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How to Buy a Used Car

Used cars on a car lot

If you are shopping for a vehicle on a budget around Amherst and Clarence, you may have questions about how to buy a used car. This is especially true for first time car buyers. Fortunately, when you shop with Basil Resale Sheridan, our team is here to guide you through the process from start to finish. Before visiting our showroom, you have the opportunity to explore our used car buying guide. It provides tips and tricks about factors to consider when buying a car as well as what to expect when securing financing and insurance. 


Factors to Consider When Buying a Used Car

Wondering what to consider when buying a car? You are not alone. The used car shopping process can get a bit confusing with so many things to consider when buying a car. For example, should you prioritize a newer vehicle or one with fewer miles on the odometer? There is really no one-size-fits all recommendation for every driver, but there are a number of factors to consider to help you narrow down your search.

  • Mileage – Keep in mind that a car that is not driven on a regular basis can actually have mechanical issues or problems with rubber seals and gaskets due to sitting idle for extended periods of time. In this case, a low mileage used car may not be the best option.
  • Age – Advancements in automotive technology have led to vehicles lasting longer than ever before. A well-maintained older vehicle can actually be an excellent buy, especially if you are primarily using the vehicle for quick errands around Buffalo.
  • Usage – A vehicle frequently driven in stop-and-go traffic will undergo more stress than a vehicle that is mainly driven on the open highway, even if they have the same amount of miles on them. If possible, find out about the previous owner’s driving habits. 
  • Location – Driving in a cold, wet climate is more draining on a vehicle than driving in a warm, dry climate. This is another reason why it can be beneficial to know the driving habits of the previous owner. 
  • Condition – Before signing on the dotted line, have the used car inspected by a mechanic. 
  • Maintenance history – Ensure that the vehicle your considering has an up-to-date maintenance history to minimize the risk of issues down the road. 
  • Reliability – Industry experts like Kelley Blue Book and Consumer Reports often review vehicles and publish information on their reliability. These reviews can be a helpful tool. 

Questions to Ask the Dealership 

Don’t hesitate to ask the dealership a variety of questions about the vehicle you are considering. Listed below are just some of the questions you can ask to get a better sense of whether the used car you have your eye on is really the right choice for you. 

  • Is there a history of maintenance?
  • Is the vehicle history report available?
  • Do the amenities and features work like they’re supposed to?
  • What is the ownership history?
  • What is the vehicle’s mileage?
  • Are there any current recalls on the vehicle?
  • How was the vehicle priced?
  • Can I take the car to a mechanic for an inspection?
  • Do you have the title in hand?
  • Is the car as is, or is it under warranty?
  • Does this vehicle affect your insurance premiums?
Used Car Buying


Used Car Buying Checklist

Ready to create a car buying checklist? Before diving into the research, take the time to figure out what features and characteristics are most important to you. Doing this will not only help you land the proper model, but it’ll also make the overall car search far more efficient. Keep these tips in mind for how to buy a used car that’s right for you:

  • If you’re looking to upgrade your Clarence commute to be more comfortable, convenient, or efficient, start your search by learning more about the features and amenities commonly available on used compact or midsize sedans in your price range.
  • If you want the efficiency and agility of a sedan plus a large cargo area, check out used hatchbacks.
  • Need more expansive interior volume for passengers and their cargo? You’ll definitely want to look at used crossovers.
  • If you’re looking for off-road capability along with a spacious cabin, you’ll find it with many body-on-frame used SUVs.
  • If it’s all about towing, payload, horsepower, and torque, go for a used truck.

Focusing your search on used cars for sale that fit your needs is key for finding the proper ride!

Learn More About Any Model You’re Considering

Now that you know what to look for when buying a used car, it’s time to cut down your list. After taking a closer look at the features and performance specs of any used cars for sale that make your shortlist, you’ll want to narrow down your options to the top three. Then, you’ll want to get more detailed info about the vehicle from the dealership and start exploring your lease and finance options. Keep these points in mind:

  • Used cars for sale at Basil Resale Sheridan come with a vehicle history report. The report should contain a thorough breakdown of the model’s past, including any accidents that may have occurred, any customizations or recalls, and every service that the vehicle has received throughout its life.
  • Also of note is your own personal financial plan. If you find a used car with everything you’re hoping for, you’ll want to determine a financial plan you feel good about. This includes variables such as leasing, buying, long- and short-term payment structures, credit, loans, and more. Our payment calculator is particularly useful when it comes to setting your budget.
Buying a Car

If you’re feeling unsure about how to buy a used car, you don’t have to move through this process alone! The auto finance experts at our finance center are happy to provide support. We’ll help you with what to ask when buying a used car.

Take a Test Drive

Once you’ve done the research, know what type of model best fits your needs, and have a thorough understanding of the model’s history, you can hop behind the wheel and see how it performs on the road.

The test drive will let you know if the vehicle is right for you, down to the little things like the cup holder position and seat comfort. If you come back with a smile on your face, you’ve likely found the right choice because you now know what to look for when buying a used car.

Explore Used Cars for Sale at Basil Resale Sheridan

Have you created your own personal used car buying checklist? Now that you know the factors to consider when buying a car, shopping for a pre-owned vehicle should be a stress-free experience. If you have any questions along the way, do not hesitate to reach out to Basil Resale Sheridan for more information. 

