2900 S High St Columbus, OH 43207 614-810-8187

Top Questions About Shopping for a Used Car

A set of used car keys are shown on paperwork at a car dealership.

When it comes to used cars, more buyers are gravitating toward this option due to the outstanding selection of quality vehicles available at more affordable prices. When you’re shopping used, you’ll want to be sure to keep some important aspects in mind so that you’re able to find a vehicle that’s safe and dependable for your travels. At Columbus Auto Mall, we strive to provide our customers with some of the best options in the industry, all at reasonable prices. If you’re a little apprehensive about navigating the used car market, you’re not alone, so let us help by providing some helpful answers to some commonly asked questions.

What Are Some Things to Watch Out for When Buying a Used Car?

Although many dealerships, like Columbus Auto Mall, are stocked with high-quality options, this isn’t always the case on other used car lots. This is why it’s important to pay attention when shopping used. It’s always a good idea to look at a detailed vehicle history report before committing to a particular vehicle. If a dealership isn’t keen on showing you this information, this is a red flag, and you’ll want to take your search somewhere else. Once you find out more about a vehicle in question, it’s a good idea to perform a visual inspection of the vehicle, looking for rust or corrosion, frame damage, and anything else that appears to be damaged.

Take it for a test drive and pay attention to how it feels on the road. If it’s making a strange noise or pulling in a direction while you’re driving, it may need a repair or tune-up. You may also want to open up the hood and examine the engine. Chances are, if there’s a fluid leak, it’ll be noticeable, which means that this vehicle may have some issues underneath the surface. Inspect the tires, upholstery, and paint for any issues, and remember, what may seem small right now may cause big problems later on.

A row of cars are shown parked on the side of a city street.

What’s Good Mileage for a Used Car?

It’s been a long-standing belief that once a vehicle gets above 100,000 miles that it’s a risk, but today’s vehicles are completely different from those of the past. Often, vehicles can last hundreds of thousands of miles, especially if they’re well taken care of, so it’s important to prioritize regular maintenance. Many vehicles, like trucks, have a reputation for being able to last far past many other vehicles on the road, with some trucks averaging up to 200,000 miles without issue. The bottom line is that taking care of your vehicle is crucial. In taking care of it, it will take care of you by providing you with a safe and dependable ride, mile after mile.

What Are the Most Reliable Car Brands?

A handful of vehicles on the market are habitually found at the top of the list year after year when resale value is concerned. Resale value is generally dependent on the quality of the vehicle, as well as how reliable it is, which is what many shoppers are searching for in their vehicles. Currently, some of the most reliable brands include Toyota, Honda, Kia, Lexus, Acura, Buick, and Nissan. Plenty of other brands typically appear on this list, so it’s important to do your research and find the vehicle that meets your travel requirements while also providing a safe and dependable ride. With all of the helpful tools available, it should be easy to narrow down a model from a brand you can trust.

When Is the Best Time to Buy a Used Car?

There’s evidence to suggest that certain times of the year are better than others when getting the best price for a used car. Studies often show that late fall and early winter will offer lower prices since many automakers are debuting their newest model years, meaning that older models receive a price cut. We advise that the best time to buy a car is when you need a better way to travel. It’s not recommended to keep your car when it’s not offering you a safe and reliable ride just because you believe you’ll save money later in the year. When you choose a reputable dealer, you’ll be able to find a quality car for a fair price, no matter what time of the year you’re shopping.

What Documents Are Required When Buying a Car?

It’s important to bring the proper documentation when shopping for a used car to avoid any hang-ups in the process. Proper identification is required, so be sure to have your driver’s license with you, as well as your current vehicle’s registration. Proof of insurance and your form of payment are also required if you’re putting money down on your new vehicle. It’s also a good idea to run a credit check so that you’re aware of your current credit status, but this isn’t a requirement, as the dealership will run one for you. In some cases, you may be required to show a recent utility bill or pay stub, so having these handy is also advised.

What’s the Difference Between Shopping at a Dealership and a Private Seller?

There are many ways to go about shopping for a used car; however, you’re taking a risk when you choose to go through a private seller. When you shop from a dealership, you have a much better selection, meaning that if one car doesn’t meet your needs, you have other options during your search. You can also view a detailed vehicle history report, especially when you partner with a reputable dealer. You may not get the same luxury when you go through a private seller.

It’s also a risk when you’re negotiating with a private seller. When you buy from a dealership, you have the tools at hand to know that you’re getting a fair price without worrying that you overpaid for your vehicle. It’s also helpful to know that many dealerships offer warranties and maintenance plans on used vehicles, which isn’t something you’ll be able to enjoy when buying from a private seller. All in all, if you want ultimate peace of mind, choosing to work with a dealership like Columbus Auto Mall is highly recommended.

A car salesman is shown handing a key to a customer sitting in a vehicle.

What’s the Difference Between Shopping at a Dealership Versus Online?

You can’t beat being able to see and experience a car in person, no matter how convenient online car-buying tools claim to be, which makes dealerships the top options for car shoppers. You also won’t get to negotiate the price of the vehicle like you’ll be able to do at a dealership since many online car dealers claim that the price you see is the price you get. If you want to be sure you’re making the right choice by being able to test drive the vehicle before purchasing it and negotiate a fair price, shopping used at a dealership is the right choice for many buyers.

