Buying a used car can be a very tricky and stressful process. Each car has a unique history which can either work in your favor or become your biggest nightmare.

We will share with you 5 simple ways to make your next car buying experience as easy and smooth as possible. You need to be very careful when buying a used car. One of the most important steps is to make sure to run a used car history report in addition to having a certified mechanic inspect the car on a lift. You can easily end up with a lemon or rebuilt car. When you see a horrific wreck on the highway you probably don't realize that many of those cars end up repaired, rebuilt and sold on the used car marked.

Buying a used car however, if done properly, has its positives. For example, you will get more value for your dollar since someone else has taken the initial depreciation hit when buying new.

Tip #1 - Find the right car for you.

Often we search online for numerous services and companies. Should car buying be any different? Well you shouldn't just go out to used car dealerships and start the shopping process. Go to the local newspaper websites to view the automotive classifieds to view ads for cars that are close to you. However, to get the largest selection, you should search online using used car classifieds sites such as,, Edmunds, Car Gurus, to name a few.



Tip #2 - Check Vehicle History Report.   

With so many scammer out there. You should never buy a used car without first running a history report. If the VIN isn't clearly listed in the ad and the seller won't give it to you then move on to the next car. They are most likely trying to hide something. Since you are normally buying a used car "As Is," you will want to know about any problems before the purchase. We recommend a Car Fax report to be able to compare your next vehicle's history.   


Tip #3 - Financing.

Financing can be handled in many different ways. You can seek financing through your personal bank. However, most consumers rely on the dealership to help with this process. It is important to understand how this process works. Be prepares with the basic documents in case they are needed. The basic requirements when financing usually consist of the following:


1. A valid Driver License. Matricula consular, Passport are a few other acceptable forms of ID.

2. Recent proof of address. Current utility bill or another mailed document (bank statement).

3. Recent proof of income, Check stubs or bank statements, Self employment and cash job requirements may vary.


Tip #4 - Take a Test Drive

As you drive the vehicle turn the radio off and listen for noises, rattles, or grinding sounds. If you hear rattling in the quarter panels, the car may have been in a wreck. See if the car shifts smoothly. Check the heater and the A/C. When the A/C kicks on, listen for grinding noises, which can be a sign of the worn compressor bearings.


As you drive check the alignment, see if the car bears to the left or right. See how the brakes are. Ask the seller when the brake pads were last replaced. Check under the hood to see how clean the engine is. Check the transmission fluid and make sure it's not black. Check the air pressure in the tires and check for uneven wear on the tread. Look for missing or burned out bulbs inside and out. If the car has retractable headlights, make sure they pop up and turn on. Make sure the brake lights, reverse lights and directional lights work.

Tip #5 - Extended Warranties.

If you buy a used car that is no longer covered by the manufactures warranty, you are at risk for expensive repairs. That's why an extended warranties are an essential part of the used car buying process. It's actually not necessary to acquire your warranty directly with the dealership. Carchex and Warranty Direct are two highly reviewed competitors offering extended warranties.

If you buy a 3 or 4 year old used car, chances are that the manufacturer's warranty has expired, don't take the chance if you can avoid it.


Here's a quick checklist you can print and bring with you when going to see your next used car.

Used-Car Checklist