When the time comes to buy a used car, it’s important to not be too hasty! Research up front makes all the difference. If it’s time for you to buy one, we’ve got a few tips to make sure you get what you need! Read on to find the most critical information you need before searching for “used dealers near me!” 

Whether you’re buying cars online or taking a stroll towards used dealers near you, it’s critical to know your part in the transaction. While warranties and other extended protection plans exist, once you leave the dealership with the vehicle, it's your responsibility, so make sure that your decision is one you'll be happy with! Before you get your heart set on a vehicle, you should keep a few pieces of information in mind, including:

Your budget limits - Think of it as two separate limits, a hard and soft limit. Your hard limit is the absolute most you can afford, your soft limit is your ideal price for the vehicle you're looking for. If you buy a used car, you’ll probably have a bit more budget to work with, since the overall price is likely to be lower than a new vehicle. For more information on budgeting for a vehicle, click here!  If there’s something in our inventory that catches your eye, we’d be happy to offer financing, which you can apply for through us as well at this link!  If you already have a vehicle that you're looking to replace, go ahead and check out our trade-in page to see how much closer you can be to the car you want. Cars for sale will always have a price attached, though this price is always negotiable.

Your needs - If you’re looking for a family vehicle, make sure you’ve got the seating capacity to haul the whole family, even if that sports car looks really appealing, it can lead to a lot more headaches down the line when you’ve spent a lot of money on a vehicle that isn’t really fulfilling the need you bought it for. Two doors makes a car look sportier, but it makes getting car seats in and out a lot trickier. On the other hand, if that’s not a concern, something smaller may fit your needs more comfortably. Weather and road conditions in your area can also make an SUV the most practical choice, in addition to many of the same benefits that a truck can bring, given their shared larger size profile than a standard car.

If you’re buying a truck, make sure it’s the right size of truck, with enough towing capacity to handle the work you’re planning on doing with it, that the fuel economy is an expense you can afford, and that parking won't be made significantly more difficult given its larger size. It's important to be honest with yourself about needs versus wants, because it can save you a lot of money in the process of buying cars online. Keep the trim level in mind as well, as there will generally be a few different versions of each model year available, with more or less luxury features depending on the package. While they'll most likely push you towards the most expensive, luxurious package, don't be afraid to look at something a little less fancy. You may not need all of the features available, so if it's possible to buy a model without them, don't hesitate to ask to see a different trim level.

Your style - While there’s a place for practicality, it’s important to make sure you like the vehicle you’re buying. Not everything comes down to your needs and budget, it’s important to make sure you’re going to be driving off in a vehicle you’re happy to be seen in! Balance what you like against what you need, and go from there. Sometimes you know from the test drive itself whether or not the vehicle creates the impression you want, and that sense of satisfaction is something that can’t be ruled out. More than likely, you'll be driving your new purchase most days, if not all, so satisfaction is an important consideration going into the process. There's a lot less tangible things to look for when it comes to style, but as a rule of thumb, you'll know what you like when you see it!

Keeping your options open - Whether buying cars online, looking at a car for sale on a lot near you, or consulting other sources to buy a used car, never forget that other options are out there. It’s okay to walk away from a deal. You can always search "used dealers near me" another day and find another deal. It's good to fall in love with a car, but make sure that it doesn't end up costing you a lot more than what you need. If a car is suspiciously low in price given its year and mileage, it might be a good idea to look at other cars for sale. Brand loyalty is generally well-earned, so if there is a brand you're most comfortable and familiar with, that would be a great place to start, but with that being said, don't limit yourself down to just that brand when other options might be even better for your needs. Even if you're 100% set on buying a particular make and model, it's more than likely that you'll be able to find that same vehicle elsewhere at a better deal, or a more convenient location.

Look over the vehicle itself - When looking at a car for sale, make sure to do a once-over of the whole vehicle. Look for rust spots, scratches, dents, any sort of cosmetic issue. These could be indicative of deeper problems. This one is less commonly known, but also make sure to deeply breathe in the scent of the car’s interior.

Rot, dampness, and other unpleasant smells can also be indicative of hidden problems as well. Even if you’re excited about the car, it’s important to stay rational and cautious about it. Make sure all the doors and latches work, that all windows operate without issue, feel the acceleration and braking, look over the tires to make sure the tread and sidewalls are satisfactory. If there's an infotainment system, make sure it's in working order, that all presented features are available. You're paying for the entire car, don't settle for broken/inoperable features unless you can get a significant discount. Mention anything you notice to the salesperson, to establish that you're aware of it, and that the salesperson should be aware of it as well. When buying cars online, it can be far more difficult to thoroughly assess the car, though most dealerships do offer a lot more information online than was the case in previous years.

Ask Questions - If there’s anything you’re not sure about, make sure to ask! Whether the question is about the vehicle’s history, any of its specifications, or anything about the process of buying the car from that particular seller, don’t feel pressured into taking a deal if you’re not comfortable with it! It's always better to have more information than not, and there's no downside to being more perceptive and investigative about your big purchase. When you buy a used car, knowledge is power, so make sure you're powerful coming into the transaction. A salesperson might be mildly irritated by an onslaught of questions, but they're going to be focused enough on the potential transaction that they'll be more than happy to answer whatever you have to ask.

With all these in mind, you should be much better equipped to go out and buy a vehicle you really love! For a good place to start, we’d recommend checking out our inventory and going from there! If you’re in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania region, we happen to deliver within 300 miles, with only a small fee for deliveries beyond that! Contact us for more information!