What to Look for When Buying a Used Car

Used cars on a lot

Pre-owned vehicles are a great choice for Wheeling drivers who are looking for high-quality rides without breaking the bank. At Straub Nissan, we pride ourselves on a wide variety of used and certified pre-owned vehicles from automakers like Honda, Jeep, Toyota, and, of course, Nissan! Finding the perfect used car is a bit different from finding a new car, and there are some important things you’ll want to look out for to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck. Luckily, the finance team at Straub Nissan is here to help! We’ve outlined everything you need to know about what to look for and what to ask when buying a used car in the guide below.

Tips & Tricks For Buying a Used Car

There are a few key steps you should follow when shopping for a used car so you get the best deal. Whether you’re looking for a standard used car, a certified pre-owned vehicle, or something priced under $10k, it’s a good idea to keep these tips in mind:

  • Set a budget: Chances are, one of the reasons you’re searching for a used car is because you’re looking to save some money on your next ride. Be sure to sit down and work out a strict budget that you know you can stick to. Don’t just include the price of the car, though–you’ll also want to factor in repairs, replacement parts, service appointments, and if you need a car loan. In general, you don’t want your monthly payments to exceed 10% of your monthly income.
  • Find the right car: Drivers sometimes get caught up looking for their dream car rather than one that realistically fits within their budget and driving needs. Make a list of the factors that are most important to you – age, price, mileage, etc. – and find as many cars that match that criteria as possible. Then, check out reliability reviews from third-party sites like Edmunds, KelleyBlueBook, or Car and Driver to see what critics think of each model.
  • Test drive and inspect the models: You never want to buy a used car–or any car, really–sight unseen. It’s a good idea to have your potential next ride inspected by a trusted third-party mechanic, then take it out for a test drive to see how it handles on the Moundsville roads.
  • Explore your financing options: Once you’ve settled on a model that you like, explore your options when it comes to loans–don’t be afraid to shop around until you get the best deal possible. Remember to factor in things like state sales tax and registration fees. You can also trade in your current vehicle with us if you’re interested in putting the money towards your next ride!

What to Ask When Buying a Used Car

Shopping for a used car can seem a bit daunting if you haven’t done it before, since it’s not exactly the same as shopping for a new car. Now that we’ve gone over some key tips and tricks to keep in mind, here are some questions you’ll want to ask at the dealership:

  • Is there a history of maintenance?
  • Is the vehicle history report available?
  • Do the amenities and features work like they’re supposed to?
  • What is the ownership history?
  • What is the vehicle’s mileage?
  • Are there any current recalls on the vehicle?
  • How was the vehicle priced?
  • Can I take the car to a mechanic for an inspection?
  • Do you have the title in hand?
  • Is the car as is, or is it under warranty?
  • Does this vehicle affect your insurance premiums?

Find Your Next Used Ride at Straub Nissan!

If you have any questions about what to look for or what to ask when buying a used car, don’t hesitate to contact our office! You can also stop by our dealership near Steubenville to talk to a member of our team in person, and we’ll be happy to help you with whatever you need. If you’re interested in saving even more on your next ride, we offer used vehicle specials updated all the time!


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