“Your best work involves timing. If someone wrote the best hip hop song of all time in the Middle Ages, he had bad timing.” –Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert
You’ve heard the timing clichés before. Timing is everything. Strike while the iron’s hot. And now: don’t write hip hop if the people want medieval chants.
What does this have to do with buying a used car? A successful used car buying experience relies on timing. Consider the things that need to happen for your used car purchase to be successful. You have to:
- Secure an affordable auto loan
- Find the right car for sale at the right price
- Close the deal with a seller you trust
All three factors rely on timing. Let’s take a look at each one.
Securing an affordable auto loan
Your financing costs are impacted by market conditions and by your credit history. Market conditions in early 2013 are favorable for used car buyers. According to a report from Experian Automotive, longer loan terms and low interest rates have kept monthly loan payments affordable for both new and used car buyers in recent months. Experian also found that average credit scores had declined—meaning that auto financing was easier to get than it had been the year before.
Your individual credit history is also a significant factor. It determines whether you get the best available interest rate, or something slightly higher. You may want to request your credit report from Equifax, Experian or TransUnion. Seeing your report provides two benefits:
- You’ll have more realistic expectations about interest rates.
- You’ll have the opportunity to dispute any errors in your file.
You can estimate what your rate might be, but you won’t know for sure until you apply for a loan. When you’re ready for this step, you can complete a finance application on the Dodgeland of Columbia website. Dodgeland does work with several local banks to provide you with competitive loan rates.
Choosing the right car
Choosing the right used or pre-owned car usually involves a trade-off between what you want and what you can afford. To make this decision easier, create a prioritized list of what’s important to you. There’s no one-size-fits-all formula, but common considerations include:
- Maintenance costs
- Fuel economy
- Cargo space
- Exterior styling
Stay focused on features, rather than specific models and colors. Remember what Scott Adams says about hip hop in the Middle Ages. Your car search will be disappointing if you only want red 2010 Dodge Charger and there isn’t one for sale within the entire state of South Carolina.
Finding the right seller
Choosing the right dealer is as important as choosing the right car. This is particularly true in South Carolina, where lemon laws don’t apply to used car purchases and there’s no buyer’s remorse law that lets you cancel a contract. You have to know a dealer is providing reputable service and good value. You should feel confident that you can ask your dealer for help identifying suitable vehicles. When you have that kind of confidence in a dealership, you know the time is right for you to buy.
Dodgeland of Columbia has you covered as the dealer you can trust. We invite you to drop in and see for yourself. Test drive some of our used cars. Ask us about our service philosophy. Chat with the folks in the parts department. Get a sense of who we are and how we treat our customers. Take a moment to see what others have to say about their experiences with us.
Owned by JT’s Cars, Dodgeland of Columbia has been serving the community for 20 years and has some of the highest customer satisfaction scores in the southeast. The Dodgeland Paint & Collision Center is I-CAR Gold Class certified, DRP (Direct Repair Program) and certified by most insurance companies. Even better, repair costs average 33% less than other dealerships and collision centers! Visit Dodgeland or any one of the JT’s dealerships today; we’re here to exceed your expectations.