If you are financing the vehicle, it is a good idea to get preapproved for a loan. This way you'll know your purchasing budget and the interest rate for which you qualify. Some lenders won't offer a loan if the vehicle is passed a certain age or if it has too many miles. The limitations will vary by lender. In this case, your next move might be to apply for a personal loan. Just be aware that those interest rates are typically higher than for auto loans.
There are a number of places to purchase a used auto. Here's a quick rundown: CarMax offers no-haggle pricing and cars that are in good condition, but its prices are a bit higher than you'll find elsewhere. Private-party sellers have lower prices and can be negotiated with more easily, but the burden is on the buyer to get the car inspected. Major dealerships sell certified pre-owned cars that are in excellent condition and backed by factory warranties. This option will appeal to buyers who want to minimize the risks of buying used and are willing to pay extra for it. Independent used-car lots are another alternative but can vary wildly on price and the condition level of their cars.
What is a new car model? New car models wear nameplates that either didn’t exist before or are resurrected from the past. Examples among 2021 model-year vehicles include the Kia Seltos, a new nameplate, and the Ford Bronco, a resurrected nameplate. Sometimes, a new model is based on an existing vehicle but has a dramatically different mission, such as the new Ram 1500 TRX or the Volvo XC40 Recharge P8.
Read Edmunds reviews and best vehicle lists, such as those for best midsize sport-utility vehicles, best sport sedans and best pickups. Then narrow your choices, settling on the vehicle that fits you best, whether that's a minivan or a subcompact. Shopping online is the fastest way to get a great deal, so these steps assume that's what you are doing.