Success When Shopping Used

To ensure maximum success when shopping for a used car, partnering with a dealership that has your best interests in mind is your first step. Here at Columbus Auto Mall, we make our customers a priority, offering exceptional vehicles for prices that are fair and affordable. It helps to be prepared when shopping for a car, and by keeping these tips in mind, you’ll be on your way to owning a vehicle you can trust. So, visit us today and browse our extensive used selection to find the car that will make your journey better than ever.

October 19th, 2022 by Evan Riley

When To Pay More For A Vehicle

It is only natural to want to save as much money as possible when buying a new vehicle. Large SUVs and trucks, in particular, can be extremely expensive depending on the make, model, and trim you are considering. As a result, it can be easy to feel as though the vehicle you had your heart set on might be out of reach financially. But is this always the case? Is it always bad to spend more money than you may initially want? While there are certainly manufacturers out there that overprice their vehicles, sometimes, you actually get more value, performance, safety, and capability for the higher price tag. The trick in knowing when to spend a bit more and when to try to save is doing enough research ahead of time. If a specific manufacturer has more to offer than the competition, makes reliable vehicles, and can give you an experience that best suited to you, it just may be worth the extra cost for the long term investment. Take, for example, the differences between the 2018 Buick Enclave vs. 2018 Ford Explorer. Both of these crossover SUVs have a lot to offer in terms of overall performance and capability, but the Enclave gives you so much more for a few extra thousand dollars. This is an excellent example where a little bit more money can be a sound investment.
Better Performance
Many people often wonder what exactly they are paying for with a higher price tag. While it is true that some manufacturers simply increase prices to make more profit, there can be good reasons to pay a higher price if you want more performance and features. SUVs, in particular, can benefit from more powerful engines and all-wheel drivetrains which tend to be more expensive due to the extra mechanics and parts involved.
Sometimes, it can be extremely difficult to see the actual differences in performance between two SUV options. On paper, the Enclave and Explorer are fairly evenly matched when you compare their 3.6L and 3.5L V-6 engines. It is not until you start to look at the different metrics like torque and horsepower that you will begin to notice significant differences. In both categories, the Enclave manages to offer more performance, which can translate into better acceleration, higher speeds, and more off-road capability.
Fuel efficiency is another common area to address when comparing different SUV models. Crossover SUVs, even ones with a full three row setup, have the potential for better fuel efficiency than other full-size counterparts. Here again, the Enclave demonstrates this the best by offering 17 city/25 highway miles per gallon versus the Explorer’s 16 city/22 highway MPG. When you need to keep your costs low, better fuel efficiency can help you out at the gas station even when fuel prices start to skyrocket during the summer months or challenging economic times.
Since many people count on their SUVs in challenging weather and terrain, it is important to make sure any option you look at will give you the best possible traction. Quite often, many SUV models will provide you with different options between two, four, and all-wheel drive. Both the Enclave and Explorer come standard with a rear-wheel drive with optional all-wheel drive in upper trims. All-wheel drive allows the vehicle to apply power to each wheel to maximize grip in loose terrain or wet conditions.
When you do not need the most in terms of performance and capability, many SUV models may look similar to each other right off the bat. Even the look and design of many modern SUVs are similar enough to be confusing. That is why it can be helpful to look on the inside of an SUV when trying to make the final choice between two options. The interior of an SUV is where you will spend all your time, meaning the features, safety systems, and overall feel of the inside can be extremely important.
One of the best areas to compare and assess is safety. SUVs at one time have a bad reputation for safety, being known to roll over or catch fire. Modern SUVs, on the other hand, often come with a suite of front and side airbags for passengers, active safety systems like forward collision and blind spot monitoring, and automated features such as automatic braking and stability control. The real difference between many SUV models is whether these features come standard or optional.
When you look at the Enclave safety systems, for example, you will see many of these advanced systems coming as standard on several of the trims. Even the base model trim has several built-in safety features that get an overall better safety rating than the Explorer. Since many large families use a crossover SUV to transport everyone around, it is important to keep everyone inside safe during a worst-case scenario.
Features are the final area to check out when finding a good SUV model to buy. Little touches in the interior like heated seats, dual climate zone control, and turn-by-turn navigation increase the convenience of driving the SUV overall. For family-oriented vehicles, DVD players throughout the interior or separate controls allow individual families to personalize their comfort and experience without compromise.
From a practical point of view, you should also take a look at cargo space. Folding rear seats can increase the overall square footage you have to work with, essentially turning your SUV into a well-protected truck bed. The Enclave excels in this area, offering up to 98 square feet of interior space compared to the Explorer’s 80 square feet. Combined with a larger suite of standard convenience features like independent climate zone control and a stellar infotainment system, the 2018 Buick Enclave is hard to beat.
The 2018 Buick Enclave versus 2018 Ford Explorer comparison is just one example of how different SUV models outperform one another. If you want the best vehicle in the long run, it’s important to set aside time to research, take some test drives, and think about what you need or want from an SUV. When you take these extra steps, you will have a greater sense of confidence in your final choice. Columbus Auto Mall tries to meet or exceed your 
 by Austin Fraccia on July 18, 2018 AutoInfluence

A Co-Signer Can Do More Than Boost Your Credit

If you have bad credit, chances are you’ve looked into getting a co-signer to help boost that score of yours. But, did you know that a co-signer actually does more than just boost your credit score? While the primary reason to get a co-signer is obviously to ensure that you get a loan, even if it’s a bad credit car loan, a co-signer can also help you meet the income level required to get that loan, and provide a source of guaranteed income. This works just like boosting your credit score does. The co-signer’s information will be taken into account and merged with your information. Combined, it will be enough to get a car loan. We at Columbus Auto Mall are committed to helping you get into a reliable, affordable vehicle in Columbus Ohio.

