It can seem overwhelming to begin the hunt for a pre-owned vehicle, but following a few basic guidelines can help narrow down the search and get you moving in the right direction. One of the first and most obvious considerations is cost—after all, if you can’t afford the monthly payment, the most perfect vehicle in the world is of no use to you when it gets taken back by the financing company. Not only is this devastating to you on a personal level, but it can negatively impact your credit rating for years on end. It is a much better idea to pick a pre-owned car that fits easily within your budget, even if that means choosing an older model, or one without some of the bells and whistles you would have preferred.
That being said, with vehicular technology improving year after year, you may be surprised at just how many used cars have impressive features that fall into your price range. This is especially true if it has been many years since you have purchased a car. It is becoming somewhat rare for newer vehicles to come without features like automatic windows, door locks, and anti-lock brakes, though some models do still offer these as options. It may be helpful for you to create a list of what you absolutely must have in a vehicle, and another list of what you would greatly like to have, but can do without if it is not possible to obtain. You can bring these lists to the dealership with you to help your sales representative determine which cars best suit your needs.
Finally, if you plan on financing your new ride, you should get an idea of where your credit score falls. You can obtain a copy of your credit report and credit score directly from the credit bureaus, either online or via mail. Be sure to check your credit report thoroughly to see if there are any errors or inconsistencies. If there are, you have the right to submit a dispute request and have the credit bureau investigate the matter.