How to Inspect a Used Car

Before signing your financing papers with us at Gateway Auto, it is imperative that you are happy with the car you are getting. The buying process encompasses finding the right car, test driving it and figuring out how to pay for the vehicle. One key aspect of purchasing used cars is running a thorough inspection to be sure you are satisfied with the quality of the vehicle.

One of the first steps is to obtain a vehicle history report from us. This will clue you in to any accidents in which the car was involved as well as the repairs that were made. The more comprehensive these reports are, the better you may feel about buying a used car.

Before you take the car for a test drive, conduct a visual inspection. Look over the vehicle at the paint job and feel free to note any imperfections. Some vehicles are sold as-is, but most are certified to get the car into prime shape. Note that the tires should be properly inflated and headlights and taillights should be intact and working properly.

Get in and out of the car multiple times to assess your comfort level with the height of the seat. You should also test out all of the vehicle’s systems, such as the heat and the air conditioning. Turn on the stereo and any other amenities such as a GPS system to ensure they are all working properly. When you start the car, note that it should start smoothly and easily.

Buying used cars can be a pleasant experience if you work with the right dealership and know what to look for in the vehicle. We want to ensure customer satisfaction, which is why we allow you plenty of time to inspect the car. Make sure all the vehicle’s systems are working properly and that you have an accident report for the car. Taking these measures will mean you can drive off the lot a happy, satisfied customer.

What to Look for in a Used Vehicle

Buying a used vehicle is a good way for you to save hundreds or even thousands of dollars on a car or truck. Used vehicles are less expensive, but may have hidden problems that the previous owner conveniently “left out” when selling you the car. Because of the lemons that are on the market, you should take some time to research the vehicle that you are considering and give it a thorough inspection before you make the purchase. There are a number of things that you should check to ensure the quality of the vehicle. Use the following list as a guide, but not as your only guide for making a purchase.

Mileage is one of the most basic things you will look at when making a used vehicle purchase is the mileage. The mileage is a guide to show you how much wear the vehicle has. It does not mean that all vehicles with high miles are bad and all that have low miles are good, but it will give you an idea of how much usage the vehicle has been subject to. Typically, vehicles get about 20,000 kilometres put on them each year so try to calculate the mileage per year the vehicle has.

The next thing that you should look for is rust. Rust is one of the most debilitating things that a vehicle can be subjected to. Body panels can crumble, frames can be weakened, and floors can rust out. If the vehicle you are considering has rust, you want to ensure that you are know the extent of the damage to the vehicle. If you feel like the damage is excessive, don’t buy the vehicle.

Before you even step on a lot to look at vehicles, check the price using an online pricing guide. These guides allow you to input the make, model, and options to find out what a vehicle is actually worth on the market. Once you know the price, you will have the upper hand negotiating when the time comes.

Truths About Car Loans

When it comes to car loans, many people have reservations. There are a lot of misconceptions out there about vehicle financing. Owning a car can be a big step. With a purchase of that magnitude, it’s important to look at all of your options. After all, you want to get your money’s worth without breaking the bank. Financing options can be more beneficial than paying off a car at once. Here are three truths about car loans that you should know.

Easy Application Process

If you apply for a car loan, the process is often more simple than a standard bank loan. Not only is it easier to apply, but the rate of acceptance is also higher. If you don’t have a high credit score, it isn’t usually a problem.

Low Risk Option

With standard loaning options, your assets can be at take if you default on your payments. This can affect your home. With a car loan, often, your assets are better protected.

Fixed Loans

Most people fear loans because of the APR rate. On standard loans the interest rates can go up and your payments may turn out to be higher than you hoped for, months or years down the line. With car loans, the rate is often fixed. Your payments will be the same throughout the life of the loan.

Dealership Perks

If you go with a bank loan, then odds are you won’t be offered many benefits from the dealership in the same way that you might if you take out a loan with them. Sometimes this may come in the form of an inspection or road service that adds value to the loan.

Purchasing a new car can be a big commitment. Often though, it is more than worth it. How you decide to finance your vehicle is important. When people think about loans, sometimes it’s a daunting concept. However, car loans tend to be easier, lower risk and help car owners understand exactly where they stand with the loan.

Tips on Buying Used Trucks

There are many things to consider when poring over a wide inventory of used trucks in hopes of finding the right one. The most common stream of thought to have is how the truck will be utilized. Is the truck going to be driven for commercial use, or for basic daily driving? Are you looking for something more rundown for off-roading excursions, or is an upgraded and comfortable model more your speed? Knowing the answers to these questions will help to set you on the appropriate path to finding the perfect truck.

