KNOW WHAT YOU ARE SIGNING. Carefully scrutinize every document before you sign, especially the retail installment contract. NEVER let someone �tell� you what the contract says. Examine and understand the sales price, interest rates, payments, trade-in values, and pay-offs. If you are leasing, or financing with a balloon payment at the end, make sure you are aware of your responsibilities. NEVER sign a blank form, or one with blank spaces in it. Make sure that you understand every amount listed, and that it agrees with the �deal� that you made.
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.
The used-car market is like a huge haystack, and while it may seem tough to find that needle, a bit of online research cuts the legwork and speeds up the process considerably. The good news is that you're already on the right page to start. From here, you can either input the car you want or scroll to the "Select a Make" section and click on an automaker you're interested in. You'll then get a list of cars to choose from. And on the left side of the inventory page, you'll find several ways to filter the choices.
There's a big safety benefit to buying the newest car you can afford. When you buy a new car, you're ensuring you're getting a car that's up to the most recent safety standards in both crash testing and in safety technology. A new car compared to a used car from even five years ago can have big safety advantages with things like more airbags, a more rigid construction, and more advanced technology like a backup camera which is now mandatory on every new car sold in the U.S.