How to Buy a Car – 7 Essential Tips to Get the Best Deal

How to Buy a Car – 7 Essential Tips to Get the Best Deal

Do Your Homework

Before you call a dealership with an inquiry or even pay them a visit, it is wise to first figure out what kind of vehicle you want and what features are important to you. Then do some research on finding a vehicle that matches and is manageable financially.

Figure out which vehicle best fits your needs, lifestyle, preferences, and budget. For example, if you are single, you may opt for a small sedan or coupe, however, if you have a large family you might need a minivan or an SUV with third-row seating. If you can, avoid just looking for the cheapest vehicle in your category. You may save money on the purchase price, but keep in mind there’s a reason why the car is priced so low. It may be because of age, high mileage, general condition, or it could be in need of repairs, all of which are likely to cost you more money in the not too distant future.

Search Extensively

Once you figure out what type of vehicle fits your needs and preferences, and how much of a down payment and monthly payments you can comfortably afford, you can start searching online for the best match. If you have purchased a car previously and were happy with the dealership, you may want to stick with that dealer. If not, start with two or three dealers and compare the make, model, features and price with your ideal vehicle.

Explore Financing Option

Most people will need financing when buying a car. There are some who do buy their cars with cash but that’s primarily wealthy buyers, or those who are buying very inexpensive vehicles. If you have a high credit score you can probably get pre-approved with a fairly low interest rate from your bank or credit union. For those with an average or lower credit score, just about all new and used car dealerships have a variety of financing options available, depending on the customers’ credit score and history. And even if your score is only fair, there may be some ability to negotiate the rate with the dealership, especially if you can make a down payment; the more you can put down the better your chances for a lower rate. If you don’t know your credit score, there are a number of online sites that you can get it from for free, and everyone is entitled to a free credit report annually from each of the three credit reporting agencies – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.

Focus on Both the Total Cost and The Monthly Payments

After you get a price from the car salesman, don’t forget to factor in all the additional costs, such as sales tax, title registration, notary fees, and possible options like an extended warranty. One of the most important costs to be considered, of course, is the monthly payment amount, which is determined by the interest rate, the down payment, and the number of months of the loan. Keeping the term as short as you can comfortably afford can save you money in the long run by reducing the overall interest you will pay. The key word here is comfortable; you don’t want all of your combined monthly payments to be so tight that an unexpected expense causes you to miss some payments. And don’t forget to estimate the cost of insurance and operating expenses when you calculate how much you can afford monthly.

Don’t Let Emotions Cloud Your Judgement

It’s certainly quite common for most of us to get pretty excited when we get a new car, but you don’t want that excitement to work against you when you’re still working out the details. While some salesmen may try to take advantage of your excitement by talking you into a car that’s really too expensive for you, most dealerships are very honorable and actually do what they can to make sure you buy a vehicle you can afford. After all, they want you to be a future repeat customer, which won’t happen if your car gets repossessed. Be sure you ask questions about all the charges and payments and be confident you have a complete understanding of all the financial details. Take your time and get all the information necessary to make the best decision.

You Can’t Negotiate Everything

Certainly, you want to get the best financial deal possible, and you may be able to negotiate a lower purchase price and possibly even some of the fees and options. However, some fees are definitely not, negotiable, such as registration fees and taxes. Car dealerships doe not have any control over those charges and the money goes straight to the various government agencies.

Don’t Spend More than What Is Necessary

After you have negotiated a deal with the salesman, he may talk to you about different add-ons that are available. You may have been at the dealership for hours and want to finish the paperwork quickly, get in your new car, and finally get out of there. Don’t automatically say yes to anything just to speed up the process. This can cause you to pay more than you need or want to spend. Remember the last line of one of the previous paragraphs, it can save you money: Take your time and get all the information necessary to make the best decision.

First Class Auto Land is a third generation, family owned and operated used car dealership that has been providing customers with the most trusted, straight-forward car buying experience in the Tri-State area. Every one of our pre-owned vehicles goes through a comprehensive 119-point inspection, and we back every vehicle we sell with a 3-month or 4,500-mile full power train warranty.

Choose from a variety of pre-owned and nearly-new cars, trucks and SUVs for every budget and style. You can easily see what’s currently available by exploring our online inventory or with a visit to our showroom. We have the lowest prices in the metro area, and our team is ready to help you find the right vehicle, at a price that’s well within your budget. We work with financial institutions across the region to help connect our customers with the right financing opportunities. We take great pride in our family-owned dealership and work hard to provide our customers with a stress-free shopping experience. We invite you to see for yourself just how easy it is. We’re conveniently located at 4050 Frankford Ave in Philadelphia.




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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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 find 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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 to 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.












Advantages of Buying a Used Car from a Dealer vs. Buying 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 models, such 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 upfront 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 totaled 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 a 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 you have 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 a 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 installments. 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 A 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-Is, and 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 from. Visiting 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 online 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

In almost every state, including 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 confusing, especially 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 can 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 catalog 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: call to set up an appointment, or simply stop by and talk to one of our professional team members.