It is safe to assume that people who prefer to drive trucks over cars are not afraid of getting their hands a little dirty. Being unafraid of grease and grime will come in handy at the car lot when looking underneath the truck. Inspecting the truck yourself is a step that should not be neglected when searching for a new truck to buy. Oftentimes, some places will hoist the truck in the air for you to inspect, or will do a complete inspection themselves for little to no additional fee.

If you are unsure of what to check, make sure an experienced technician conducts a thorough inspection of the truck and provides you with a very realistic assessment of required repairs along with the cost of each one. The main issues to check are the brakes, steering components, possible leaks, weak metal, and damage.

Additionally, try not to be distracted by a truck’s outer appearance. A new paint job adds a nice touch, but it is important to find out what the motivation was behind that fresh coat. Make sure to find out if it is covering scratches, rust, a dull surface, or any other possible defect. When it comes to used trucks, the goal is to find all about the history.

Once you have found the right truck to purchase, try not to second guess yourself. If you did your research, got the right price, and are happy with the outcome, do not worry that you missed out on something better.

How to Pay for a Used Car Without Breaking the Bank

Sometimes it seems like cars break down at the worst times. You might not be in a great place financially when your car becomes inoperable, and buying a new car is not always possibly. When you need a car, and you have limited funds, a good used car might be the best thing for you. There is a wide-variety of used cars on the market. With a little bit of research, you might find a used car will work well with your current lifestyle.

Know Your Budget Before You Begin

Before you start your travels to dealerships, you need to consider how much money you can afford to spend on a used car. You could save a lot of money, if you pay for the car in full. If this is not possible, consider making a large down payment. Obviously, when you finance your car, the cost is more because you are paying interest each month when you make your payment. Traditionally, when you purchase a used car, rates are higher and the financing periods are usually shorter compared to purchasing new cars. One tip most financial experts offer is to never spend more than 20 percent of your take-home pay on a car.

Estimate Future Expenses

Always do research on the car you want to purchase to see if certain parts need to be replaced more frequently. You might have a particular car in mind that you’d like to buy, but if the water pump in that model has a history of failing, than you might want to consider another car. When you purchase a used car, there’s always a chance you will have to forgo funds for maintenance and upkeep. An older car obviously has more wear and tear on it than a new car. Having savings put aside is important, since you don’t want your car to cause you unnecessary debt.

Types of Car Loans for People with Bad Credit

Sometimes in life, unfortunate things can happen that keep you from having stellar credit. You may rely on credit cards for a few months to get you through a difficult situation, for example. While a not-so-great credit score may keep you from securing certain types of loans, you have options when it’s time to purchase a car.

There are two main types of bad credit car loans: secured and unsecured. We can accept either to help you buy the vehicle of your dreams. However, it’s crucial for you to understand the difference before you make your decision.

Secured Car Loans

This type of loan can be beneficial for people with bad credit who have collateral to offer. You put up some insurance that guarantees payment to the bank, and in return, the bank can offer lower interest rates. This type of bad credit car loan has about a 95 percent approval rating.

Furthermore, there is often little or no down payment required to get a secured auto loan. Typically, the interest rate is fixed and can be as low as four percent. Be sure to speak to our financial team about this option.

Unsecured Car Loans

This type of loan requires no collateral, which can mean less risk for you. However, the less risk you take, the more the bank makes. As a result, unsecured car loans can be more expensive.

To get an unsecured car loan with bad credit, you may need a large down payment or trade-in value. Furthermore, these loans usually have an interest rate of seven to 10 percent, sometimes even higher. These interest rates can be fixed or flexible, depending on the bank.

Ultimately, it is up to you to decide whether you feel comfortable putting up collateral for your car loan. Talk to our lending team to set up your investment and get in a great car. We can help you no matter your credit score.

How to Pay Off Your Car Loan Early

You have just chosen your new car and negotiated the terms to pay for it. You may be content at first, but that five-year note may take the edge off your excitement after a while. You may begin to feel as if there is no end in sight, but there are some practical ways you can shave quite a few months off the life of your loan and pay less interest overall.

Make Payments

The simplest way to pay off car loans in a timely manner is to make payments on time and never skip a payment. If your payment is late, the lender might tack on a fee to your loan principal. Not only does this increase the amount you owe, you will also be paying interest on that fee. Your lender may occasionally offer you the opportunity to skip a payment as a reward. While this may be tempting, fight the urge to skip. Skipping a payment only adds time to the life of your loan.

Round Up

Paying a little extra than the contract terms require each month is another good way to pay your loan off early. If you budgeted for $300 a month, but your finance plan only requires you to pay $250, go ahead and pay the higher amount that you planned every month. This not only takes months off the terms of your loan, it also lowers the amount you pay in interest.

