Ever wonder why the used-car industry is such a big hit? The price tag attached to a used car is usually several thousand dollars less than for new cars. If you buy a new car, it typically depreciates about 20% in value the minute you drive it off the lot.
If used is right for you, start looking for the right used vehicle by doing some research. Check out websites such as NADAGuides.com, and kbb.com (Kelley Blue Book). These sites help you find exactly what you are looking for, including value, safety rating, vehicle condition, and a vehicle history report.
When you’re looking for a used vehicle, keep in mind that insurance companies base insurance premiums on your age, year of the car, make, and how likely you are to get in an accident. In general, the cost of insurance on a used car is lower because the comprehensive and collision costs are usually lower. White Sands FCU offers auto insurance to members through our partnership with TruStage.
Many dealerships offer certification programs that can protect you if any mechanical problems arise after you purchase your vehicle. Be sure to read the fine print of the certification to see what it covers. Buying a certified used car can add on a significant chunk of money to the price tag but can be money well spent. On the other hand, if you plan to buy a non-certified used car, make sure to have an independent and qualified mechanic inspect it first.
Used car financing can be a painless experience at White Sands FCU. Rates are low and terms can be as long as 72 months, which helps lower your monthly payment. Call or stop in today – we can pre-qualify you for car financing. If you’ve covered all your bases and are ready to buy, apply for financing here.
Follow these steps when buying a used car
- Get pre-qualified for financing. That way you can look for a vehicle without the added pressure of how and where you will finance your find. You will also have a better idea of how much you can afford.
- Do your research. Once you have a price range, look for cars you like and find out what the insurance will cost. then visit NADAGuides.com, and kbb.com (Kelley Blue Book) to determine the value of any car you find. You can also use these sites to review safety ratings.
- Take the car for a test drive. If you are at a dealership, just ask for a test drive. If you are purchasing from a private party, call the seller and schedule an appointment. On your test drive, look for things like comfort, visibility, how the car rides, and even the smell (Can you smell gas?). Is the “check engine” light on? Is the AC cold? Do all the lights and indicators work?
- If the car is not certified by a dealership, take it to a trusted and independent mechanic. It may cost you a little money, but if it is a car you really like, it will be well worth it.
- Negotiate the price. If you completed step one and became pre-qualified, you already know your high-end. Start low, but in the general price range you found on NADA or Kelly Blue Book.
- Arrange for payment. Contact White Sands FCU and speak with one of our account officers to get pre-qualified. You can also complete our online loan application to become pre-qualified. We will guide you through the process and make sure all paperwork is in order. If you are buying from a dealership, make sure you get any certification documents and warranties. Inspect the contract carefully and understand all the fees and licenses. If purchasing from a private party, make sure the seller transfers the title to you properly. Then take it to your local motor vehicle department to get it registered and pay taxes.