Guide To Buying a Used Car: What You Need To Know

Whether it’s your first dealership experience or you’re a seasoned professional used car buyer, AutoMax is here to help navigate the process. Our large selection of pre-owned vehicles serves the Raleigh, Durham, Wake Forest areas of North Carolina and beyond, providing you with options you won’t find anywhere else. What’s more is we value our customers because often times they’re our friends, our neighbors and members of the communities where we live. As a buy here pay here used car dealership, our foundation started with our family-owned business and a handshake and we continue the spirit of that tradition today.

If you’ve bought a car before or you’re looking for a used car, we’ve created this used car buying guide to help you navigate the ins and outs of what you should expect and need to know when buying a used car.

Research the car

buy here pay here car dealer

When you’re making a big decision like purchasing a used car, you want to be as prepared as possible going in to the buying process. What that means is becoming familiar with all aspects of the process, starting foremost with your wants and needs. The best way to do this is through prior research setting yourself up for multiple options and backup plans. At AutoMax, we can help you through this process, but it’s important to come prepared with questions and stick to what you know to be your lifestyle. Looking for a vehicle to help transport your large family to games, church, practices and other life events? That cool red sports car may not be your best choice. Drive a lot of miles commuting through the central North Carolina region for work? Maybe that truck with low gas-mileage you’ve been eyeballing just isn’t the right fit...this time. In fact calculating gas mileage on vehicles before heading to a used car dealership is one way to help narrow down your options.

Ask yourself important questions

  1. Does the used vehicle have all the amenities I’m looking for? What can I sacrifice if all the other vehicle buying boxes are checked? Depending on the year, make and model of a used vehicle at AutoMax or other used car dealerships throughout North Carolina depends on the amenities you’ll find. With hands-free driver-safety laws becoming more common across the country, bluetooth or similar capabilities is one such amenity to keep in mind.
  2. Have I checked reviews online or in publications? All vehicles have reviews and all reviews tend to differ person to person, place to place. What works for some may not work for others, but understanding these reviews and what you’re looking for- and what you’re not looking for- is an important part in finding your next used vehicle. Fortunately within the last several years with social media and crowdsourcing, reviews are easy to find. The difficult part is navigating the immense rolodex you’ll come across. When reading reviews it’s important to identify the source of the review and its credibility. Your friend’s aunt or uncle could be a great source for information, but verify that information with a second source you know to be credible. Our team at AutoMax is happy to help point you in the right direction.
  3. Have I compared prices on similar vehicles within my purchase area? If two dealerships have the same vehicle, be sure to go see both and understand what, if any, differences exist. Sometimes it’s a feature like a sunroof, larger alloy wheels or an upgraded interior. Other times, the price differences may come through extended warranties or other incentives. The key is to know the price difference and what’s the better deal. In your research, visit dealerships with a price you’ve seen from another dealership and use that as leverage in negotiations.
  4. Have I written down questions to ask while at the dealership? So you’ve done your research and you’re ready to hit the used vehicle lot. Perfect! But it’s not over yet. Prepare some questions you can ask a sales associate either on the lot or during a test drive. Have similar models sold? Are there any issues that have historically appeared with the car make or model? Be sure to ask for and take the time to review the Carfax report which is a summation of the vehicle’s records and history.

Research the dealership and their offers.

We have a list of benefits if buying with AutoMax, some of which include:

  • Worry free warranties included on every vehicle sold
  • Up to four free oil changes a year during the life of your car loan
  • Free towing and rental car through American Towing and Recovery 24 hours/7 days a week for mechanical breakdowns. Rental cars are provided through A-1 Auto Rental for customers that use our preferred repair facility for warrantied repair.
  • Free Carfax Vehicle report to provide records and history of your vehicle
  • Pay history reported to Equifax credit bureau monthly to provide the opportunity to help re-establish your credit.
  • We’re family-owned and operated since 1989. As second generation owners, the White family is here to serve you and yours as we have served thousands of central North Carolina used car buyers.
  • Many on our team have been with us for over 15 years, some from day one.
  • Money referral program
  • Offer interest deficiency waivers to protect you from unpaid balances following a total loss claim by your insurance company.
  • Search our site or come by our dealership to learn more!

Get to know the car in person and check under the hood.

Seeing your next vehicle in person is a huge part of buying a car. It provides valuable one-on-one time to understand and visualize the vehicle in your life as well as providing time to check in, around and under the hood. All used vehicles on the AutoMax lots go through a rigorous inspection. A few items to check while shopping for a used vehicle are:

  1. Check your transmission fluid
  2. Check the oil
  3. Check brake fluid reservoir
  4. Check over belts and hoses
  5. Check your antifreeze
  6. Diagnostics
  7. Remove the oil filler cap
  8. Ask for a repair receipt if the car has been in an accident and make sure it was professionally repaired.
  9. Get an inspection from a mechanic.

Being prepared is key to buying your next used vehicle and our research section is filled with more helpful information to prepare you for your visit to one of our locations in Youngsville, NC or Henderson, NC. We also have a financing application set up through our quick application in our online portal making it easy to get started today. See you soon!

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All tax, title and vehicle registration fees are additional. See dealer for complete details.