Pay More Often

Some lenders charge penalties for making extra payments, but if your contract terms will allow for it, try to make an extra payment every once in a while. An easy way to do this is by making a half-payment every two weeks. Over the course of a year, instead of the 12 payments you would have made if you had paid once a month, you will make 13 full payments.

Your car loan may seem like it lasts forever. With a little extra effort, however, you can pay it off faster than you originally planned.

Your Reliable and Attractive Used Vehicle Awaits

Finding an affordable used vehicle does not have to be a terrible chore or feel like a never-ending search. Choosing the right dealership is the first step to finding a car that will serve your needs, be dependable, and hold up against the demands of your busy lifestyle.

Whether you need a comfortable minivan or sedan to transport a growing family or would prefer a sportier edition more suitable for a couple, we offer a fine selection of quality previously owned options, and each is safe, well-maintained, and sure to become like a part of your family itself.

The big issues anyone should consider as they begin searching for their next ride are price range, fuel efficiency, and riders or cargo. Regardless of the work to be done or the pleasure to be had, a quality used car can be had for relatively easy payments that fit even a tight budget so long as the purchasers have a good credit rating. But a poor credit rating does not necessarily take you out of the race for the next car in your life. Even people with poor credit ratings can be financed for the right money down and the proper terms.

The fact is, a dependable car is key to making everything else in most lives run smoothly. Selecting an automobile that is dependable for work, school, and play is key to making the most of every situation one encounters. Furthermore, a great used car can make getting to a from work a more enjoyable experience.

In today’s fast-paced world, it is important that individuals and families be equipped to manage their lifestyles efficiently and effectively. One significant contributor to a well-run life is a dependable car that can be had at a reasonable price, maintained fairly easily, and counted on in even the toughest times and worst conditions. For the best options to get you and your family everywhere you need safely and easily, check out our inventory of reasonably priced, reliable transportation possibilities.

3 Car Loan Myths

If you have your eye on a new or used car, you may have to consider financing options. The problem that a lot of people face is that they don’t have optimal credit and may not think that they qualify. While many lenders offer bad credit car loans, there are still a lot of myths that circle the choice. You shouldn’t let these turn you away from the financing that could get you your dream car. Here are the three top myths when it comes to car loans.

A Low Credit Score Guarantees Rejection

This isn’t true at all. In fact, there are dealers and lenders that specialize in car loans for people with bad credit. Poor credit will not stop you from financing a car.

You Can’t Refinance if You Had a Poor Credit Score

When you’re approved of a car loan with a low credit score, you are given the opportunity to build your credit over again. After a while, as your score builds you will be given more options. It’s common for people to refinance their loan and come up with a cheaper rate after they have built up their credit score.

Income Doesn’t Matter if You Have Bad Credit

Income absolutely matters! Income and the other debts that you owe play a big role in the size of the loan you can be awarded. While lenders do pay attention to your credit, your income also plays a large role in whether or not you’re approved. This can also affect the rates that you’re given.

Don’t allow myths to turn you away from car loans. Even with bad credit there are many options out there. While it can be a difficult choice for many people to decide whether or not they want to look into financing for a vehicle, it’s important not to be deterred by myths. Only the facts should be an influencing factor on your decision.

Factors Affecting the Cost of Your Car

Everyone likes to get a good deal. When you are offered a low monthly payment on your car loan, that might seem like the best deal of all. In the long run, however, that low monthly payment might actually end up costing you hundreds of dollars more than you intended to pay. In order to understand the true total cost of car loans, you must look at three different factors.

Loan Amount

The initial amount you borrow is called the loan principal. The amount of principal you have left at the end of every billing cycle is one half of the equation that determines how much you will pay in interest. To lower the total amount you pay on the entire loan, it is a good idea to start with a lower principal. If you are able to pay 20% of the initial $25,000 cost in a down payment, that is $5000 of the purchase price that never figures into the interest you are charged.

Loan Rate

The other half of the interest equation is the interest rate itself. Bargaining for a lower interest rate can significantly reduce the price you ultimately pay for your next vehicle. A great credit score and other factors, such as dependable income, can lower your risk factors with the lender and thus can result in a lower APR, saving you a great deal of money.

Loan Term

A lower monthly payment might be tempting. When you accept a lower monthly payment, however, you are lengthening the term of your loan, postponing the date when the car will be paid off and costing yourself a lot of money in the process. You will pay significantly less interest with a 2- or 3-year loan term than with a 4-year loan.

When negotiating the terms of car loans, fight the urge to take it easier than your monthly budget can handle. Factor in the amount, rate and term of your loan to get the best deal overall.