10 Tips for Buying A Used Car

10 Tips for Buying A Used Car

The old adage that a car loses half its value when you drive it off the lot is a bit of an exaggeration, but it’s not completely off the mark. Buying a used car can be a smart financial move for many drivers. In addition to avoiding the depreciation a new car experiences, you’ll pay significantly less for the vehicle, save money on taxes, and probably even pay less for insurance.


However, the process of buying a used car can be daunting. How do you know if you’re getting a good deal? How can you be sure that you’re not buying a lemon? Arming yourself with some basic knowledge before you start the process can help it all be a lot less intimidating. Here are 10 tips to keep in mind while you’re shopping for your next used car.


1. Browse Online Before You Go to A Dealer in Person

Thanks to the internet, it’s easier than ever to go to a dealership armed with knowledge. Take the time to browse the selections of your local used car dealerships to get an idea of what you can expect to spend for the vehicle you want. Being informed from the beginning will help you feel confident that you’re getting a great deal.


2. Know Your Budget

Figure out the maximum amount you can afford to spend over the lifetime of your car payments and be sure to stay well inside that amount. If you’re planning on using financing, research your options and get pre-approved for a car loan if possible. This will augment your buying power when you start the actual process of purchasing a vehicle.


3. Set Some Cash Aside for Potential Maintenance

When budgeting for your used car, remember that maintenance issues may come up sooner than if you were buying a new car. Since there will already be some mileage on your vehicle, routine maintenance costs may pop up sooner than if you were buying a brand-new one. Research the exact make and model you’re interested in purchasing to learn what the average ownership costs and reliability ratings are for that vehicle.


4. Know Your Priorities

in terms of features, figure out in advance which are most important to you, and use this wish list to narrow down your options. Many used car buyers want to know what the best car is to buy used, and the answer is: it depends! Will you be commuting long distances? Maybe efficient gas mileage is most important to you. Do you go on long road trips with your family? A roomy interior with plenty of storage space and upgraded entertainment features might be ideal. Don’t worry too much about finding the best options at the cheapest price, focus instead on the right fit for your needs and lifestyle.


5. Look Past the Deal Breakers

There are some rules to buying a used car that can be safely broken and doing so might lead you to finding a diamond in the rough. For example, many people won’t consider a used car over 100,000 miles, but a well-maintained car with heavy mileage likely still has many thousands of miles of life left in it. Many used car buyers assume that luxury car models will provide the best value, but don’t overlook baseline models with upgrades. Do your research and break the rules to find great deals other buyers might overlook.


6. Buying from a Used Car Dealership vs From A Private Seller

Private sellers can be a gamble. You could either be getting a great deal, or you could walk away with a lemon. A used car dealership has its reputation to uphold, a larger selection of cars, can provide the car’s history and assistance securing financing, and usually can offer various extended warranty options. A private seller is rarely able to provide even one of these things to you.


7. Take Careful Notes

Since inventory can change quickly at used car dealerships, and prices can also fluctuate, save screenshots of any vehicle listings that catch your eye for future reference. You might want to start a spreadsheet for comparing prices and calculating potential expenses.


8. Understand What the Out-The-Door Price of The Car Is

The Out-The-Door Price Is what you’ll be paying in total, including taxes and fees. Common fees include documentation fees and registration fees. While these vary from dealership to dealership, having these additional costs added onto the total price of your vehicle is normal and to be expected. That said, talk to your salesperson about any fees being added on to the out-the-door total, and make sure you understand exactly what you’re paying.


9. Test Drive the Exact Car That You’re Planning to Buy

Since every used car Is unique, make sure that you have the chance to try out the actual car you’re thinking about taking home. Even if you’ve seen and driven the same model vehicle elsewhere, you need to be sure you test drive the exact car you plan to buy. Be certain all the features are operational, and that it handles and drives to your complete satisfaction.


10. Get A Car History Report

Knowledge is power! Make sure you know as much as possible about the history of the car you are considering. Most used car dealerships will include a car history report, like CarFax, as a matter of course. These reports will let you know important events in your car’s history, such as mileage accuracy, accidents, number of owners, and service records.


With these ten tips in mind, you should be able to buy your next used car like a pro. At First Class Auto Land, our friendly team has years of experience helping people just like you find your ideal pre-owned vehicle at an affordable price. Take a look at our online inventory; every vehicle we sell has undergone a complete inspection and comes with a free warranty and Carfax Report. Want to learn more about our financing options: call to set up an appointment, or simply stop by and talk to one of our professional team members.












