What Are The Best Questions To Ask When Purchasing A Vehicle?

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Making sure that you ask the right questions at the dealership could be the defining moment between a future of headache and peace of mind for years to come. Overlooked, the car buying process is a major purchasing decision. For some, this is the first purchase with financing or first major purchase in general. Making the right decision is definitely the only decision you want to make when that time comes. Questions like “What is my APR rate?”, are great, but may not give a complete view of your future vehicle.

Many vehicles you will find, unless new, at a car dealership, could come from one of two places. The first being your auctions. These are powerhouses for dealerships because of the variety of vehicles that can be purchased here. The second of which, trade-ins. While auctions have a negative connotation associated with them, most dealers would agree that sometimes the worst vehicles, actually come from trade-ins.

Below you will find a list of 6 questions to ask when purchasing a used vehicle.

1. Does The Vehicle Have A CarFax Report?

A CarFax report will provide a semi-detailed view of the vehicle’s history allowing you to see deeper into any issues that may have been experienced. From purchase to service, this is typically a good way to eliminate many of the questions you may think that you have. While most vehicles come with a complete and detailed report, some may have discrepancies. These are best addressed at the dealership before that final decision to purchase is made.

2. Are There Any Current Recalls On This Vehicle?

Having a recall on your vehicle could be the difference between life and death in some circumstances. Defects such as airbag deployment issues and steering malfunctions can be most detrimental. In most cases, this can be something as small as a sensor module. All issues reported by the NHTSA, are free to fix at one of the original manufacturer’s dealerships. This is definitely worth your time to ask, make sure to drive away safely.

3. How Long Has This Vehicle Been In Your Inventory?

If a vehicle has been sitting for too long on the lot it can experience some minor issues that can gradually become worse if left unattended.

4. How Was This Price Determined?

When examining the quality of the vehicle you’re wanting to purchase, it’s also important to understand how the price was determined. Many dealerships will simply use market values to determine, but in other cases, the quality may be used to determine the factor. Feel comfortable to ask if the quality of the vehicle is the reasoning behind the price. If the price is too low, it may be due to a repair that needs to be done. If it is too high, there may be additional aftermarket enhancements that were made.

5. Has The Vehicle Been Inspected?

In most states, for a vehicle to be sold it must have been inspected. Unless it is being sold out of state. When examining the condition of the vehicle, be sure that is also state inspected. Such a simple step can help prevent future issues that could arise if it were uninspected.

6. Has The Car Had Any Issues That Needed To Be Fixed?

Knowing the mechanical history of a vehicle could help you understand what future repairs may be needed. If there was recently one headlight replaced, it’s then safe to assume that the other may need to be replaced in the future. Small items like these have a larger purpose that is often overlooked.


We hope that with these questions, you feel much more comfortable with asking the right questions while in the dealership. Looking for the right vehicle? Check out our inventory here


How To Finance A Vehicle With Bad Credit

Looking to Purchase A New Vehicle With Bad Credit?


Before You Come Into The Dealership.

Most lenders who are offering to finance for subprime credit, typically have more requirements from the purchaser than most. It’s best to know what’s required before you even step foot into the dealership. Being prepared can save you both time and money.

Check Your Credit

The reality is that most American’s don’t understand, or in some cases, even know their credit score. With the growing number of mobile applications, there are many ways to check your credit. One of the great tools that a lot of people use is Credit Karma. This application is available on both iOS and Android devices. With a sleek interface and tools to help, you can be sure that this tool will help provide an understanding of your financial health. This tool is free to download!  There are instances where people assume, they have bad credit. That may not necessarily be the case for you. Be sure to regularly check your credit score to ensure accurate information is being posted.

Financing shouldn’t be difficult. Click here for vehicle financing. 

See If You Pre-Qualify

When shopping for a vehicle, most dealerships will want you to immediately fill out a credit application. For someone who is purchasing a vehicle with prime credit, and have found the vehicle they want, this isn’t an issue. However, when shopping for a vehicle with subprime credit, it’s best to know an estimation of your terms. In most cases, your personal bank may be the best options for approval. Your bank can see your income and spending habits. They may have much more flexibility with a financial relationship already being established. A pre-qualification tool will help you see if you qualify, and if you do, how much the lender will finance. Typically you will see a higher down-payment. The down-payment helps the lender mitigate a lot of the financial risk. Seeing if you pre-qualify is a great way to know your options before making a financial decision of any sort. Capital One’s Auto Navigator Tool is a great way to get a general idea of your options.


If you’re choosing a lender other than your bank, there may be more steps required to receive funding. Each lender has their own requirements. In most cases, you will be required to bring a few items with you. The items needed usually help provide a better scope of understanding to your situation. Your driver’s license will help the lender identify you. Most lenders who offer auto loans for bad credit will ask for proof of income. This may vary from lender to lender, but the average is 2 months of paystubs. This will help the lender understand your ability to support the costs associated with the loan. In addition, the lender may request proof of residency. A monthly bill and or lease agreement would suffice. All these documents will help ease the process of obtaining funding for bad credit.


Understanding Your Financing Rates

When you complete the full credit application the lender will provide you with an APR rate. This rate for financing with bad credit will typically exceed 15%. APR is the annual rate that you are charged for borrowing. This amount reflects the yearly costs associated with the loan rate. Your APR will be the percentage of the loan you will be responsible for paying on top of the original loan on a yearly basis. Be sure that when you are attempting to obtain financing, that you shop APR rates along with the vehicle. Lowering your APR will drop your monthly payments.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this article! Our goal is to educate our customers and future customers on the vehicle purchasing process.