Finding a quality used car at an affordable price can feel like scratching off a winning lottery ticket. Like a pile of lottery tickets, used car ads can be full of duds, false hope, and too-good-to-be-trues.

But unlike picking a lucky ticket, there are some things you can do to improve your odds of driving away feeling like a winner.

Here are five tips to help you successfully shop for a used car in the new year.

5 Ways to Shop for a Used Car with Confidence

1. Set your budget

If you’re going to have a car payment, try to keep it at no more than 20 percent of your monthly income. Calculate your ceiling and then try to stay as far under it as reasonably possible. In other words, fit the car to your budget as opposed to trying to fit your budget to a car.  

2. Do your research

At Car City, we offer a variety of makes and models. We recommend that you research which brand will be best for you so that when the time comes, you can make a confident and informed decision. If you have questions or are still undecided, our professional sales staff will happily assist you.

2. Ask about prices

Once you’ve identified the make and model of the car you’re interested in, take the time to explore our inventory, or talk to one of our financing experts. At our dealership, we’re happy to help you get the best possible financing for your budget.

4. Ask about the vehicle’s history

You never know what a used car has been through, so be sure to ask your salesperson about the car, truck, or SUV’s ownership history.  

5. Take it to a mechanic

Before signing on the dotted line, ask if you can take the car to a mechanic to have it checked out and provide you with an overall assessment of the car’s condition and if any parts are nearing repair or replacement.  

Make Your Choice at Car City

Car City makes used car shopping simple with four locations in the Carolinas, a wide range of cars, trucks, and SUV’s to choose from, and generous financing and trade-in programs. Contact us today to get the wheels turning.