Buy an Extended Warranty with your Used Car

Why it's a Good Idea to Buy an Extended Warranty with your Used Car Purchase


Have you decided to replace your current car with a new pre-owned model?

That’s a smart decision: pre-owned vehicles are much more cost-effective than brand new ones for drivers on all budgets. Even if you tend to buy one of the latest vehicles, their escalating costs means each upgrade makes an even bigger impact on your finances.

You have plenty of choices when buying a used car, with more recent models and more options available. Visiting a reputable dealership guarantees you a high-quality, road-worthy vehicle; but what about long-term care for the vehicle? Below, we take a look at extended warranties and explore why it’s a good idea to invest in one.

What Is an Extended Warranty?


The best used car dealerships offer a variety of warranty options on each vehicle they sell. This is vital for your own peace of mind, as it gives you the reassurance you need when starting to take your car out on the road. These warranties provide coverages for the various mechanical components for a specified number of miles or time periods, from 30 days and upwards. And extended warranties offer even more protection for your used car over a longer span of time. They are intended to keep repair costs and other services covered once your original warranty has expired.


An extended warranty should allow you to have repairs done on your used car with little or no amount for you to pay yourself. This can help to minimize the stress of paying for repairs. As anyone whose car has required unexpected repair work knows, finding the money to cover these emergency costs is rarely easy. Most of us track our finances carefully, accounting for our expenditures from month to month. Being hit with hundreds or even thousands of dollars’ worth of car repairs isn’t just frustrating, it can leave you seriously struggling to keep up.

Buying an extended warranty is a simple way to minimize your risk of expensive repair costs. Paying for an extended warranty might be a smarter choice even if you tend to be on a tight budget with lots of other expenses devouring your money. Certain options might also provide additional benefits, such as coverage or discounts on towing and road services. As a result, your initial investment can end up saving you substantial money over time. 

Choosing Your Extended Warranty

Bear in mind that extended warranty coverage differs from one plan to the next. The dealer will likely offer you a variety of coverage options to consider, and it’s well worth taking time to evaluate them carefully. Don’t just rush into grabbing the first extended warranty you find: you might miss critical details that affect your coverage. The price you pay for your policy will depend on the components covered, if labor is included, the vehicle’s model, age, current mileage, and the estimated annual mileage to be driven.

An extended warranty which includes parts coverage, such as steering, electrics, transmission etc, is always helpful, but be sure you check which elements aren’t covered before you hand over your cash. For example, items subject to common wear and tear from regular use, brake pads, tires, are generally not included. Your provider will address any concerns you have and talk you through the details if you’re struggling to make a firm decision.

Buying an extended warranty without understanding exactly what is and isn’t covered by your policy is a mistake. Why? Because you could be setting yourself up for a few surprises during the warranty period. For example, if your policy doesn’t cover the cost of labor and you end up needing extensive repair work, you could still face some hefty payments. Take note of what you are and aren’t protected for, and you’ll reduce your danger of running into nasty surprises.

You also have to pay attention to where your warranty is actually honored too. Will you be required to just visit specific repair shops for repairs? Can you go to a number of different places instead? Don’t just assume you’ll be able to go anywhere at any time with your extended warranty policy. Do you have to wait for approval before the shop can start the work, and how you will be reimbursed for the repairs. Will the warranty company pay the repair shop directly, or will you have to pay the shop and then get reimbursed?

Speak to your provider about your options and make sure you know exactly which establishments will be available to you and how payment is handled. This is especially vital if you tend to travel long distances in your new car and want the reassurance of getting the service you might need while on the road.

Working an Extended Warranty into Your Budget

We talked about monitoring your finances and avoiding those issues that can have you paying for unexpected repairs or maintenance. Let’s also look at it from a different angle: insurance. Restrictive budgets are a key concern for many drivers across the country. Our roads are incredibly busy, not everyone is as skilled at the wheel as they should be and, sadly, accidents are common. In fact, around 6 million of them take place in the U.S. each year, with 72 percent causing property damage.

