Used or new? If you have poor credit or are in the midst of financial trouble, used is your best bet. You can buy your dream luxury or sports car once you’re back on your feet, and used car payments help boost your credit score as long as you pay them on time. Here’s a quick guide to used car purchases from Smog Man Test and Repair. Why? Because we love helping others stay on the road.
Before you head to a dealer or a private seller, determine how much you can spend on your used car. Be realistic in your calculations. Don’t stretch your budget. Things to account for are how much of a down payment you can afford, monthly payments (plus financing charges) you can afford, and whether you’ll pay for your vehicle in cash or take out a loan. Calculate fuel and maintenance expenses, too.
Run Your Credit Report
You can get a free credit report from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion each year so take advantage of this. Review your report to ensure there aren’t any errors. If there are, file a claim with the reporting agency. Clean up any credit messes you can while you’re at it. The better your credit report, the better used-car financing. Those with risky credit often face high-interest rates on their loans.
Research Your Car
With your budget and credit report in place, determine which car is the best fit for you. Do you want an economical vehicle to zip around the city in or do you need a truck or SUV? Research your options and listen to what people have to say about any make and model in which you’re interested. The manufacturer is only going to tell you the good stuff; it’s online reviews that give honest feedback.
Finally, make certain the DMV paperwork is taken care of once you complete your transaction. If you buy your car from a private seller, you have five days to report the transfer to the DMV. If you buy it from a dealer, the dealer should take care of the paperwork for you, but make certain it does. Follow up with the DMV to ensure there aren’t any hiccups in the purchase of your car.
If you need a smog check to get the vehicle registered, give us a call at 408-963-0035. Smog Man Test and Repair is located in San Jose, CA, and we’re here to help you get your used car ready for registration.