Let’s look at each one of these in greater detail…

The Obvious: Credit Score

The most obvious way a co-singer helps out is by boosting your credit score. How is this done? Since your credit score is too low to get a (bad credit) car loan, a co-signer with a better score will be needed to help you sign those papers. Their credit score be added to your credit score, effectively boosting it enough to get you that car loan you need.

Here’s the thing though – if you get a co-signer to help out, he or she will also be financially responsible for the loan. Meaning if you decide to default on it, that unlucky co-signer will have to pick up the slack and pay off the rest of the loan.

Boosting your Income

There are other requirements when it comes to getting a bad credit car loan. One of the requirements subprime lenders look at is your income situation. Thankfully, a co-singer can help out with this as well.

No, a co-signer isn’t going to give you money or open up a direct line to his or her bank account for you. Instead, when your co-signer signs on with you, he or she will then be able to add his or her income to your own. The lender will then use both incomes in order to qualify you.

Keep in mind though, this only works if you’re married. In other words, the only person who would be able to help with this is your spouse.

Guaranteed Payment

Since you have bad credit, the subprime lender has to assume risk when it comes to helping you out with financing. Therefore, your co-signer needs to be sure that your loan will be repaid one way or another.

More importantly, lenders need to calculate your DTI (debt to income) and PTI (payment to income) ratios on the loan, and approve you for it. If the loan looks like it will take up too much of your income and pose a problem — or you can’t afford it — then the lender won’t approve you.

Therefore, a co-signer provides that guaranteed payment the lender is looking for. If you aren’t financially able handle the loan anymore (or default on it) then the co-signer will end up paying off the rest.

But, you shouldn’t have to worry about that if you are responsible and plan accordingly. A co-signer really is a great way to help boost your credit, along with the other factors that play into securing a car loan.
Let us here Columbus Auto Mall Help you get into your dream vehicle.

 by Roger Rapoza on December 20, 2016 Autoinfluence

Five Buy Here, Pay Here Dealership Shopping Tips

Buy here, pay here dealerships can be intimidating. High-interest rates, due to bad credit, a selection of only used cars, and a whole new way of buying a car might put you off from the experience entirely. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. If you follow these five tips, not only will it make getting a car from a buy here, pay here dealership easier, it will also make it less stressful. We here at Columbus Auto Mall do our very best to make car buying as stress free as possible

Which is what everyone — dealerships and consumers — both want for a car-buying experience. After all, the less stressed you are, the easier it makes their job. The easier their job, the more efficient they can be. It all comes full circle in the end.

Learn the Car’s Origin

I’m not saying all buy here, pay here dealerships are untrustworthy. Nor am I saying all of them are trustworthy. But just like any used car purchase, you’ll want to learn the origin of the car before purchasing it. The shopping process might be done differently, but there is nothing against looking at a CarFax report to learn about any mechanical trouble the car has experienced, or accidents it might have encountered.

Therefore, you’ll want to make sure you check that out. If the dealership refuses to show you a vehicle history or CarFax report, then walk away and look for one that will.

Get it Inspected Independently

Same goes for an independent mechanic inspecting your prospective purchase – if the dealership won’t let you test drive the vehicle so you can see firsthand that the vehicle is in good condition, then don’t buy it. Chances are, the dealership is trying to hide something.

Hey, it’s not just buy here, pay here dealerships that would do this. There are plenty of unscrupulous used car lots out there as well.

Short Term Financing is Key

Although it will be hard to negotiate terms because of your poor credit, still shoot for short term financing. That doesn’t mean a smaller amount with increased frequency of payments — you’ll already be paying bi-weekly, most likely — but I mean short-term financing of a relative low bi-weekly payment over the course of 32 months instead of 64. That way, you keep the interest rate down and save yourself some money.

Pay A Larger Downpayment in Cash

One of the best ways to reduce your payments? Simple! Pay a larger down payment in cash first. Just like “standard” car buying, the more you pay upfront, the more you reduce the overall loan term. Aim for at least 20%, and if the BHPH dealer requests more than that, consider it a good thing. Just make sure to negotiate short term financing if you are paying more than average on a down payment. This way, you’ll know for a fact the down payment actually put a dent in the overall price of the car.

Get What You Need – Not Want

Finally, get what you need — not what you want. If your budget is $14,000 and you find a used car that works for $7,000, then buy that one. Don’t get one that’s more expensive simply because it has heated seats or leather upholstery. Take that chunk of change you saved and put a big down payment on the cheaper car, and put the rest in the bank to help with repairs or get a jump start on paying off your loan.

Eventually, your credit score will go up if you’re good with making the bi-weekly payments in cash (which is how most BHPH dealers take payments). Then, you can refinance the loan, pay that car off quicker, and upgrade to a new one. To help you we at Columbus Auto Mall also offer conventional auto financing. We are committed to helping you achieve mobility as well financial independence. Stop and see on 2900 South High Street, Columbus Ohio.

 by Roger Rapoza on January 25, 2017  Autoinfluence

Buy Here Pay Here 101

It is difficult to feel like you have the means to pay for that car or truck you want. Financing is always a struggle since it depends on your existing and previous financial history. Unless you can pay for the car with a cash buy, you will need to check out the different options like automotive loans and leasing. This can be a challenge if you do not have the best history. Bad credit is a common limit many people struggle with when buying a new car. If your own credit score is low, you may feel like you cannot find the right loan to afford the dream car. Thankfully, this is not the case. In fact, working with a dealership like Columbus Auto Mall can be easy when it comes to automotive financing. With our Buy Here, Pay Here program, you can find the right car, apply for financing, and secure your loan in one location. All it takes is some paperwork, a credit check, and some friendly help along the way.

