Used Car Buying Tips

Buying a used car near Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita, and Newport Beach is an exciting experience. It can be an easy one, too, with the help of welcoming and educated staff members. And that’s what you’ll find at Norm Reeves Volkswagen Superstore Irvine, whose goal is to help you get a car that’s perfect for you.

Below, we’ll go over some used car buying tips, so that you can feel confident about the purchasing process. Read through them below, and reach out to us if you have any questions.

1. Set Your Budget.

Before you decide on your next pre-owned vehicle, you’ll need to figure out how much you can spend each month.

One of the best ways to do this is to create a spreadsheet, listing your monthly income and expenses. Income could come from work paychecks, bank account interest, or stock earnings. Expenses are whatever you spend your money on: bills, groceries, clothing, etc. Whatever money you have leftover is called a surplus, and that’ll help determine how much you can pay for a car every month.

You can also factor in money you’d get from your current vehicle, if you plan on trading that in for a new one. That money would go toward your overall payment, which would help lower the cost per month. An initial down payment could help, too. The more money you put down right away, the less you’d need to pay each month.

2. Select the Right Car.

Now that you know how much you can afford to spend, it’s time to decide what type of pre-owned vehicle you’d want.

There are many factors to consider when deciding on a car. If you love technology and don’t plan on having too many passengers, then a reliable compact or midsize vehicle could be great for you. If you have, or want to have, a large family, and value safety as much as space, then a minivan or SUV could work. Or, if you work more on the road and need a car that can tow and carry large equipment, then a truck might be best for you.

If you need more information on a specific model or two, you can always read vehicle reviews. They’ll give you all the detailed information you need about a car, including power, fuel economy, interior amenities, and safety and audio technology.

3. Check the Vehicle History Report.

When you’ve narrowed down your wish list of models, you’ll want to check their vehicle history reports. These give you information on the car’s past, including number of owners, completed maintenance, and any previous accidents.

CARFAX® is a good source for vehicle history reports. All you need is the car’s vehicle identification number (VIN), and you’ll be able to get a detailed look at the model’s history. This will ultimately help you decide if the vehicle is worth purchasing.

4. Go on a Test Drive.

After you’ve narrowed your list of interested vehicles down even further, it’s time to take them on test drives. This is a crucial step in deciding what your next pre-owned car will be, as reading about it and driving it are two completely different things.

Before driving the car, you’ll want to give it a onceover to check for any scratches, dents, or dings. Also check under the hood and inside the car to make sure everything looks good.

When you sit behind the wheel, make sure you can get in the perfect seating position. Check that all the buttons are easily within reach and that everything works properly (like the radio, air conditioner, and side mirrors).

Then, when you’re finally on the road, keep all the electronics off and listen for any strange noises. You also want to make sure you don’t smell anything funny, like gas or burning oil. Additionally, be sure to get a feel for the car’s performance at various speeds, as well as how the brakes function.

As you go on the test drive, keep any questions you have in the back of your head and just focus on driving. Afterwards, reach out to the salesman with your inquiries. They’re there to help, and to help you feel confident with your final decision.

5. Visit the Finance Center.

After you’ve completed all the tips above, and have picked out your dream car, it’s time to buy!

Visit our finance center to speak with one of our experts. They’ll go over the budget that you created in the beginning, and will help determine what your trade-in value would be (if applicable). They’ll then come up with a monthly payment plan that you’re satisfied with, and will reach out to local banks and lenders to get you the loan terms that you deserve.

After all that has been completed, you’ll just need to sign the paperwork. Then, it’s time to drive home in your new purchase and enjoy for many years and miles.

Get Started on the Used Car Buying Process Today

If you need more information on purchasing a used vehicle, or are ready to begin the buying process, then contact us at Norm Reeves Volkswagen Superstore Irvine.

We’ve helped many drivers throughout Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita, and Newport Beach get their ideal automobile, and we look forward to doing the same for you.