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How to Buy a Pre-Owned Car in 8 Steps


Infographic with 8 Steps to Buy a Pre-Owned Car

  1. Crunch the numbers - If you're paying with cash, you already have a budget in place. If you're taking out an auto loan, get your pre-approval before visiting the dealer's lot.
  2. Create a target list of makes and models - Narrow down your choices to three or four model cars.
  3. Research - Look for listing of your vehicles of choice. When you have some options to consider, obtain their vehicle history reports from
  4. Contact the Seller - Verify the information you've learned about each car and see if it's still in stock. If everything checks out, set up an appointment for a test drive. Or even schedule one virtually if needed.
  5. Test Drive - During the test drive, pay attention to the acceleration, legroom and visibility of the car.
  6. Have it inspected - Take the car to a mechanic for a professional inspection.
  7. Negotiate - Make an opening offer based on what you have determined to be the average price for your car.
  8. Make it official - Read the contract carefully before signing and be sure to get insurance.

You're all set to take your new car for its first spin!

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