All posts by epatrick

Best Used Cars for Families

If you have a family, you need a car that can move all of you, but you also need a car that makes safety a big priority. We’ve worked hard to compile a list of great used cars that we think are perfect for families in need of a car. Whether you’re starting a family and it is time to trade in your coupe, or your family is getting a little bigger, having the right car for your family is important, and we’re here to help. Take a look at these used cars that are perfect for families and maybe you’ll see a model on our list that sounds like the perfect fit for you and yours. We hope you enjoy this blog, and hope it provides value to you on your search for a used car to move the entire family!

Toyota Sienna 

The first thing to know about the Sienna is that it is very spacious. If you have a big family, you can’t go wrong with the Toyota Sienna. It can seat up to eight people, and it has a ton of cargo space so it is the perfect car to take your kids and their friends to school or practice in. The Sienna is comfortable and made with the same reliability and fuel-efficiency that has made Toyota a very successful car manufacturer. To top it all off, the Toyota Sienna is packed full of safety features because Toyota knows that the most precious people in your life will be riding in your minivan, and nothing is more important than their safety. 

Honda Odyssey 

The Honda Odyssey is a cool minivan. It has the capability to carry a ton of passengers with third-row seating and there is a bunch of cargo space to boot. The Odyssey is the family van that not only looks good, but it holds its value better than other minivans in its class. This makes it the perfect used car for families. It is very reliable for years and years, has the space for your entire family, and it looks good doing it. The Odyssey is very efficient for its size boasting over 20 mpg, and it comes with a rear entertainment system to keep all of your passengers entertained even on the long drives. 

Kia Sedona 

What Kia prioritized with the Sedona is comfort. It offers a very smooth and quiet ride and a spacious cabin so nobody feels cramped and crowded. With any minivan one of the biggest things to look for is safety rating, and the Sedona gets top safety ratings in all categories. The cool thing about the Kia Sedona is that there are a ton of trim options, and if you choose the basic package, it is one of, if not the most affordable minivan on this list. If you’re a first time minivan buyer, this may be a great place to start for you especially if your family is getting bigger. 

Nissan Quest 

This is the last minivan on our list. The Quest differs from the competition on this list in one major way, it is slim and sleek. It suffers in seating as a result and can only seat a max of seven people where other vans can seat eight, but it has a luxurious interior. As a result of a sleeker design the Nissan Quest gets incredible gas mileage for a minivan, especially on the highway where it gets a whopping 27 mpg. The Quest has a ton of cargo space discreetly hidden throughout the interior so you don’t have to sacrifice leg room for storage. If you’re not ready to feel like you’re driving a minivan, the Nissan Quest is a good choice. 

Subaru Outback  

The Subaru Outback is where station wagon meets SUV. Except that the Subaru Outback is a lot more than just a wagon or SUV. The Outback is perfect for smaller families. It won’t seat up to eight like some of the minivans, but it does have a spacious interior. It performs well in all terrains and weather conditions with standard all-wheel drive. The Subaru Outback also does really well in crash tests, and is always near the top when it comes to safety ratings. If you’re an outdoorsy family that wants to go on a lot of trips, the Subaru Outback is the perfect car for you! It has space for everyone, it outperforms any other car on this list, and it is priced reasonably! 

Chevrolet Traverse 

Do you want an SUV that can hold up to eight passengers? The Chevrolet Traverse is your pick then. This car is a beautiful blend between SUV, truck, and minivan. It gives you the size, fuel efficiency, and performance features that make all three of those types of car popular with families. The Chevrolet Traverse is the prototypical SUV crossover, and if you’re a family that doesn’t want a minivan but would love to carry eight passengers, you won’t find a better car on the market than the Chevrolet Traverse. 

Toyota RAV4

The fuel efficiency, safety features, and durability of the RAV4 are what make it great for families. You won’t be able to pack in eight passengers, but if you have a small family this could be the perfect SUV for you. The Toyota RAV4 competes with the best SUVs on the market and outshines them. You’d be hard pressed to find a better family car for a family of four than the RAV4. 

