If you are in the market for a pre-owned car, you want to look for a vehicle that is certified pre-owned. You also want to find good financing for your vehicle and make sure it is in good shape as well.
#1 Certified Pre-Owned
One thing you want to look for when you buy a pre-owned car is a certified pre-owned sticker on the vehicle. Vehicles that are certified pre-owned have gone through an extensive inspection process to ensure that the vehicle is in good shape. This inspection process covers all major parts of the vehicle and is designed to ensure that, although you are not getting a new vehicle, you are getting the best possible used vehicle that you can purchase.
Vehicles that are certified pre-owned usually come with a limited warranty as well. These limited warranties are designed to pay for specific parts and the labor to replace those parts should your vehicle break down during the set warranty period. The warranty period is generally a set number of miles or number of months of ownership, usually whichever comes first. Getting a warranty with a used car is a big bonus that can get you out of a major financial jam should an expensive part, such as the transmission, fail in your vehicle within that time period. A certified pre-owned vehicle with a limited warranty takes some of the risk out of purchasing a used pre-owned car.
#2 Good Finanacing
The second thing you need to look for is good financing. You can finance through the bank or the car dealership. As you go through the financing process, try to put down as much as you can on the vehicle to reduce the amount of money that you have to take out via a loan. If you have a vehicle you want to get rid of, see if the dealership will offer you a fair trade-in value for the vehicle. If you can combine a trade-in value with a down payment, you will have a finance a smaller bill.
When you finance, you should go for a shorter loan term over a longer loan term. The shorter the loan term, the less interest you will pay. A longer loan term may come with smaller monthly payments, but you will end up paying more over the lift of the entire loan. Accept the shortest term limits that you can afford to pay on the loan.
For example, it does not make sense to finance the loan over three years if you cannot afford to make the monthly payments. In that case, it would be better to accept a four or five year loan term with payments you can afford. However, if you could easily afford to pay the vehicle off in three years, it doesn't make sense to finance it out for five years and pay more interest.