SeaComm Federal Credit Union OFFICIAL BLOG

Steps for Buying a Used Car

With so many options and choices, finding the right used car can be a challenge. Here’s an overview of the steps you’ll need to take to buy the perfect used vehicle for your lifestyle!

Create a target list. What make and model vehicle do you want to buy? Car? Truck? SUV? Hybrid? There are many choices and options. Check out Consumer Reports or J.D. Power for reliability ratings on vehicles from the most recent model years. You’ll find detailed reviews and lists of common trouble spots to note. Narrow down your choices to three or four model cars.

Do plenty of research. You can find out just about anything you want to know about a car online. SeaComm’s online auto buying center, Garage Gizmo, will give you a full view at the interior and exterior of all types of vehicles located at local dealerships. You will also receive a complete car description, which details the equipment, specifications, safety features, crash test ratings, warranties, recalls, and more.

Get the vehicle history report. Once you’ve narrowed down your search, learn all you can about each vehicle. What kind of repairs or maintenance did it undergo? Was it ever involved in a collision? Find out with a vehicle history report! You can get a detailed vehicle report through Carfax on GarageGizmo.

Schedule a test drive. When you take the vehicle for a spin, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is there sufficient legroom and headroom?
  • Is the ride smooth?
  • How is the acceleration and power?
  • Are the seats comfortable and adjustable?
  • Is the “check engine” light illuminated after initial startup?
  • Do you have full visibility?
  • Are the brakes working well and working quietly?
  • Do all the lights (headlights, brake lights, turning signals, internal lights) work?
  • Do the automatic window mechanisms and door-lock buttons work?

If your car has passed the test drive, ask to see the vehicle’s service records to determine if the car is current with its scheduled maintenance check-ups.

Negotiate. If you’ve worked out your financing with a SeaComm representative, you already know your spending cap. Otherwise, work it out now before you start bargaining. When negotiating a price with the dealership, don’t talk about monthly payments; talk about the price of the car. Make an opening offer based on the average price of the car and use all the information you’ve learned about the vehicle as bargaining chips. Be firm and don’t sound desperate and you will end up with a fairly priced vehicle.

As a SeaComm member, you might already be pre-approved for a new or used auto loan through our loan pre-approval program, LoanEngine™. If you qualify for a pre-approved offer, you will be presented with it through our SeaComm mobile app or NetTeller in the “My Offers” tab, via email, and/or a letter through the mail. Click here to login to your NetTeller™ to view your current offers! If you don’t have any offers at this time, be sure to check back every 60 days.

TIP: Prepare for the future! SeaComm has teamed up with ForeverCar to offer a great new benefit that helps to eliminate the hassles of car repair. If your car qualifies, you could be eligible to purchase mechanical repair coverage at an exclusive member rate.

How it works:

  1. Get your instant ForeverCar quote.
  2. Customize your deductible.
  3. Use the licensed repair facility of your choice.

When your covered repair is complete, simply pay your deductible and drive on. Click here to learn more!

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