What You Need to Know About Buy Here Pay Here
Better known as In-House lending, Buy Here, Pay Here (BHPH) means that a dealership has a specific private bank that they work with to provide financing to vehicle loans. If you do not have good credit and need to purchase a car quickly, your best option may be to go to a BHPH dealership. But before you purchase with a BHPH deal, you should take a little time to do some research and find out what you can about Buy Here, Pay Here financing.

What Exactly is Buy Here, Pay Here Financing?
Buy Here, Pay Here financing here in Dayton, Ohio is a system wherein you can arrange your car loan at the car dealership where you bought your car and make payments on it there as well. In simpler terms, BHPH is a simple one-stop vehicle shopping process because the car dealership you buy your car from is also the finance company.
Approval for a car loan is almost always approved when you go for BHPH financing as loan decisions are made by the dealer, who wants to sell you a vehicle. You have very good chances of getting approval if you have an address and are employed with a steady income. However, you should bear in mind that the dealer is not granting you a loan out of the goodness of their heart – the fact is that they are likely to make as much, or more, profit on the financing they provide you with as they do on the car itself. Because you are a high-risk borrower, you will no doubt get a double-digit interest rate.
When you buy a vehicle from a BHPH dealer, you will find it helpful to find one that is close to your home or place of employment. This is because you might need to make weekly or biweekly payments in person to the dealer. While there are dealers who accept payment by mail or phone or online payments, Buy Here, Pay Here financing usually means physically bringing your payment to the dealership.

Differences Between Traditional and BHPH Dealerships
In recent years, the lines that separate a BHPH dealership and a more traditional one have become blurred. Quite a few traditional dealerships – for new and used vehicles – now offer car buyers Buy Here, Pay Here financing as an option. While you might not see “Buy Here, Pay Here” splashed around the dealership, you will likely find phrases like “We Finance,” which is usually code for BHPH. If you have difficulty getting traditional financing, it is a good idea to start with a franchised dealership’s used-car lot that advertises rebuilding credit or easy financing.
The bad news is that Buy Here, Pay Here financing turns the experience of shopping for a vehicle upside down. Instead of the normal process of deciding on a car and then discussing financing, a BHPH dealer will first qualify you before they determine how much they are willing to lend. Finally, they will show you the vehicles available as options, and you will probably have limited choices.
When you opt for BHPH financing, you should make sure to inquire about any late payment policy the dealership may have in place. Do they give you a grace period? If yes how long is the grace period? Also, you should always ensure that the contract clearly lists out how much time you have between missing one of the weekly or biweekly payments and having your car repossessed.

You Get Shorter Loan Terms
One of the benefits of going to a BHPH dealership is that they usually offer shorter loan terms. Why not take advantage when you are offered a short-term loan when purchasing a vehicle? As mentioned earlier, BHPH financing typically has a higher interest rate than long-term loans, and the weekly, biweekly or monthly payments that you make can be a little higher as well. However, you will save a lot of money in interest, and that definitely makes up for it. Additionally, you will own your vehicle a lot faster – in most cases, 3 to 4 years vs. 6 to 10 years – and this will help you in building your credit faster and also building equity in your vehicle faster.

Vehicle Protection Plans or Warranties
Even if you can get a sizeable loan for buying a vehicle, it is important to make sure that you carefully consider how much you actually want to spend on it. You also need to consider the upfront price as well as the fuel, insurance and maintenance costs that you will be paying for many years in the future. Fortunately, there are a number of Buy Here, Pay Here dealerships that offer vehicle protection plans or warranties, which provide the benefit of helping you reduce any unexpected out-of-pocket expenses for repair work with a deductible that is simple and inexpensive.

Benefits of Buy Here, Pay Here Financing
Some of the benefits of opting to buy a vehicle from a Buy Here, Pay Here dealership include: they provide credit-challenged borrowers an option to buy a vehicle when traditional lenders will not. When you make payments on time, it can help in repairing your credit history. However, you need to make sure that the dealership reports payment histories to the credit bureau. Because BHPH dealerships buy older cars, they will be more willing to take in your old vehicle toward the down payment on a new car that you want to purchase.
When you cannot get auto financing from a traditional lender, you have the option of going to a Buy Here, Pay Here dealership to get the car that you want. While the car options you have may be limited than with a traditional dealer, you can still buy a good car and get a great deal for financing your vehicle purchase. However, you should keep in mind that you may have better credit than you think. This is why you should go to traditional lenders, like banks, finance companies, and credit unions, before deciding on other options. When you have been denied by every one of them, it is only then that you should revert to Buy Here, Pay Here financing. 

Get The Car You Need Even With Bad Credit

Buying a car can be stressful, but if you are currently dealing with bad credit, the car buying process can seem more than stressful, it can seem downright impossible. Luckily, there are car dealerships that can help drivers with poor credit secure bad credit car loans. If you are in need of a car and need help securing a loan for your purchase, finding a quality dealership to help you secure a bad credit car loan can be just the ticket to get you driving the vehicle you need today. Here are a few things to look for when buying a car with bad credit.