Obviously, you will need to have collision, and probably liability insurance on your new vehicle, as required not only by the state, but also by all auto loan providers. So, you want to make sure you take that cost into consideration when calculating how much you will have available for an extended warranty,

since your budget will be a factor in whether or not the full cost of all repair work will be covered. This is why it’s so vital to make certain you know exactly what your warranty covers and doesn’t cover. It’s always best to go for the most comprehensive extended warranty you can afford, even if it’s at the higher end of your budget. Just focus on how much you stand to save on repairs and related expenses by taking advantage of an all-inclusive policy. Of course, full coverage is ideal, but if you’re on a tight budget with little money to spare, you should go for the most cost-effective extended warranty possible. Select a policy that is within your budget but still covers the major issues you might be most concerned about? While it might be tempting to jump at the cheapest option you’re offered, bear in mind that this could leave you uncovered for everything you might need. 

When buying a used car and a warranty to match, think carefully about your finances, both how they are right now and how they may be in the coming months. Do you have big commitments coming up? Is it possible that your finances could be put under further strain? Make sure you factor your extended warranty into your financial planning, along with your used car payments, your gas and your insurance. The last thing you want is to make things more difficult for yourself.

Matching Your Extended Warranty to Your Lifestyle

You know your own lifestyle and responsibilities better than anyone else, so try to avoid letting your extended warranty provider tell you exactly which policy is the must-buy. Yes, you want their expertise. Yes, their input is crucial for you to make the right decision. But if you know there are certain things in your policy that you don’t actually need, or if you spot things missing that you would prefer to include, be honest.

Perhaps your finances are in terrific shape and you actually want to go for the cheapest extended warranty you can. There’s nothing wrong with this, provided you know you could end up paying for expensive repairs. In this case, you would need to inform your provider that you’re not interested in upgrading to a policy with more coverage. If they’re reliable and reputable, they’ll know to accept your decision and honor your request.

Consider Common Problems with Makes and Models

When buying a used car, pay attention to the make and model’s history. What do other drivers and professionals have to say about its performance and its dependability? Do you think certain parts are more liable to deteriorate or need changing within a relatively short period of time?

If your used car has weaker areas that are likely to demand professional attention in the future, it’s essential that your extended warranty covers it. If you secure your policy through your used car dealership, talk to them about the possible flaws you believe might be inherent in the model (if any) and find the most suitable warranty. This may take a little time, but that’s not too much to ask if it’s going to save you thousands on replacement parts, is it? Your dealership will be only too happy to address your concerns and show you what options they have available. Your extended warranty is in place to protect you against undue expenses and give you peace of mind. There’s no point choosing the wrong one and still having to pay out anyway in case something goes wrong.

The internet makes it easier than ever to research any make and model of car. Take a look at other people’s reviews and feedback. Delve into those areas that might pose a potential problem. You’ll be glad you did when the time comes to purchase your extended warranty.

Finding the Right Used Car Dealership

A reliable used car dealership with a solid reputation should be your first and only choice when purchasing a pre-owned vehicle. While some people feel tempted to buy from a private seller, this is not always the safest option. After all, used car dealers have reputations to maintain, regulations to consider and more. If they deliver sub-par service, their reputation can be affected.

As a result, professional used car dealers have every reason to sell you the best vehicle for your money and deliver exceptional service. They want to retain your business, ensure you spread positive word of mouth (still one of the most effective forms of marketing) and secure your ongoing trust.

Private sellers, on the other hand, have none of this. They’re only interested in your money: as soon as you hand it over, they’ll essentially wash their hands of you. You have no protections in place when buying privately, and no way to track them down if you experience problems with your car. Not all of them are so unscrupulous, but they might not give you legitimate contact details if you need to reach them in the future. A used car dealership, though, will always be available.

Of course, one of the biggest differences between professional and private sellers is the lack of warranty: the latter will give you absolutely nothing. If something goes wrong with the car, you’re on your own: you can’t ask the seller for a refund or to contribute towards the cost of a replacement part, but it’s all on you. The best used car dealerships offer warranties for your personal reassurance and satisfaction. This is just part of their service.

Make sure you go with a local business that has years of experience and a good reputation. First Class Auto Land is a family owned dealership with over 25 years serving the Philadelphia community. We are committed to giving our customers top-notch service at every step of the car-buying journey. We provide a free warranty with every car we sell, along with a free Carfax report on the vehicle. These are major benefits, so you know exactly what you’re getting for your money. We’ll talk you through your free warranty and answer any questions you might have.

If you want to know more about the cars we have available, check our virtual showroom, and for information about our warranties, just give a call or just stop in to our showroom.





Why Buy a Used Car from a Dealer vs. Privately

Advantages of Buying a Used Car from a Dealer vs. Buying Privately 

Time to replace your car? Like millions of other Americans, you might be interested in purchasing a used vehicle instead of a brand new one. This is a simple way to save money and avoid potential issues associated with brand new modelssuch as undiscovered faults and recalls. 