First Class Auto Land is here to help all of our customers find the perfect used car for the lifestyle. We have a large selection of great used cars for families and we have an incredible sales and financing team to ensure that all of our families get the used cars that they need! 

Can I Get Approved for a Car Loan with Bad Credit?

Having a bad credit score can affect your life in a number of ways. You may struggle to get credit, your interest rates may be higher than average, and you may also be flat out rejected for loans by financial and lending institutions. This can put undue pressure on your life which can be exasperated especially if you need a loan to get a car. There is good news. Even with a bad credit score, you can still get a loan for a car. We’re going to explore what you can do to better your credit situation and improve your odds of getting a good loan with reasonable interest rates. You can get a car loan even with bad credit, and get the car you desperately need.


Before you start the shopping process get pre-approved for credit. Pre-approval is going to give you a good idea about what you can and cannot afford when it comes time to buy a car. However, with a bad credit score, you may find it difficult to get pre-approved from a traditional lending institution. Don’t worry. If you are trying to buy a car with bad credit, go to the dealership for the pre-approval process. They have financial professionals on staff who work with people with bad credit every day. They have ties to the financial community in the area and have experience getting pre-approval for people with bad credit. The financial professionals at the dealership will help you secure a car loan that you can afford. Car buyers with bad credit should always look to the dealership’s financial team first because they are going to be able to get you the best possible loan in-house.


Another great reason for people with bad credit to go to the dealership for their financing is budget. Getting a loan for a car with bad credit is possible, but when you have bad credit, it is more important than ever to stay within budget. The finance professionals at the dealership will not only help you secure financing, but they will help you determine the most comfortable budget for your life so that you can make your payments on time. This can even help improve your credit score moving forward! Having a loan that you pay back on a schedule, as long as you are on time with it, will help improve your credit score. Getting help with budgeting for this loan from a finance professional is a good idea for people who have bad credit scores but still want to buy a car.

Put More Money Down

This may not be a viable option for everyone, but if you have bad credit, the more money you can put down initially on your car purchase the better your interest rates and loan terms will be. Saving up to put down a big down payment is a good idea for people who have bad credit. Not only because it will improve the terms of your loan considerably, but it will also afford you more options when it comes to what kind of car you can afford to buy. Understandably, it may not be possible for you to make a big down payment, especially if you have bad credit, but the more money you can initially pay the better your loan will be since lenders will be more confident in your ability to pay the remainder.

Avoid Further Bad Credit

If you know that you are going to be applying for a car loan, avoid further bad credit leading up to your application. This will ensure that your credit score doesn’t get any worse. If you are planning to apply for a car loan, don’t get new credit cards, pay rent late, declare bankruptcy, or have tax liens against you. All of those things can significantly decrease your chances of getting a car loan and seriously hurt your credit score. Leading up to your car loan application make sure you are paying all of your bills on time. This will ensure that you will be able to get a car loan and that your credit score will not suffer.

Think About A Cosigner

If you have someone in your life, who is willing to sign with you as a cosigner on your loan, you can seriously reduce the interest rates on your car loan. In the event that you cannot make your payments, your cosigner will be responsible for your debt so it is a lot to ask of somebody. However, if you can find someone to cosign for you, you can get more money at a lower interest rate. This is a great option for people with bad credit if they have someone willing to do this for them. Oftentimes a parent will sign for their kids who may be buying their first car. Younger people generally have poor or no credit just because they are unknown to lenders and haven’t yet had the time to build a credit history.