Know Your Credit Situation
So how bad is your credit anyway? Knowing your actual credit situation is critical to getting the best and most fair deal when you are looking to secure bad credit car loans. You’ll want to use a credit score company or service that checks and calculates all three of the major credit bureaus when they are calculating your credit score. This will give you the best idea of what banks, dealerships, and credit unions will be looking at when they consider giving you an offer on a car loan.

Another thing to remember when you are trying to secure bad credit car loans is that the actual score will affect things like your monthly payment, how much money you need to put down, and the terms and conditions of your loan. As you can see, there is more to it than simply “bad credit.” Within this term there are many variables that can greatly change what actually happens with your car loan. So, when it’s time to secure financing for your new or new-to-you vehicle, make sure you know as much about your credit situation and personal finances as possible. For a quick and easy reference, here are a few things you’ll want to have answered for yourself before heading to a dealership:

  • What is your credit score?
  • What kind of negative marks will appear on your credit report?
  • What are you able to afford for a monthly car payment?
  • What about car insurance?
  • Are you going to trade-in a vehicle?
  • How much, if any, can you offer as a down payment?
Consider a Cosigner
Many people skip over the idea of getting a cosigner for a car loan. Not only can a co-signer with good credit help you to secure a car loan if you have bad credit, a cosigner with excellent credit can also get you lower monthly payments on the loan you choose or that is available to you in your current credit situation. A co-signer plays a double value role in this bad credit car loan process so it may be beneficial to consider this method with someone who would be comfortable cosigning a car loan for you. This can be an excellent way to secure a lower rate, making paying off your vehicle quicker and easier.

Do A Lot of Research
When you start considering a bad credit car loan you will encounter many dealerships and loan companies who will offer all kinds of promises and offers to try and get you to secure a loan with them. Some of these will be legit and some will not. Be sure to shop around, read the fine print, and make an informed decision before you sign any papers for your car loan.

Check Out The Competition
Don’t just jump at the first car loan that you see where you can get approval. You’ll want to shop around and look at different available loan terms, loan conditions, down-payment options and requirements, length of loan, and more. Shop around to several dealers or loan companies that offer bad credit car loans.
Choose a Reputable Dealer
Once you make up your mind on who you want to buy a used car from and to handle your bad credit car loan, you should check that the dealership you are working with is going to give you all the information you need about the loan you are applying for. Make sure you know all of the terms of the loan and double check that these terms are not only workable with your budget and lifestyle, by that the terms are final. One thing you do not want is to get yourself in a position with variable loan terms that can end up putting you in a position down the road where you become unable to pay and suffer additional consequences such as car repossession and a worse credit score than when you started.
Think About Future Credit
When you secure a bad credit car loan you will most likely be getting a loan with a higher interest rate. In the future you will want to get a better rate. How can drivers get better interest rates on their future car purchases, or when they refinance their original purchase? They can get better interest rates with a better credit score. And one of the greatest advantages of getting a bad credit car loan, aside from the fact that it gets you driving a vehicle that you need, it can also help improve your credit score. How? Loans that report regular on-time payments on a car loan to the three major credit bureaus can help raise your credit score, therefore giving you the opportunity to get a better deal the next time you finance.

Consider Buy Here, Pay Here Car Loans
Buy here pay here loans are a special type of financing for car loans that offer drivers with bad credit the opportunity to secure a car loan and drive a vehicle. These buy here pay here loans are loans that are offered directly through the dealership, rather than through a bank or credit union. The biggest drawback of a buy here pay here loan is the interest rate. Interest rates on buy here pay here car loans can go all the way up to 20%. However, this is sometimes the only option available to drivers with bad credit who really need a vehicle. Of course, as drivers go along, they can pay regularly and on-time and as long as the dealership they are working with reports to the three major credit bureaus, they will have the benefit of their credit score improving. Once their credit score is improved, they can refinance their car in a more traditional way to get a better interest rate, or they can trade their vehicle in and simply make a new purchase at a better interest rate. Either way, Buy here pay here loans can be a viable option for drivers who need to secure a bad credit car loan.
Owning a Car with Bad Credit is Possible
For many drivers who are suffering from the consequences of having bad credit, buying a car can seem out of reach. Thankfully, there are now several options for drivers who need to secure a bad credit car loan. Start researching today, and you will find that there are options for you if you suffer from bad credit. Find a bad credit car loan that suits your terms and you will find yourself driving that vehicle you need and improving your credit sooner than you think.

 by Josh Billings on October 19, 2018  Autoinfluence

Consumers Flock to Certified Used Cars

Buyers are flocking to the certified used car market, buying CPO cars left and right. A recent survey from Edmunds shows that out of more than 2,000 adults, 88% of those adults said they would pay more for a certified-pre owned car than one that wasn’t certified. As opposed to buying one of the non-certified used cars found on the side of the road or in other used car lots. The CPO (Certified Pre-Owned) market used to be reserved for mainly luxury vehicles; consumers would buy the expensive luxury cars for a cheaper price than getting them new, but those days are over. Now, there is a plethora of mainstream models swarming dealer lots as they come off lease. They are making up a big portion of the CPO traffic, and the CPO market is at an all-time high.

People have begun to recognize the benefit of spending the extra money on a CPO car.

History Repeats Itself

Back in the 1990s, dealers were receiving an increasing number of returned lease cars. The manufacturer did not bother reselling them, until they realized the profit they were losing. They realized that most of the leased cars coming back were in great mechanical condition, the only “issue” being an expected increase in mileage. After realizing this, they needed to figure out a way to draw attention to these vehicles. They decided to take these cars and put them through a test, and if they passed they would be back on the lot marked as a CPO vehicle with an assurance of quality and warranties. Lexus was the first manufacturer to do this in 1993, and the concept remains the same today.

