We know that shopping for a reliable used car can be stressful. How do you know if that beautiful car you want isn’t a lemon? How can you tell if it’s been in a major accident? How do you know if what’s on the sticker is a good price?
Barrett Motors staff understands that buying a used car can be nerve-wracking. But it really doesn’t have to be. Our team came up with a list of seven things you should know before buying a used car:
- Establish a budget
This is one of the most important things you can do before car shopping. You need to know what your budget is. Factor in the cost of insurance, routine maintenance, and other fees. It’s best to stay within or below your budget, so that you don’t stress out every month when it’s time to make your payment.
- Do your research
It’s always wise to spend time researching before coming to our showroom or dealership lot. For example, if you know you want to buy an SUV, research SUVs. You can find a lot of information at Cars.com and Edmunds.com about every make and model of any vehicle style possible. When you’ve narrowed down the brand you like, check out eBay and craigslist to view prices in your market over the past 30 days. You can also use the True Market Value pricing tool on Edmunds.com, which will show what others in your area have paid for a car.
It really pays to shop at a reputable auto dealership that has a website with complete inventory of vehicles for sale. Sales staff at Barrett Motors keep the online used car inventory up-to-date. If it’s on our website, you know it’s still for sale. How cool to research actual vehicles we have before you even come out for a test drive—that will save time and headaches.
- Know which questions to ask at the dealership
The more prepared you are when visiting our dealership, the more confident you will feel. Edmunds.com has a used car questionnaire. Bring it with you to Barrett Motors, and someone on staff will happily answer your questions. We want you to be able to buy with confidence.
- Create a test drive checklist
We’ve already established that it’s easy to get overwhelmed when shopping for a new-to-you car. But it’s also just as easy to get excited. Some vehicles are filled with great features—even some that you may not really need. If you have taken time to prepare a list of what’s really important to have inside your next vehicle, you won’t get distracted by other bells and whistles. Well, too much anyway. Sure, that sports car looks cool—but your family will probably get grumpy at not having legroom and cargo space.
- Ask someone about fees
It doesn’t matter if you buy from a dealership or an individual, you need to understand all the costs involved in buying a used car. There are usually extra fees for taxes, registration and documentation. You don’t want to fall in love with a vehicle that is more than your budget can handle at the point of purchase.
- Call the dealership and ask someone about financing
Some used car dealerships only offer financing for a select few vehicles on their lots. At all three Barrett Motors locations, we offer financing on every vehicle. We’re a buy-here pay-here dealership, so we provide financing quickly and easily. We’re also proud of the fact that we can help you—even with credit problems—buy a vehicle you can count on even if you have been in nearly every bad credit situation, including prior repossessions, bankruptcies and charge-offs.
- Is the vehicle AutoCheck Certified?
Of course, you want to make sure that the car, truck, van, SUV or crossover that you’re interested in is something you can count on. Every vehicle for sale at Barrett Motors has passed an extensive inspection in our service center and has been AutoCheck Certified, so you can be confident that the vehicle will be quality and dependable.
We’ve been selling high quality, late model low mileage vehicles in the Dallas/Fort Worth area for more than three decades. We know a lot about used cars. Hopefully our checklist will help to reduce your stress as you move forward in your search for a new, used car, truck, van or SUV—and we really hope you choose Barrett Motors to help you get on the road again.
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