Guide To Becoming A First Time Used Car Buyer

We’re sure most of you have heard the term “used car.” And chances are, if you haven’t bought a car before, you might not know much about them. So in this post, we’ll be telling you everything you need to know as a first-time used car buyer!

We’ll cover topics such as what type of car you should buy, what to avoid, and what you need to look for when buying a used car.

Hopefully, by the end of this post, you’ll feel confident about buying your first used car!

What Type Of Car Should You Buy?

One of the first things you need to decide when buying a car is what type of car is right for you. There are three main types of cars on the market: new cars, used cars, and certified pre-owned (CPO) cars.

New cars, obviously, have never been owned before. They come with that new-car smell and all the bells and whistles that come with it—but they also come with a higher price tag.

If you’re looking for the newest model with all the latest features, buying a new car may be the right choice for you.

First time used car buyer interest rate

Used cars are just that—cars that have been owned by someone else before. Buying used generally means getting a lower price tag—but it also means giving up some of those newer features available on newer models.

Used cars also don’t come with that new-car warranty, which means you may have to pay for any repairs or maintenance out of pocket.

First Time Car Buyer Dealerships

CPO cars are similar to used cars in that they have been owned before, but they differ in that they must meet certain criteria set by the manufacturer in order to be classified as CPO. This usually includes being less than five years old and having low mileage.

CPO cars often come with extended warranties, giving you some peace of mind in case anything goes wrong down the road.

Deciding which type of car is right for you is an important first step in the car-buying process—so take your time and weigh your options carefully before making a decision.

  • Do Your Research

Before you even step foot on a dealership lot, it’s important to do your research and figure out what kind of car is right for you. Consider your needs and wants, such as make and model, size, features, and price range.

You should also research which cars hold their value best so you can get the most bang for your buck when it comes time to sell or trade in.

Once you have a general idea of what you’re looking for, you can start shopping around.

Full Guide For First Time Car Buyers

  • Get A Carfax Report

When you find a used car that interests you, be sure to get a Carfax report. This report will give you vital information about the car’s history, such as whether it’s been in any accidents or had any major mechanical issues.

If you’re on the fence about purchasing an automobile, the details presented here should be useful.

  • Have A Mechanic Inspect The Car

Even if the Carfax report looks clean, it’s always a good idea to have a mechanic inspect the car before making a purchase.

They can spot potential problems that may not be apparent to the untrained eye and advise you accordingly.

  • Get A Pre-Purchase Inspection

After you’ve narrowed down your options to a few vehicles, test-driving them is the next step. But before you make any offers, it’s important to get a pre-purchase inspection (PPI) from a qualified mechanic.

They will be able to tell you if there are any major red flags with the vehicle.

  • Make An Offer And Negotiate

If everything looks good after the PPI, it’s time to make an offer on the car. Don’t be afraid to negotiate!

The seller might be open to coming down on the price, especially if they’ve been trying to sell the car for a while.

  • Take Your Time

One of the biggest mistakes first-time used car buyers make is rushing into a purchase without taking the time to think things through.

Buying a car is a major financial decision, so it’s important to take your time and make sure you’re completely comfortable with your purchase before signing on the dotted line.

Once you’ve made your decision, however, don’t hesitate to act quickly. If someone else is interested in the same vehicle, they may scoop it up if you wait too long.

  • Know Your Budget

Before even setting foot on a dealership lot, you must know how much money you’re willing to spend on a used car. Once you have a firm number in mind, stick to it no matter what!

The salespeople will try all sorts of tactics to get you to spend more money than you originally intended, but if you keep your budget in mind, they won’t be able to sway you.

Remember: they’re trying to make a sale, not looking out for your best interests.

  • Have Financing In Place Before Shopping

If at all possible, try to get financing in place before shopping for your used car.

This way, when it comes time to negotiate, you’ll have more leverage because the dealer will know that they need to work with your financing institution instead of just trying to offer their financing terms which may not be as favorable for you.

Even if getting pre-approved financing isn’t an option for you, at least try to get quotes from multiple lenders so that when it comes time to negotiate, you can use those quotes as leverage against the dealer’s financing offers.

How To Find The Right Vehicle?

There are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind when searching for your first used car. First, think about what you need and what you want. What kind of activities do you normally use your car for?

Do you need something spacious to transport large items or drive long distances? Do you need a four-wheel drive for off-roading or inclement weather? Answering these questions will help you narrow down your search to find the perfect vehicle for your needs.

Once you know what kind of vehicle you’re looking for, it’s time to start searching. The internet is a great place to start—you can find tons of listings for local dealerships and private sellers all in one place.

Be sure to read the description carefully and check out all the photos to get an idea of the condition of the vehicle. If possible, arrange to take a test drive before making any decisions.

How To Negotiate The Best Price?

One of the most important parts of purchasing a used car is negotiating the price.

When negotiating, keep these things in mind:-

  • Set And Follow A Strict Spending Limit

Knowing how much you’re willing to spend before heading into negotiations will give you an upper hand.

  • Do Your Research

Be sure to look up the Kelley Blue Book value of the vehicle beforehand so you know how much it’s worth.

  • Never Pay Full Asking Price

There’s always room for negotiation, so be prepared to haggle.

  • Be Polite But Firm

Remember, you’re in control of the situation so there’s no need to be intimidated.

  • Be Willing To Walk Away

If the seller isn’t budging on the price, don’t be afraid to walk away from the deal altogether.


Buying a used car can be a great option for first-time buyers. They’re often more affordable than new cars and can still be a great ride. But before you buy, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Do your research, get an inspection, and don’t be afraid to negotiate when buying a used car. By following these tips, you’ll be sure to find the perfect ride without breaking the bank!

About Author
My name is Matt Senso. I am the CEO of the Low Income Assistance LLC and Low Income Assistance Website. I am a diploma in Automobile Engineering, having more than 10 years of experience in social services and charity organizations. Follow me here, @twitter, Linkedin, Reddit. Read More About Me

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