Passing the Test

Not all the leased cars returned to the dealer are deemed to be CPO worthy, they need to pass a rigorous test first. This test varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, but the core idea behind the test is the same. The test is a way for the manufacturer to check the quality of the returned vehicle, ensuring that it’s in good enough condition for resale.

When these leased vehicles are returned to a dealer, they consider if the car is a worthy candidate for becoming a CPO car. They start with the model year, which generally needs to be within the past five years. If it is, then they check the mileage. If it’s below a certain mileage (generally 70,000 – 80,000) it moves on to the inspection stage. At this stage, a thorough inspection is performed in which a mechanic goes through and checks the cars mechanical quality. If there is something wrong with it, the mechanic will repair it (if able) with the idea of restoring the car back to an almost new condition.

This is an assurance of quality inspection, and it varies between manufacturers. One manufacturer may want it to be below 80,000 miles, whereas another may not want it to exceed 75,000 miles.

The multi-point inspection differs from manufacturer to manufacture as well. One manufacturer may deem 112 points of the car need to be in good condition, while another may deem 182 points need to be in good condition.

What Being Certified Means to You

The term varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. In a nutshell, CPO means that a car has gone through a rigorous multi-point inspection by a factory-trained mechanic and is in almost new condition. It may have some mileage on it, but that is the only “bad” point about the car. A CPO is a car that is backed by testing from the manufacturer to give you assurance of quality and peace of mind to aid in the sale of the vehicle.

Most of the manufacturers also roll in a limited warranty based on years/mileage for a price. If something happens to your car within that timeframe or mileage, they will fix it with no additional expense to you. This warranty also varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, as well as what they cover.

For example, Chevy’s CPO guarantee includes a 12-month/12,000 mile bumper-bumper limited warranty. Coupled with a 5-year/100,000-mile powertrain limited warranty. They have a 172 point inspection and reconditioning system, and a vehicle system report. For 12 months/12,000 miles, you get a warranty on everything that isn’t powertrain related. The powertrain warranty is good for 5-years or 100,000-miles after purchasing the CPO.

A lot of the manufacturers also offer a roadside assistance program for added peace of mind. Chevy’s is good for 5 years/100,000 miles if coupled with the powertrain warranty. If you break down, they will pick you up on the side of the road and get your car to a trusted mechanic.

Easy to See Why

A used car found on the side of the road doesn’t have this type of guarantee or peace of mind. It could break down for a number of reasons, and the price of the car is significantly cheaper only because it is an older model with no guarantee of how long it will last. The CPO is only a little more expensive than non-certified used cars at dealers, and certainly much cheaper than a newer model. For example, Edmunds tells us that a Certified 2013 Honda Accord EX costs only $1,000 dollars more than a non-CPO car sold at the retail price set by the dealer. This $1,000 dollar increase provides peace of mind and will certainly be cheaper than buying a 2015 model, even with warranties rolled in.

On average, the CPO price will only increase about $1,400 dollars more than non-certified vehicles, money well worth spending.

It’s easy to see why CPO sales have hit an all-time high. With the guarantee of the CPO benefits, the potential of low rate financing, and trusted warranties, consumers are flocking to the CPO cars for a cheaper “almost new” used car.

Understanding the Difference

There are various certified degrees out there, and you need to know who certified the vehicle. If it was done by the manufacturer, that means it was inspected and certified by a factory-trained mechanic. This boasts more of a guarantee than a dealer who gets the car inspected and certified by their own in-house mechanic, or a third-party source. Make sure to ask for the certification information, and understand what CPO means for the dealer you are getting your car from. This includes understanding how the car was certified, the price of the warranty package, and if the peace of mind and quality are worth the price of this particular vehicle compared to a non-certified one.

While these CPO cars are a much cheaper and more reliable alternative than buying a new or non-certified used car (respectively), it may not be for you. The warranties are nice, and that combined with the price of the CPO certification will get you a newish used car cheaper than the current model year. Non-certified used cars can be just as reliable, so explore your options, do some research, and talk to the dealers in your area. However, you can’t ignore the fact that there is a big reason that the CPO sales have sky-rocketed and hit an all-time high.

That reason being these CPO cars take the cheaper price of a used car and the expensive peace of mind of a new car, blending them to make an affordable and tantalizing package.

 by Roger Rapoza on December 16, 2015  Autoinfluence

3 Reasons Buying a Used Truck is Better Than Buyin

3 Reasons Buying a Used Truck is Better Than Buying New

It’s a tired, but persistent debate: new vs. used vehicles. Many will argue that new cars are more reliable, come with warranties that are worth their weight in gold, and have updated tech and safety features. Others will say that if you buy used, you don’t have to pay off a loan with interest, and the purchase price won’t be nearly as expensive.

But, what about used trucks? This debate applies to them as well. While there are upsides and downsides to buying a used truck, I can tell you three reasons why buying a used truck is better than buying a new one.

Cheaper Price

Trucks are expensive, many of them have a starting MSRP of around $30,000 if you’re looking for a full-size version. Not with a used truck, though. A used model is significantly cheaper, thanks to depreciation. Granted, since trucks and SUVs are in high demand right now, the prices will be slightly higher than when they aren’t in demand. But, that doesn’t change the fact that a used truck is still going to be significantly cheaper than a new one, especially if you buy one that’s anywhere from 10-20 years old.

