Indy Auto Man
Indy Auto Man
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What are the Main Steps to Buy a Used Car in Indianapolis?

2016 Tesla Model X 90D

5 Steps to Buy a Used Car from a Dealership in Indianapolis

In the recent past, buyers were almost blind when choosing a used vehicle. Today, you can buy a used car that has been thoroughly checked, with transparent history, a guarantee, and a diagnostic card. Buying a used car from a dealer means optimizing the costs and minimizing the risks associated with legal matters. So what steps do you need to take to buy a used car with no trouble?

  1. Define your needs and choose the model;
  2. Find used car dealerships near you and verify options;
  3. Ask for a bill of sale ahead of purchase and check CARFAX;
  4. Try to get pre-approved online for a loan ;
  5. Make friends with your salesperson and take the car you like for a test drive.

Read more about each step of buying a used car below.

What Used Car to Buy?

used car service Indianapolis

To choose the right car, you should define the main tasks it will have to perform each day. Ask yourself whether you need a used sedan for everyday drives to work or a minivan for weekend trips outside Indianapolis. How many family members do you have or how many friends do you plan to take to the picnic? There is no need to buy an SUV right away if you do not plan on frequent off-road trips. Do not consider vans as a family-truck-business car – their maintenance will be more expensive in comparison with an ordinary passenger car, and conditional versatility can be useful once or twice a year.

Also, if you are not the service station owner, try to bypass certain exotic brands or limited edition models. It is worth choosing from popular car brands – they will have spare parts and the ability to get the repair at any service station, and not only at specialized ones.

Market Research

As far as you have chosen several attractive models, have a look at the offers on the market. Study the ads, look at the photos, read the descriptions. Get an understanding of ​​the price, taking into account age, type of engine, gearbox, equipment, mileage, condition, and other factors. Consider the prices of the same model you plan to buy, but several years older, to see how much its price may fall soon. Or read about cars that hold their value. Define your budget, and proceed to the next step.

Choosing the Used Car Dealer

Here is the checklist for choosing a used car dealer in Indianapolis:

  • Ask around . Ask your friends, acquaintances, and colleagues where they got their car and what their experience is – maybe they can advise you on a particular dealer.
  • Read the Dealer Reviews . Reviews from customers like you will help you get a good idea of ​​the overall quality of the dealer’s performance.
  • Check the customer support. The amount of attention the dealership gives you can tell a lot about how the dealership generally works. If you feel uncomfortable, you are probably better off buying your car elsewhere.
  • Consider the services. Not all dealers offer the same range of services. Ask the seller if the dealership offers services that you may need, such as trade-in, car financing, car delivery, etc.

What Is the Main Step in Buying a Used Car?

As a rule, the first thing that a used car buyer worries about is the vehicle’s condition. So your main step here is to reveal whether the car has been in an accident and check that everything works properly.

How to Check a Car for Accident Damage – Car History Check

what to check before buying a used car

When buying a used car at our dealership, you can order a CARFAX check for free. But you can also take steps to check some details on your own:

  • Glasses must have the same marking with the same production date code.
  • The headlights are mostly made not of glass but of polycarbonate, which fades over time. They should be equally aged, and their attachments should be free from sticking marks.
  • Inspect the front of the car – the bumper and the hood. This part is always susceptible to small stones attack on the road. The presence of minor chips of paint and varnish indicates that there was no recent painting. The doors, hood, and trunk gaps must be the same and parallel.
  • Check the doors (except for the driver’s one) – they should open and close in the same way, and the locks should keep them level with the body.
  • Look under the rugs and in the boot hatches – apart from ordinary dust, there should be nothing there, namely, traces of welding or putty.

What Else to Check Before Buying a Used Car?

  • Start the engine and look at the dashboard. The control lamps of all systems declared by the seller should light up. After 2-4 seconds, only the oil pressure control, battery charging, and parking brake should light up on the panel. Service interval pointers should also not remind of themselves. If the symbols with a wrench are blinking constantly, the car has not possibly been serviced for a long time.
  • Examine the functioning of the heater and air conditioner, lighting, wipers, power windows, and everything else on board.
  • Check the operation of the seat adjustment mechanisms – after an accident, it happens that something wedges up or does not work at all.

Documents Check

When you are going to buy a used car, the vehicle registration certificate is the most important document to check. Make sure that all data in the certificate, including VIN, make, model, and year, matches the car you buy.

Questions to Ask your Dealer Before Buying a Used Car

steps to buing a used car in Indianapolis
  • What maintenance costs should I expect? Ask about the typical costs of oil changes, new tires, brake changes, and other maintenance that you will need to pay regularly over the vehicle life.
  • Am I eligible for tax credits for this vehicle? All electric and hybrid cars can bring you $2,000 to $7,500 profit in certain areas. Read about what car taxes you will need to pay in Indianapolis .
  • What kind of warranty is available? The car may be covered by the manufacturer’s warranty, or the dealer can offer their own guarantees .
  • Are there any special funding offers? Find out whether there are special interest rates or financing programs. Ask the dealer what rates you will have if you finance the car through their partnering bank.
  • How much will you pay for my car? If you are selling your old vehicle, you can transfer it directly to the dealer in terms of trade-in. Different dealerships may offer different estimations and trade-in terms. Use online resources to find out how much your car is worth . You may also compare estimations from several dealers.

Test Drive Checklist: the Final Step to Make a Choice

During the test drive of the used vehicle, try to answer the following questions:

  • Does the car accelerate evenly?
  • Are there any problems with gear shifting, does it jam or squeak?
  • Are the panel and cladding rattling?
  • Do the speedometer, tachometer, and other gauges work?
  • Does the car drive sideways when braking?

This way, you get a chance to evaluate whether the car’s behavior matches its price and your expectations.

At our car lot in Indianapolis, you will find the largest selection of models and makes for any taste and budget. Come to the Indy Auto Man dealership, and our team will guide you through all the steps of buying the used car with no headache!