How to choose a used car: Steps to finding the right used car for you

How to choose a used car - Legacy Auto Credit

Wondering how to choose a car? Well, finding the right used car is never easy. But with research, planning and smart moves you can make this very important decision correctly. As it can be hard to know where to begin, we’ve put together key factors you need to consider to make an informed decision.


The 5 key factors to take into consideration when buying a used car


  1. Assess Your Needs


What defines the “right car” is what you need and what you expect from a car. Some may want a statement car, and others might be looking for weekend drives, but for those who need a vehicle for daily duties or their work functionality should be the number one priority, so here’s what you need to keep in mind:


  • How many passengers will you be carrying?
  • What cargo capacity do you need?
  • Do you commute long distances and, therefore, do you consider fuel economy important?
  • What type of driving do you do? Is it primarily highway, surface streets, or off-road?


  1. Set your budget


You’ll need to finance or lease your car unless you’re paying cash. Can you really afford to make a car payment each month? In general, you should not exceed 15 percent of your take-home pay. It’s also important to consider fuel and insurance costs. Knowing your budget beforehand will help you when looking for your next car or truck.


  1. Look For Reliability


Make sure you narrow down your options to models that have a reputation for reliability. Before you buy any used vehicle, be sure to get it from a reputable dealer, as cars have their own history. Have the car inspected by a trusted mechanic to make sure it’s safe, reliable, and that it hasn’t been abused. 

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  1. Consider the Car’s Age


A car that is just a year or two old may not have depreciated much and may even cost the same as it did when it was new. Therefore, you’re more likely to find better value in cars that are 3 to 5 years old. Many of these vehicles are just coming off lease and have been well maintained.


  1. Walk Around the Car


Check the car visually on a sunny, dry day to detect imperfections. Check every knob and switch to ensure everything is working properly. In the case of mildew, the car might have been in a flood, or it might have a leak, which could cause unseen water damage.


  1. Take a Test Drive


You should look for visible exhaust smoke, feel abnormal vibrations, and smell burning fluids while driving. Immediately after driving, check under the car for any oily leaks, keeping in mind that the air conditioning will create a puddle of clean water.


  1. Be Smart About Financing


Determine a budget, looking at both the monthly and overall costs, and get a preapproved offer from the dealership. If you have a bad credit score and you can’t get a car loan, you can consider getting vehicle financing from an in-house financing dealership. A solution that will also help you rebuild your credit score as well.


We can help you finance and get your new car


We strive to provide the best customer service and realize that our business will be successful based on your referrals. Whether it is your friends, family or colleagues, we would be delighted to offer them our services. 

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At Legacy Auto Credit, you can find the most reliable vehicles suited to your needs. We specialize in rebuilding our client’s credit through low-interest car loans. In other words, if you are located in Ontario and unable to get a reliable car due to your credit, you may want to consider booking a free consultation with one of our credit experts to get started!

In need of a new vehicle?

If you need a new vehicle and are looking for an affordable payment plan, our credit experts are ready to help you, even if you have bad credit. You can fill out an online Car Loan Application and our credit experts will help you find a payment plan that meets your budget and lifestyle. You can also reach out for a complimentary credit check.