It's my first time at a used car dealership.
December 8, 2008 7:28 AM Subscribe
Urgently need advice on used car shopping.
posted by tdismukes to Shopping (17 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
So, I was babying my old car along, planning on buying a replacement after the holidays. Unfortunately, it gave up the ghost earlier than expected and now it's time to go car shopping. Fortunately, there is a long line of used car dealerships just a mile from my house that I can walk to.
The thing is, I've always just bought cheap older used cars from private sellers and paid cash. This will be my first time going to a dealer, using credit, and getting the newest car we can afford.
Both my wife and I have terrible credit. (Hers is slightly better, but I make most of the income). I know that I see dealership ads saying "Bad credit? No credit? No Problem!", but I'm sure this will affect our available choices.
I've worked out our budget and determined that we can afford monthly payments of up to $200/month and a down payment of up to about $1000.
Our prime concern is getting the most reliable vehicle, with the lowest mileage, that we can afford.
We live in Lexington, Kentucky, if that's relevant.
Given our credit and the budget I've listed above, how much car are we likely to get in the current market? (Should I be looking at the $6,000 cars, the $10,000 cars, or what?)
Given our poor credit, do we need to just go to certain dealers (the ones with those ads) or will most used car dealers be willing to work with us?
Given that my wife has better credit and I have most of our income, would we likely both be signing for the loan? (I'd kind of prefer that - most of my poor credit rating comes from the fact that I've never ever bought anything on credit, so this would help me establish my credit.)
How much haggling is expected over price? I have no experience with this and would obviously prefer not to grossly overpay.
Thanks in advance for all your answers. If you think of any additional info which I should know but which isn't covered by the above questions, feel free to offer it as well.