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What to Ask When Buying a Used Car

Buying a used car can seem like a nearly-impossible feat. But it’s not. You shouldn’t be afraid to purchase a vehicle pre-owned in Los Angeles. Especially if you decide to buy from Nissan of Downtown L.A., where we carefully select our used vehicle inventory for its quality, pricing diversity, and more. But just to help you be extra confident when making that next used car purchase, let’s dive into what to ask when buying a used car. Ready? Let’s go!

2020 Nissan Sentra Seating

How to Buy a Used Car From a Dealer

Quality used cars can be hard to find, but they’re a dime a dozen here at Nissan of Downtown L.A.. Why? We like for our Huntington Park and South Gate customers to have options. The process of how to buy a used car from a dealership is simpler than buying from a private party precisely because you never really know quite what you’re getting when buying a car from someone. But we offer vehicles that have been thoroughly checked over for their condition. So when buying a used car from a dealer, keep these things in mind:

  • Set a Budget: Cost to buy a vehicle is one thing. Cost to own it is another. Be sure to factor in the expected cost of future repairs, new tires, routine maintenance, and more. Remember, a monthly payment shouldn’t be more than 10% of your monthly income. 
  • Find the Right Used Car: Financial and budgetary needs, mileage expectations, and feature requirements are just some of the things Bell Gardens used car shoppers should consider. Keeping things like this in mind, start your car search by compiling a list of cars you’re interested in. Next compare them. Check out reliability reviews from sites like Edmunds or KelleyBlueBook. Then, take a look at what prices the vehicles usually sell for in the Los Angeles area. 
  • Test Drive and Inspect the Models: It can take determination to find the right used car. Be sure you thoroughly check out the vehicle and have it inspected by a trusted mechanic in or around Bell Gardens.
  • Used Car Financing and Other Fees: Be sure that along with pricing out a vehicle with our finance team, you also consider things like fees and credits like state sales tax, registration fees, and the trade-in value of your previous car. Be sure to weigh the pros of add-on coverages, too, like extended warranty coverage or GAP protection.

What to Ask When Buying a Used Car

Here are some helpful tips for what to ask when buying a used car: 

  • Is there a history of maintenance?
  • Is the vehicle history report available?
  • Do you have the title in hand?
  • Is the car as is, or is it under warranty?
  • Do the amenities and features work like they’re supposed to?
  • What is the ownership history?
  • What is the vehicle’s mileage?
  • Are there any current recalls on the vehicle?
  • How was the vehicle priced?
  • Can I take the car to a mechanic for an inspection?
  • Does this vehicle affect your insurance premiums?

Get More Car Buying Tips from Nissan of Downtown L.A.

Ready to learn more? We here at Nissan of Downtown L.A. are proud to offer you a myriad of car buying tips to meet your unique needs. Give us a call at 213-536-4782 with additional questions.


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