If there’s one thing that people dislike about the process of finding a used car near me, it’s the complexity of the process! Between several dealers offering you similar vehicles at wildly different prices, the confusion about which vehicle to start with in the first place, and the different trim packages and features, anything to simplify the process for you is welcome. That's not even factoring in the condition of each specific vehicle, and how much that affects the overall cost of the vehicle.

Searching for used cars is a lot more complicated than it used to be, so we’ve assembled a little guide to teach you how to find a car! Everyone wants to give you the perfect deal, but whether or not they can deliver that deal is the point of contention. Keep these in mind, and you’ll be much better off in the search for pre owned cars near you. Searching for “how to find a car?” Look no further!

1. Keep an eye on reviews and reputation.

If anything can give you an idea of how a dealership operates, it’s the reviews left by previous customers. Dealers can see their reviews and respond, but customers are far more likely to be honest about the condition and experience of the dealership than anyone employed by said dealership. Most search engines will tend to push you towards the higher ranked dealerships, but make sure to do your due diligence if a vehicle catches your eye. Sketchy sales practices can make what appears to be a good deal far more expensive in the long run, but paying attention to the dealer’s reputation can ensure that you don’t get caught up in that sort of practice. On the plus side, the advent of social media and reputation-tracking platforms mean that those practices are far less common than they used to be.

2. Geographic changes can affect pricing!

While it would be most convenient to buy from a dealership right down the street from where you live, it’s not a bad idea to consider expanding your search area just a little bit! You’d be amazed how much demand and pricing can change just a zip code or two in any direction, with pricing changes also being affected by time of year, market demand, condition of the vehicle in question, and a lot more, so don’t be afraid to look further away than you’d expect. Sometimes the price difference can justify a trip that’s more like a few hours drive, and while most consumers tend to shirk at the thought, with some CarTalk Forum users reporting traveling hundreds of miles to pick up a vehicle! Think of it like a little vacation, pre owned cars can be well worth the trip if they’re in good condition!

3. Keep the vehicle type in mind!

You’ve almost certainly got a make and model in mind, but keep in mind that different types of vehicles and engines can vary quite a bit month to month. Electric and hybrid cars are getting more and more popular as time goes on, but if you live in a rural area, it may not be worth switching over to electric quite yet, as charging could be a problem, depending on the number of chargers in your area. On the flip side, buying a diesel vehicle could get you excellent mileage, but the fuel itself is a lot more expensive on average, so be sure you can handle the cost shifting no matter which type of vehicle you decide to go with. Fuel-efficiency is definitely something to consider, though there’s some limitation to that, as you can really only get so much fuel mileage out of a truck, no matter what fuel type it uses. Make sure the used car near you is exactly what you’re looking for before you commit to anything.

4. Don’t be afraid to negotiate!

If a price is simply too high for you to work with, there’s no reason not to negotiate. Do keep in mind that a dealership lives and breathes negotiation, so you may be coming into the deal a little bit shorthanded, but if it can save you money, there’s no reason to avoid it. Check a few online sources to see if there’s a market average price to keep in mind, and if the price is above that, ask what justifies the higher price. See if you can have any features you don’t need removed, if you don’t need something, there’s no reason to pay for it.

5. Don't get upsold!

With almost all dealerships advertising pre owned cars on the internet, there’s a lot of chance for miscommunications, if only due to the fact that listings can stay online after the vehicle has already been sold. Even discounting the occasional dishonest dealership that purposely advertises a vehicle that’s no longer for sale, sometimes mistakes simply get made, and if you’re traveling a good distance to take a look at a vehicle, it can be tempting to simply buy a different vehicle since you’re already there. Don’t fall for the bait and switch, make sure you call the dealership and have them verify that the vehicle is still there before you make your journey. As with any financial transaction, the more you know in advance, the better off you’ll be.

With these tips in mind, you should be well on your way to finding yourself in the perfect used car. If you’re in the market for a Jeep, truck, or luxury used car, check out our inventory as we just might have the perfect vehicle for you! If you have something a bit more specific in mind, and it’s not already in our inventory, try our vehicle locator service and we’ll put the car of your dreams right in your driveway!