What Bad Credit Does to Your Loan

All a credit score is the lender’s confidence in your ability to pay your debts in a timely fashion. People who have bad credit scores are those that lenders have less confidence in as a result of missed, late or even non-payment of debts. Bad credit scores increase the interest rate on any loans secured. People with stellar credit scores of 740 or more will get the best interest rates on a loan, on a car this can sometimes even be 0 percent for people with outstanding credit. People with bad credit scores, on the other hand, scores under 580, can expect to pay 20 to even 30 percent interest on a car loan. At the end of the day having a bad credit score will probably not keep you from getting an automobile, which is great news! However, a bad credit score will increase the actual cost of what you are paying for the vehicle by a couple of thousand dollars compared to what someone with good credit will pay. It is important to try and improve your credit score so you can save money, but you still be able to get a car with bad credit.

Best Cars to Buy Used

Best Cars to Buy Used

Buying used cars offers big savings to the consumer. Plus, there are more options to choose from. But, which cars are the best to buy used? This answer may vary based on your specific needs. Maybe you are buying a car for a first-time driver, or maybe you need to buy a durable work truck. You need to assess your personal needs before buying a used car, but let’s explore some of the best-used cars consumers can buy. When we talk about which vehicles are the best we are talking about a used car’s overall value, reliability, efficiency, and cost.

Toyota Camry

The Camry’s high gas efficiency, durability, and reliability make it a great used car option. These facets of the Toyota Camry also help it retain its value over time better than most other cars. So if you choose to buy a used Toyota Camry, you’re getting a vehicle that not only performs well and can take a ton of mileage, but you’re also getting a used car that retains its value over time. This makes the Camry one of the best-used car options on the market.

Subaru Outback

What makes the Outback such an awesome used car? The Outback has standard all-wheel drive. It is packed with Subaru’s suite of safety features, and it has a ton of versatile storage space for whatever life throws at you. These used cars are popular options for parents buying their kids their first car. This is because of the Outback’s high safety rating and great value. The Outback is tough, reliable, safe, and efficient. If you’re looking for the best-used car to buy, the Subaru Outback makes a strong case.

Honda Ridgeline

Are you looking for a durable, full-sized truck? The Honda Ridgeline may be the best full-sized used car to buy. The Ridgeline boasts a powerful V6 engine, a huge cargo bed, and best of all it offers a smooth, comfortable ride that most other trucks cannot match. The Honda Ridgeline is one of the best-used cars to buy because of its value, power, and efficiency. If you need a truck for hauling site equipment or moving materials, the Honda Ridgeline is a great used car option.

Mini Cooper

If you’re looking for a smaller, manual transmission used car, the Mini Cooper is one of the best available. These cars are stylish, small, get great gas mileage, and come with manual transmission for the serious drivers. This is a great used car option for people who love driving stick, and people who live in cities and need to park their car in tight spaces. The Mini Cooper comes at a great price too so when you’re shopping for your next used car check one out!

Chevrolet Impala

If the used car you are looking for is a full-size sedan, the Chevrolet Impala is a smart choice. This is a front-wheel drive vehicle, and over the years has consistently been packed full of awesome tech features. This is one of the best used cars available for consumers looking for a four-door sedan that has great technology features.

These are just a few of the best-used cars you can buy. Depending on your needs there may be a better model out there for you. Come and visit our team at First Class Auto Land in Philadelphia and browse our extensive selection of used cars. Our friendly sales staff will help you find the perfect car for your current needs at a great price!

Quality Used Cars for Sale Under $10,000


Quality Used Cars for Sale Under $10,000

If you’re searching for a quality used car in the Philadelphia area, you’re in the right place. First Class Auto Land has a selection of used cars in excellent shape, and we’ll help you get the best vehicle for your budget. Remember, it’s easy to get a used vehicle that will last a long time while staying under your budget, you just need to know what to look for.

How Are Used Cars Valued?

When looking at used cars, several factors determine the price and whether a vehicle is in a higher or lower price range than you would expect.

Mileage and Wear & Tear

You may have heard that cars begin to depreciate in value very quickly, pretty much as soon as the vehicle is driven off the lot. This is because mileage and regular wear & tear on the vehicle begins to lower its value very quickly. This is why a car with 30,000 miles will be closer in price to a newer model with 100,000 miles. Even though one model came out more recently and may have newer features customers are looking for, the older car has been driven less in its lifetime. Mileage is one of the more concrete ways a car’s value is calculated. Overall condition, or wear and tear, is far more subjective.