Does that seem like it’s too old? Well, it’s not. Yes, a lot of full-size trucks are used for intense jobs. But, as long as you don’t buy one of those types of models you should be fine. Just check for signs of wear and tear, and ask if the truck was used for any hard work, as in towing or plowing. If that’s the case, don’t buy the truck. Since it will most-likely have an excessive amount of engine, transmission, and frame wear if it was used for the two examples of work listed above.

If you can, find a clean one-owner vehicle. These pickups are great buys, and excellent routes to save some money.

A More Durable Design

Reliability and durability are two different things, and with some of the trucks today, durability has gone downhill.

I’ll give you an example: a new F-150 is made mostly with aluminum. The frame isn’t, but a lot of the body is. The hood is mostly aluminum, and the truck bed is clearly made from aluminum. This not only compromises the truck’s integrity, but it also compromises its safety. A truck like this that gets into a collision will crumple like a tuna can with the right amount of impact.

But a used, older F-150? Those were made of steel. Granted, not all trucks have this issue. New Silverados and Rams are still made mostly from steel. But, some argue that the older designed models are still more durable.

CPO Programs

If you are worried about the reliability of an older used truck, you don’t have to buy one from the 1990s. There are plenty of CPO programs out there that will get you a used truck that’s no more than five years old, along with a guarantee that it will be reliable and high-quality. With no issues.

A cheaper price (most likely), more durable design, and a guarantee of reliability if you want it. Tell me why buying a used truck isn’t a good idea?

by Roger Rapoza on March 14, 2017 - AutoInfluence

3 Things to Know About a Used Car Before Buying

Shopping for used cars can be a tricky and overwhelming process. First, you need to figure out what you can afford. Then, you need to decide what type of model you’re going to buy. Car, truck, SUV, wagon, crossover? After that, you need to decide where you’re going to buy it from. This could be privately from someone on Craigslist, at a dealership, at an online car shopping website, or on a virtual web-based dealership that can get cars shipped to their physical dealership. Regardless of where you decide to buy, you should always thoroughly inspect the car (or get it independently inspected) for any potential issues, as well as test drive it for a solid 10 or 15 minutes to allow the engine to warm up. That way, you can identify any problems the car might have that you’d miss during a cold start.

But, those aren’t part of the three things to know about a used car before buying. However, they are connected. How? Just like those are two things you should do regardless of where you buy, these are three things to know about a used car before you buy it. The cool part? Whether you buy it online or at the dealership, there’s nothing stopping you from learning these three vital pieces of information.

Combine this info with a solid inspection and good test drive, and you’ll be surprised how much better your used car buying experience will become.

The TRUE Value of the Vehicle

It’s important to always know the true value of the vehicle. There’s multiple ways to do this, two of the most reputable ways are through Kelly Blue Book or Edmunds TMV (True Market Value) pricing.

To access either of these two online sources, you’ll need the vehicle’s make, model, year, mileage, and some other information related to the condition of the vehicle. Simply follow the yellow brick road of filling out information, and voila! You have the true value of the vehicle. It’s a little more drawn out than that, but that’s the general idea

This is important no matter where you’re shopping, because then you have a rock-solid price to haggle with. More importantly, it will tell you if the seller is trying to screw you on the deal or not.

Are There Any Warranties in Place? Or Are You Buying “As Is?”

While this relates more towards a dealership or online inventory, it’s still possible — albeit slightly rarer — to find warranties on a used car that’s sold privately.

If a vehicle is sold with the label “As Is,” you’re responsible for any repairs or damages that might happen to the vehicle. Even if the transmission giving out isn’t your fault, and the dealer knew about it, you bought it in “As Is” condition. Contractually, the dealership isn’t obligated to pay for a cent of repairs.

Same goes for a private seller. Find out if there is a transferable warranty on the used car you’re interested in, or if you’re buying it in “As Is” condition. Since most cars sold on Craigslist are much older, you won’t typically find warranties on them. However, if you are trying to buy a newer used car, make sure to look into this.

Know the History of the Car

Just like the true value of the vehicle, knowing the history of the model is of utmost importance. Why? Because, it will tell you about potential issues that the vehicle has had in the past (so you can see and ask if they’ve been properly repaired), any accidents the model has been in, how many owners the vehicle has had, and other vital information.

How does all this come into play? Let’s look at a mock (but very realistic) example. Say you find a car for a great deal, test drove it, had it professionally inspected, and checked out the history of the vehicle. It’s never been in an accident, you’ve seen the routine maintenance receipts, and know it’s only been owned by one person. That’s what I like to call the jackpot. Chances are, even if it has slightly higher mileage, it’s going to last for a long while.

On the other end, if a car has a price that’s too good to be true and you discover that it’s been in an accident and not had the proper repairs done, then it’s probably a good thing you took the time to check out the history of the vehicle before buying it. Right?

Learn about the true value of the car, learn the history, make sure to know what conditions you’re buying it under, test drive it, and get it professionally inspected. Chances are, you’ll find used car buying much less stressful if you apply everything this article has mentioned.

 by Roger Rapoza on May 8, 2017 Autoinfluence

Buying a Used Car Make Sure to Check its History

It’s easy to see the advantages used cars have over new vehicles. The advantage probably highest on most used car buyers’ lists is the price. Buying a used car can be significantly cheaper than buying a car that’s fresh off of the production line, but when you buy a used car, there is sometimes uncertainty about the car’s history. Understanding a used car’s history before committing to the sale is extremely important. If you don’t get a complete picture of what the car’s been through, you might end up over-paying for a car that isn’t in great shape, or even end up saddled with a car that’s going to cost you more in repairs than you spent in the first place!

