Used Car Buying Checklist

Used Cars for Sale

There are lots of benefits that come with buying a used car, from having one that’s been certified to getting one that’s already gone through the early stages of depreciation.

Plus, you’ll have a wide variety of used vehicles to choose from, including ones found at Honda of Slidell. After picking your new ride, you’ll want to follow our used car buying checklist to ensure the process goes as smoothly for you as possible.

Read through the tips below, then contact us to see our pre-owned car collection near Slidell, Picayune, and St. Tammany Parish.

How to Buy a Used Car

Create a Budget

Not sure how to go about purchasing a pre-owned vehicle? These used car buying tips can help you out:

  1. Create a budget.
  2. Find cars that interest you.
  3. Read vehicle history reports.
  4. Go on test drives.
  5. Decide what loan you want.
  6. Finalize the paperwork.

1. Create a Budget.

The first thing you’ll want to do is create a budget to determine what type of vehicle you could get.

An easy way to do this is to make two columns, one with your monthly income and one with monthly expenses. Tally up the expenses and subtract them from the income. Whatever is left over is a good basis to go off of for monthly car payments. Just be sure to also factor things like gas and car insurance into your budget.

2. Find Cars that Interest You.

2019 Toyota Avalon Performance

Once you have a set budget in mind, you can start searching for your next new ride.

First, think about what you’ll primarily be using the vehicle for. If you don’t need a ton of passenger or cargo room, then a coupe or sedan should be fine. Otherwise, you may want to consider getting a pre-owned SUV for just yourself or your growing family.

After determining the type of used automobile you want, you’ll want to see which models are out there. Check out the used inventory at your local used car dealership and start building your vehicle wish list.

3. Read Vehicle History Reports.

A great way to determine which cars are right for you is to check out their vehicle history reports.

These reports give you a detailed look into an automobile’s past. By using the car’s vehicle identification number (VIN), you can get information on things like:

  • Number of previous owners
  • Past accidents (if applicable)
  • Up-to-date maintenance

With these extensive reports, you can get a good handle on which pre-owned automobiles would work with your lifestyle.

4. Go on Test Drives.

Used Car Test Drive

After you read through some vehicle history reports and narrow down your wish list a bit, you’ll want to test drive some used cars.

As you take each vehicle for a spin, you’ll want to make sure you feel comfortable behind the wheel and can easily access the various technologies. You’ll also want to listen for any sounds or note any smells that may be out of the ordinary.

While on the road, test the car’s steering on winding streets and check that the brakes work from various speeds. If you have to, test drive a couple cars again to easily make your final decision.

5. Decide What Loan You Want.

When you’ve picked out your new ride, you’ll want to figure out what type of loan to get.

Auto loans are available anywhere from 24 months to 84 months, with the most common being 60 months. While longer loans would provide lower monthly payments, they also come with higher interest rates. Since that means you’d be paying more for the car over time, you’ll want to stick to a shorter loan as much as possible.

6. Finalize the Paperwork.

Used Car Finance

The final step is to go through the buying process, which can be done at your local finance center.

To get things started, fill out a finance application to get pre-approved for a loan. One of the finance experts will look over your information and discuss your options. Plus, they’ll reach out to local banks and lenders, to help secure you a loan with terms that work for you.

When everything looks good to go, you’ll just sign a couple papers. Then, you’ll receive the keys to your new-to-you automobile!

Start Shopping for a Used Car Today

As you can see, it’s easy to buy a used car near Slidell, Picayune, and St. Tammany Parish.

To get started, contact Honda of Slidell. We’ll have you driving home in the vehicle of your dreams in no time!