Tips to help you buy a used car

Like most things, the price of buying a car is rising. In March 2022, a new car cost an average of $45,927, according to data published by Kelley’s Blue Book.

That price can be unaffordable for the average consumer, which is why some are turning to used or pre-owned cars.

BUDGET

Look at your budget and decide how much you can pay up front and over time. Don’t forget insurance, parking, gas, tolls, and repairs.

CREDIT REPORT

Check your credit report at annualcreditreport.com and correct any errors.

LOANS

Get pre-approved for a loan. Knowing the rates will help you compare prices between financial institutions. Using your own bank or credit union provides additional protection if something goes wrong.

CAR VALUE

Research the value of the car. Check guides from the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), Edmunds and Kelley Blue Book to find out the average price of the car you plan to buy and trade in.

BAIT AND SWITCH

Beware of “bait and switch” advertising. Ads that promise savings, rates that are too good to be true, or cars that aren’t actually available when you get there are illegal. If you feel pressured, walk away.

EXAMINE THE CAR CAREFULLY

Get a vehicle history report at vehiclehistory.gov, take a test drive and have the car checked out by an independent mechanic. If the dealer doesn’t let you, walk away. Be sure to check the condition of the engine, tire wear, and any signs of an accident. Compare the odometer reading to the bill of sale.

KNOW THE LEMON LAWS

The tri-state has lemon laws to protect consumers. See the following links for more information:

PROTECT YOURSELF FROM REMOVED CARS

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