Two dealers looking at the same vehicle will likely judge that vehicle quite differently. To some, cosmetic appearance is weighed almost as important as the condition of the engine and other mechanics, as they know that potential customers will look at the outside of the vehicle first. Others focus their concern on how the car runs, as they know they will have customers who are looking for reliability and longevity instead of how it looks. But condition does factor in, it’s just different for each used car dealership that is putting a value on the car.


The demand for certain vehicles varies by location, and how many of those vehicles are available to the dealership. And location doesn’t necessarily mean traveling far, simply going from the city to the suburbs can affect pricing; drastic changes from a more urban, densely populated area to farm country will make prices shift significantly. Standard sedans are popular everywhere, so many of those models will have more consistent pricing in different locations. But demand for fuel-efficient vehicles is more popular closer to the cities, whereas trucks are in higher demand in rural areas.


If a dealer knows that certain features are popular right now, this will factor into how the vehicle is priced. This ranges from very foundational features such as automatic vs. manual transmission, or features that are determined by buyers’ preferences such as the type of sound system, GPS, vehicle backup cameras, and the types of seats. These are classified as accessories or the bells and whistles that make some vehicles appeal more to certain customers.

Finding Your Used Car at First Class Auto Land

We have an inventory that covers a range of prices, models, and features so there is something for almost everyone. It’s easy to tell that we value quality and focus on newer or midlife models at affordable prices.

Inventory Examples

Some of the most popular vehicles we see in our inventory for less than $10,000 are sedans and hatchbacks. The average model year usually falls between 2011-2015, which is great for buyers looking for a newer car that has several years of life left. You can stay well under a $10k budget while still getting a great car that has the majority of the features you’re looking for. Like many other purchases, compromise is often required.; you may not find your dream car while searching for a used vehicle, but we’ll work with you to make sure you get very close to it.

Here are three great examples of modern, budget-friendly vehicles in our inventory. Even if we don’t have these exact models in stock when you’re to buy, since they sell quickly, we’ll help you find something very comparable based on the features you like.

  • 2012 Ford Fusion. This vehicle has great features like keyless entry, front wheel drive, and gets 27 miles per gallon on the highway.
  • 2014 Nissan Altima. This model has all the basic features and is very fuel efficient, getting 27 miles per gallon in the city and 38 on the highway.
  • 2016 Hyundai Elantra. This vehicle has some useful features like a tire pressure monitor, daytime running lights, and automatic headlights.

You’ll also find a range of automakers in our inventory with models valued at less than $10,000. We understand that customers lean towards certain automakers more than others, whether because of fuel efficiency, consistency of safety ratings, or brand loyalty. We know that you sometimes like an automaker or model just because you like it, or a friend or family member loves theirs, so we’ll help you find a comparable option.

How to Think About Your Budget

Are you looking for a car that is $10,000 or less on the price sticker, or does $10,000 need to include other factors such as taxes, licensing, and fees? Keep in mind that all of these factors can increase the price of your vehicle. If you want to stay firmly under $10,000 for all of these things, calculate your price sticker budget using a loan calculator so you have a more accurate idea of what your all-inclusive budget is.

Why We Have the Best Selection

Our team carefully evaluates potential vehicles for our inventory based on what we know our customers are looking for, and thoroughly check prospective vehicles for both mechanical excellence and cosmetic appeal. Other dealership focuses more on one of these, but we know customers want to find a vehicle that both looks great and runs well. If you don’t see exactly what you’re looking for in our current inventory, let us know, and we’ll notify you when we have a better fit in stock.

If browsing the Under $10K online inventory isn’t how you like to shop, drop by our showroom on Frankford Avenue in Northeast Philadelphia. We’ll make recommendations based on what we have, and you may get more information on vehicles that are about to come in.




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.