The latest cars from leading manufacturers may be advertised as must-have models packed with trendy features, but their hefty price tags are more than most of us can afford: research shows the average cost of a new car has now exceeded $31,000.  

When you settle on buying a pre-owned vehicle, though, another choice remains: should you buy from a professional dealer or a private seller? Does it make much of a difference which you go for? It does, for there are numerous advantages to purchasing from a dealer. So, let’s take a look at the most important ones.   

Dealers Will Provide a Detailed Vehicle History  

Buying a used car is still a major investment, even though you’re making a huge saving compared to paying for a new model. You have to think carefully about the entire package presented by a seller and determine if the car is a smart purchase. Obvious questions to ask yourself include:  

Does this car meet all of my needs?  
Can I get to work and back, pick the kids up and carry groceries safely in it?  
Will its fuel consumption be cost-effective for my budget?

However, another vital aspect to consider is its history. While a new car comes fresh from a manufacturer, pre-owned vehicles have been driven by one or more previous buyers or leasers for a number of years. If the car has been involved in accidents or undergone multiple repairs, you need to know about that 

While many private auto sellers are up front with their vehicle’s history, unfortunately, not all are as honest as they should be. Some private sellers may only care about unloading their car and getting your money. They’re not regulated or subject to legal obligations like a professional dealer is and can simply gloss over the car’s past if they don’t want to disclose any important details. If you’re not careful, you could buy a used car that has experienced serious mechanical problems or even been written off as totalled by an insurance company. If you find out after the sale and try tracking the seller down for a refund, you may find they are untraceable.  


With a registered professional used car dealership, you avoid all of this. They have an obligation to inform you of relevant details of a vehicle’s past, through a CarFax report or similar service 

While a private seller may seem to be happy to provide an honest breakdown of the car’s history, you have no reason to believe they’re telling the truth. Dealers, on the other hand, have regulations to follow and their reputations to consider: one poor customer experience can have a significant negative impact on them. This is especially true today, when dissatisfied buyers have review sites and social media through which to share their stories. The best dealerships will give you all the vehicle history information you request and ensure any accidents or repairs are fully disclosed.  

Fund Your Purchase with In-house Financing Options 

Financing a used car can be a challenge, especially when buying from a private seller. Why? Because the vehicle’s owner will expect all of the money in a single payment. This can take months upon months of saving up, which is often no easy feat with bills, mortgage or rent payments, children, pets and more devouring your hard-earned cash. Waiting so long may not be an option if yohave an immediate need for a dependable vehicle for work or lifestyle commitments.  

When you visit a trustworthy used car dealership, though, you will probably be offered in-house financing assistance with fast approval. This is ideal if you have a low credit rating and need to secure an auto loan to fund your purchase, as banks are typically reluctant to lend to anyone with poor credit. In-house financing means your dealer will assess your situation, discuss your options and help you get a loan that works for your budget. This eliminates the stress of trying to scrape the money together for a car advertised by a private seller. It makes finding the right car at the right price much easier and offers the freedom to pay in instalments. As a result, your entire purchase process will be far more pleasant. Ethical dealers tend to offer reasonable down payments too, making their services even more accessible to buyers on tight budgets.  

Will Your Used Car Be Under Warranty? 

When you buy a used car from a private seller, you normally have no warranty. And no recourse if there turns out to be a problem with the car. This can be a problem because cars sold by private sellers are usually sold As-Isand once you drive away, you’ll be on your own if anything goes wrong. Unscrupulous sellers may not even provide you with correct contact information, rendering them unreachable in the future. In either case, you would be looking at extra costs for any repairs or replacements on top of the purchase price.  

Reputable used car dealers, on the other hand, normally include some type of warranty on their vehicles, giving you an extra level of protection and added peace of mind when you drive your vehicle away from the dealership. Providing their customers with warranties only helps to strengthen a dealer’s customer service and reputation. Post-purchase care means a lot to them but may mean nothing to private sellers.  

Your Car Will Be Inspected by An Expert 

The best used car dealerships will have their vehicles inspected before putting them on sale. This is vital to identify any potential issues that must be addressed and to provide customers with all the essential details on their purchase. Any repairs or replacements necessary will be taken care of, essentially making aspects of the car as good as new in some cases. As a result, you can rest assured that you’re investing in a stable car that functions as it should.  