Fortunately, there’s an easy way to check out your used car’s history before closing the deal, it’s called CARFAX. Many readers are probably already familiar with CARFAX, you may have even been presented with CARFAX paperwork at your dealership when making a final decision to purchase a used vehicle in the past. If you aren’t familiar with CARFAX, however, it’s important to understand what a CARFAX vehicle history report checks for before signing on the dotted line. And if you aren’t presented with CARFAX report at your dealership, make sure you do your due diligence and ask for one!

Details included in a CARFAX report give you a better understanding of things which you wouldn’t know just by taking the used car for a test drive. Often, a CARFAX report will turn up things even a qualified mechanic wouldn’t have spotted when they inspect the car. So, if you think having your trusted mechanic inspect the used car before you buy it is enough, think again. A CARFAX report lets you step back in time and get to know the used car a little better before committing.

These are some of the major things that a CARFAX report checks for in its vehicle history reports:

Major Accidents

Before you decided to buy a used vehicle, you want to know whether it’s ever been in a major accident. If your CARFAX report turns up with a mention of “major damages,” you’ll want to dig a little deeper. Many reports will give details like “car was driven from the scene.” In cases like this, you can assume the accident left the car with little more than some bumps and bruises. If it was towed from the scene of the accident however, you should check it out before buying. The dealer or your mechanic will be able to tell you whether the paint job on your used car is original or not and check under panels that have new paint. You should also find out if the repair work was done by a “factory” body shop that’s associated with the car’s manufacturer, or whether a low-cost repair shop did the work. This can definitely have an impact on the car’s value and may make you less likely to purchase the used vehicle.
Multiple Owners

A used car that’s had multiple owners isn’t necessarily a bad thing, especially if the car’s a little older, but might be a red flag. If the ownership turn-over seems to be higher than average, find out more details. More owners also means that the used car has more opportunities to have an owner that didn’t have routine maintenance performed. Different owners are likely to have had different driving styles as well, which can cause undue wear and tear on a car and impact its dependability. Used cars with only a single previous owner are considered the best, so keep that in mind when shopping for a used car.
Service History

A used vehicle’s service history will give you a good understanding of its current value. Just because the outside of the car doesn’t have a lot of scraps or dents doesn’t mean that the inner workings are performing well. Things you should be aware of include the used car’s last tire rotation, when the brakes were last services, and if the battery has required any work or replacement? Service records will show you exactly when maintenance was performed, and you’ll be able to check it against the car’s user manual to see if it was taken good care of. You can also see exactly who serviced the vehicle, which can be useful information as well.
Flood Damage

Flood damage is one of the most serious concerns a used car shopper should be aware of. You may assume that a car that has been in a severe flood was sent to the junkyard, but many of these flooded cars are rebuilt and put back onto the market. Often, these cars are sent far away from where the actual flood took place with the hope that prospective buyers won’t know the warning signs to look for. Shady right? If your CARFAX report shows that the used car has been in a flood, you should probably jump ship (no pun intended). Water can ruin electronics, lubricants, and the mechanical systems of cars. Even if it takes months or even years for the problem to manifest itself, flood damage can drastically reduce the life of your used vehicle and make it unsafe to drive, especially if it’s affected airbag controls, something you wouldn’t necessarily think to have a mechanic check.
Branded a Lemon

In the USA, a lemon is a car that is technically new, but has so many flaws and manufacturing defects that it can’t be sold on a regular market. If your CARFAX vehicle history report shows that the used car you’re interested in is a lemon, run! These cars may seem too good to be true because they are almost new and have few miles on them. The truth is that they are too good to be true. Manufacturing defects affect the used car’s safety, value, and usefulness. Do you really want to drive around in a car that had so many severe issues that it couldn’t be sold as a new car?
Mileage Rollback

This is a dangerous thing to see on your CARFAX report and can save you from spending a bunch of money on a car with poor value. Mileage rollback often referred to as “rolling back” or “spinning” an odometer, is when someone tampers with the odometer to make it look like the car has many thousand fewer miles on it. This is particularly common with leased vehicles with mileage limits when their drivers don’t want to pay the penalty for driving more than the allowed amount. Some sellers will also tamper with a car’s odometer to improve the selling value of the used car. If the car actually has 100,000 miles on it already but is showing a mere 30,000, buyers will be more likely to buy at a higher price. Don’t let yourself get scammed and make sure to check the CARFAX for mileage rollbacks before buying.

Here are some other facts that CARFAX vehicle history reports check for in used cars:

  • Structural Damage
  • Open Recalls
  • Registration History
  • State Owned
  • Total Loss
  • Rebuilt
  • Warranty Information
  • Airbag Deployment
  • Mileage Rollover
  • Not Actual Mileage
  • Salvage Titles
  • Hail Damage
  • Junked
  • Estimated Miles Driven Per Year
  • Last Reported Mileage
  • Length of Ownership
  • Commercial or Personal Use

It’s important to understand a used car’s history before you commit to buying. If you don’t, you could find yourself overpaying for a car that is worth less than it appears or even a car that will put you and your family in danger on the road. Some things that show up on a CARFAX report may be alright with you, minor accidents, etc. Other things might be red flags, however, and keep you from buying. If the seller tries to dissuade you from getting a CARFAX report, take the hint and don’t buy from them! Getting a CARFAX vehicle history report early will likely save you lots of headache down the road.

by Veronica Turk on February 8, 2019 Autoinfluence