult decisions to make is whether or not to buy a car. To help you cut through the confusion and find a good deal, here are some tips for buying used cars in el cajon when it comes time to make that purchase.
Do your homework
Research as much as you can, both online and offline. Make a list of the cars that interest you then compare prices and features through online resources such as Edmunds, classified ads, trade magazines, newspapers, etc. Also check out the dealerships for which you are interested in. Read customer reviews about them on sites like Yelp , talk to friends and family who have purchased from the dealer recently to get a feel for how good of a deal you might be able to get with them, etc.
Getting pre-approved for financing is your best way to make sure that you don’t fall into the trap of auto financing. This will let you know exactly what you can afford and allow you to negotiate from a position of strength.
Comparison shop for your car loan
Don’t rely on the dealer for financing. Do all of your research yourself to find the best possible interest rate and payment terms available. Dealers often offer loans with high rates that can be difficult to get out of when it’s time to resell the car or upgrade, especially if times are tough in the auto industry when you need to sell a car quickly. Prepare yourself by getting pre-approved and knowing how much money you can afford per month before going into a dealership or speaking with an auto loan lender.
Focus on the initial purchase price, not the final cost
When purchasing a used car for your first vehicle, you’ll want to focus on getting a good deal on the car’s starting price. The sticker price that you see may not be the real price because of dealer incentives, financing deals, and other perks that dealers can provide you with. Plus there is no telling how much depreciation might take place due to mileage and wear and tear over time; therefore your final cost will likely be much higher than what you paid for in the beginning. It is wise to always work within a certain budget when it comes to purchasing a vehicle.
Know your goal for the car
If you plan to upgrade your vehicle in the near future, then you’ll want to look for a used car that will give you the most amount of value over time. For instance, if you’d like to buy a new vehicle in 3 years, then find a used car that would be worth approximately 60-70% of its current value when it is time to trade it in. This way you can feel confident that you’re getting back as much money as possible and get more bang for your buck when it comes time to upgrade.