Most used car buyers do not pay cash for the vehicle, meaning they still take out an auto loan. Dealerships do still help you take care of used car financing, but there are a few things to keep in mind when taking out a loan on a used car. Basil Resale Sheridan is here to guide you through the process, so you can get behind the wheel of a new-to-you vehicle at an excellent price. 

How to Finance a Used Car

There are many similarities between shopping for and financing a used car near Amherst and purchasing a brand-new model. Most lenders actually consider financing a used car to be more risky. Because of this, you may have a higher interest rate. Why do lenders believe this?

  • Used car values are less predictable.
  • Lenders are not always able to verify the condition of the vehicle.
  • Some used cars have higher repair costs, which can compete with making loan payments.

Being prepared and aware of your credit score can help you secure the best possible rate when financing a used car. If you have an excellent credit score, you may even be able to enjoy lower-than-average interest rates on a pre-owned vehicle. Be sure to calculate what you can afford and thoroughly research the vehicle you are considering. Compare similar models, check the vehicle history report, and have the vehicle inspected before taking out the loan. 

How Long Can You Finance a Used Car? 

How long can you finance a used car? While auto loan term lengths vary by lender, in the past, used car financing was typically limited to 72 months. However, that has changed. You may now be able to secure used car financing for up to 84 months.

Keep in mind that the age of the vehicle can play a role in how long you can finance the car. For example, financing a 10-year-old car for five years will likely not be possible. 

Do You Need Full Coverage on a Used Car? 

Do you need full coverage on a used car? While full insurance coverage is not required in most states, lenders want to protect their investments. Many will require full coverage regardless of whether you drive a new car or a used car. 

Contact Basil Resale Sheridan for More Information

Do you have questions about used car financing? Reach out to us today, and we would be glad to help. We can help you get pre-approved in no time. 

Looking for a high-quality used or certified pre-owned vehicle in the greater Clarence-area? Not sure what to ask when buying a used car? Although used vehicle shopping can be difficult, it’s not impossible to find the right car, truck, or SUV for you.

Whether you are a novice car shopper, haven’t bought a car in a while, or have had a bad car buying experience in the past, the experts at Basil Resale Sheridan have compiled a used car checklist to help guide you through the purchasing process. Find out what to inspect when buying a used car, if dealerships do inspect used cars, and more below! Then, contact us online when you’re ready to take one of our models out for a test drive!

How to Buy a Used Car in the Buffalo Area

So, before we dive into our used car checklist, it’s important to understand how the purchasing process works first. There’s a wide variety of options available at Basil Resale Sheridan alone! Looking for a certified vehicle? Perhaps you want something more modestly priced under $10,000? Do dealerships even inspect used cars?

You can expect every one of the models on our Williamsville lot to be rigorously inspected for performance and safety. However, you’ll still want to keep the following guidelines in mind when shopping for a pre-owned vehicle:

  • Set a Budget: Take time to consider the balance between cost to buy and cost to own. Be sure to factor in future repairs, new tires, routine maintenance, and if a car loan is needed to finance the used car. A tip to keep in mind, a monthly payment shouldn’t exceed 10% of your monthly income. Get an idea of monthly payments with our payment calculator.
  • Find the Right Used Car: There are a couple of factors you should consider when learning how to buy a used car. It should fit your budget, match your mileage expectations, and fit some of the key requirements like the vehicle history report. We’ll cover what else to check for when buying a used car in the next section. Start by compiling a list of cars you’re interested in and compare that to what’s offered at the dealership. Then, do a deep dive into the reliability reviews from sites like Edmunds or KelleyBlueBook, and compare what price the vehicle sold for in your area.
  • Test Drive and Inspect the Models: It can take determination to find the right used car that matches your style. Be sure to thoroughly inspect the vehicle, have it inspected by a trusted mechanic, and request any and all relevant used car documentation and history. Once you’re ready, take it out for a test drive to verify the performance you’re taking on Cheektowaga area roads.
  • Used Car Financing and Other Fees: Once you’ve found a used car that works, take your time to explore your loan options, and be sure to factor in other fees and credits like state sales tax, registration fees, and the trade-in value of your previous vehicle. When completing the deal, you’ll also want to make sure you’re covered with any applicable warranties and car insurance plans.

Your Used Car Checklist

As mentioned above, there’s a vast assortment of used cars available in the local market. So, it’s important to know what to ask when shopping for a pre-owned car, truck, or SUV. Some useful questions to ask yourself and the dealership are:

  • What relevant used car documentation and history can you provide?
  • Is there a history of maintenance?
  • Is the vehicle history report available?
  • Do the amenities and features work like they’re supposed to?
  • What is the ownership history?
  • What is the vehicle’s mileage?
  • Are there any current recalls on the vehicle?
  • How was the vehicle priced?
  • Can I take the car to a mechanic for an inspection?
  • Do you have the title in hand?
  • Is the car as is, or is it under warranty?
  • Does this vehicle affect your insurance premiums?

Explore Our Used Cars, Trucks & SUVs at Basil Resale Sheridan

If you’re ready to streamline your car shopping experience today, you really ought to get in touch with our finance consultants at Basil Resale Sheridan! We’ll be able to help you secure a used vehicle special on any and all models you’re looking for on our Williamsville lot. Shopping for an older model with Basil Resale Sheridan isn’t just easy—it’s fun!

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