The Ultimate Used Car Buying Guide

Woman buying a used car

So you’re in the market for a new-to-you (used) car? Congratulations! Buying used is a smart choice, saving you money on insurance, registration and taxes. However, before you make an offer, it’s important to do a little research. With a little planning and forethought, you’ll be able to find the used car that’s the perfect fit for your lifestyle and budget.

Set a budget — While it’s true that a used car will typically cost less than a brand new car, you’ll still need to budget accordingly. Your budget should factor in cost, insurance and maintenance, among other expenses.

Figure out what you want — There are lots of used cars from which to choose. Make a list of the features that are most important to you, but don’t compromise on your must-haves.

Pick a seller — You can purchase a used car from a private seller or a dealership, whether you found it online or visited the lot. No matter where you go, be sure to comparison shop. Click here to learn more about Navy Federal Credit Union’s Auto Buying Program. It can help you locate a dealer who can work with you to find the features you want in a car, as well as provide a simplified hassle-free buying experience, with low, established pricing.

Do your homework — Be sure you test drive and check out the history of any car you’re considering. Use the vehicle identification number (VIN) and get a detailed vehicle history report from a reputable source.

Trade in and up — If your current vehicle is in good shape, but you’re ready for a new set of wheels, you may be able to trade it in to a dealer and get credit toward the purchase of a new used vehicle.

Take care of some new-car housekeeping — Now that you’ve purchased your new-to-you vehicle, be sure you understand your next steps. Click here for a checklist from Navy Federal Credit Union that can help you hit the road in no time!

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