Private sellers may conduct inspections and offer paperwork to prove it, but again, they’re under no obligation to do so. Even if a seller is not honest with you, it is usually very difficult to prove. Are you willing to take a chance and risk all that money? Certain private sellers might be unwilling to agree to have the vehicle inspected before you hand over your cash. They may even take offense and assume you’re questioning their integrity. And if you take the car for an inspection after the purchase has been completed, you could find it’s not actually fit for the road in its current condition, leaving you with a potentially unsafe vehicle that’s only going to cost you more money to repair.


Bigger Choice of Cars 

Trying to find the right car for you can take weeks or months when browsing the private market. After all, the majority of private sellers are only selling one vehicle, not a whole selection to choose fromVisiting a used car dealership gives you access to far more choices, ranging from cars and trucks to SUVs and minivans 

If you have a fairly flexible budget and no clear idea of exactly what you’re looking for, exploring the variety of vehicles at your local dealership can be very helpful and certainly a big time-saver. You can scan through their on-line inventories or wander their lots and check out dozens of different options that will appeal to diverse tastes and demands.


You can spend hours weighing your choices and considering all the possibilities. Professional dealers will have more patience and training than private sellers too. They won’t rush you into deciding or handing over the cash; they’ll respect your right to take your time over such an important purchase 

The Power of The Buyers Guide  

Ialmost every stateincluding the local tri-state area, used car dealers are obligated to provide customers with a copy of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Used Car Buyers Guide. This disclosure document gives you a wealth of helpful details, such as: 

Information on the warranty 
The vehicle’s major electrical and mechanical systems 
Examples of potential problems to watch out for 
Advice on researching the vehicle’s history  

The Buyers Guide has to be placed in clear sight on a car available for sale, such as under the windshield wiper or taped to one of the windows. The Buyers Guide can be a major aid when purchasing a used car and is obviously unavailable from private sellers. If you have little knowledge or experience of buying vehicles, you could be unsure what questions to ask or what to look out for. A private seller solely interested in making easy money may choose to take advantage of this.  

Professional Dealers Save You Time 

When preparing to buy a used car from a private seller, you usually have to do your own research. After all, you’ll want to learn more about the model’s performance, features, potential flaws and more, gleaning information from other drivers’ reviews or manufacturer websites. As you might expect, this can eat up a lot of your free time — and if you don’t end up buying the car, you could consider this time wasted.  

Professional dealers, on the other hand, have all the details ready for you. You can learn how suitable the car is, how it handles, what features it offers and other key factors within a few minutes of conversation. As a result, actually finding the ideal vehicle is far less time-consuming.  

You’re Not Responsible for The Paperwork 

You have to handle the paperwork when buying a used car from a private seller. Not only can this be confusingespecially if you’ve never had to do this before, but it takes time too. If you make a mistake or fail to file the proper documents, you could encounter issues down the road. Reputable dealerships will complete all or most of the paperwork for you during the transaction. They have experience filling the necessary forms in and getting you to sign on the right dotted lines. Your dealer will be happy to talk you through the paperwork and make sure you understand it all. Private sellers may not be so considerate.  

You Can Explore a Dealership’s Reputation Online 

Used car dealerships will have an online presence, which can take various forms. It may be a selection of testimonials from satisfied customers on their website, offering you an insight into how the dealership helped them get the right vehicle for their needs. It may be impartial and honest feedback on a review site, covering people’s own buying experiences with the business. Checking a dealership’s reputation is a terrific way to decide whether this team will be the right choice for you. Other people’s views cab be a valuable resource and are well worth looking into before you visit.  

Private sellers are extremely unlikely to have their own website or dedicated social media page. Tracing their history of vehicle sales and activities is much harder, and you have no real way to know how trustworthy they are. In most cases, you’ll be able to contact a used car dealer to discuss their selection of vehicles, financing, warranties and more by live chat, email or phone. The best dealerships invest in quality websites with a catalogue of cars to peruse, letting you see what they have in the comfort of your own home.  

As you can see, there are some undeniable advantages to buying your used car from a reputable professional dealership instead of a private seller. However, the decision is ultimately down to you, so take the time to think it through carefully.  

At First Class Auto Land, our friendly team has years of experience helping people just like you find your ideal pre-owned vehicle at an affordable price. Take a look at our online inventory; every vehicle we sell has undergone a complete inspection and comes with a free warranty and Carfax Report. Want to learn more about our financing options