How to Shop for a Used Car

1. Determine your budget

Before you even start considering which car you’re going to buy, do some budgeting to see how much you can afford to pay. This includes deciding how much money you can afford for a down payment as well as monthly payments. Getting your next car should be fun, so eliminate potential headaches and anxiety by ensuring that buying one it won’t cause you any financial trouble.

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2. Decide which car segment will best satisfy your needs

Are you in need of a big vehicle that can haul your large family around to soccer games, recitals, and road trips? Then a minivan or large crossover might be in order. Just looking for an economical daily commuter? Take a look at a small sedan. What about something fun just for you? Sounds like a sports coupe or convertible is in order.

3. Do some shopping

In addition to determining your budget and needs, you also want to make sure you’re getting the best vehicle and deal out there. Look at as many different vehicles as possible to make sure you’re getting the best value out there, and remember to use resources like Kelley Blue Book as a point of reference for the value of your potential purchase.

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4. Take advantage of offers

In addition to checking for current pre-owned vehicle specials and other special offers, it’s also a good idea to see which dealership offer other special deals. For example, Nimnicht Buick GMC has a Military Discount Program for military members and their spouses, as well as a GM Preferred Owner Program for loyal customers. A vehicle is a big purchase, so make sure to take advantage of every discount, offer, and advantage you can find!

5. Take some vehicles for test drives

Now that you’ve got an idea of what you can afford and the kinds of deals that are out there, start to make some visits to dealership to compare and contrast with some test drives. During a test drive, you should be making sure that the vehicle is comfortable and intuitive to drive and engage with, but you should also be checking for quality. This includes checking for warning signs like:

  • The check engine light
  • Soft, screeching, or less responsive brakes
  • An unpleasant cabin smell
  • Burning smells
  • Steering quality
  • Wheel alignment
  • Functional air conditioning and lights
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6. Make sure the vehicle is in good condition

There are a number of aspects of quality that can be figured out during the test drive, but there are other things you’ll want to figure out before or after the test drive as well. This includes:

  • Looking at the vehicle history report
  • Making a tour around the vehicle to check the tires, look under the hood, and inspect the body for cosmetic damage
  • Getting the vehicle inspected by a trusted technician

7. Negotiate to get the best deal possible

Once you’ve determined that the vehicle meets all of the important criteria mentioned above, it’s time to seal the deal. Negotiating for a good deal doesn’t have to be difficult, and many dealerships actually offer flexible financing terms to help the purchase with within your monthly budgetary needs. At Nimnicht Buick GMC, you can actually apply for financing to get pre-approved before you come in order to speed the process along—no commitment necessary.

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Nimnicht Buick GMC 30.1576, -81.5303.