Parent

Finance Friday: Buy Used and Be Satisfied

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About a year ago I was in a car accident and after dealing with policemen, an ambulance, hospitals and car insurance I needed a new car. Because I don’t like shopping for cars I was not excited about it. Dealing with pushy salespeople and having to drive all around town to find the car I want can be stressful. Because my car was totaled in the accident I was given a rental car but only for ten days. We had to find a new car quick and efficiently.

 

Focused Search

After several days of looking around online my husband sent me a link to a car he liked on Cars.com. I had used the site before in the past but never when I actually needed to buy a car. The uncertainty when shopping for a used car can be overwhelming because you never know what you are getting.

Once we finally agreed on a few different car models in our price range we were able to use Cars.com to pull up everything that matched our criteria. Because we live in a metropolitan area being able to narrow the search by the distance from our house was useful. And after going to look at a few vehicles in person we narrowed it down to one model we liked the best. Car manufacturers offer vehicles with different options so we spent some time determining which features were most important:

  • Bluetooth
  • Reverse camera
  • Rear seat entertainment
  • Seating for seven passengers
  • Simple car seat hook up options
  • Parking assist
  • Xenon headlights, etc.

Armed with this information it was easy to narrow down our search to the few vehicles in our area that had what we wanted.   Unfortunately most of them were either too costly or not well taken care of. Thankfully, Cars.com has a resourceful feature that will send out an email when a vehicle meets your search criteria so we signed up.

Relaxed Dealership Experience

After almost a week of searching online we got an email about a car that had just arrived at a dealership about 30 minutes from our home. Nervously my entire family went to the dealership. Although, I dreaded the experience, I knew that the need for my family to get a reliable vehicle was more important. The salesmen did not need to up-sell me because I already knew my vehicles history based on the VIN number. In fact, it didn’t take long before my husband was test driving a car that had most of the features I desired. More than a year later, I’m satisfied with my used car. Shopping online through cars.com helped me feel like I received the best price for my cars’ features and condition.

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  • I had my first dealership experience last year September! I was very pleased with my purchase. I am currently in the market to get my daughter her first used vehicle :). I am happy that you’re okay!!!!

    • I hope everything will work out well for your daughter. Hopefully her car will last her for many many years.

  • OMG, a bad car accident is one of my fears. Thankful everyone was okay. I’ve only purchased used vehicles, to date they have all been great choices.

    • This accident really caught me off guard because I was parked. No one ever expects to be hit in the parking lot. I’m very grateful to have my life.

  • Dang, that looks terrible. Glad you all are okay. Shopping for a new car can be tricky and I’m glad there are resources out there like this.

  • Eva

    That accident was… wow. So glad that everything turned out okay. I’ve been hit while parked and while sitting at a stop light. I think those accidents are worse because you didn’t do anything, and you can’t get out of the way. Also, I’m not sure how I’ll do without a backup camera now that I have had one for a year.

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