How to Choose a Used Car in 20 Minutes

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When it comes to buying a used car, nobody has time to do hours of research and comparison shopping like well-meaning friends and family members say you should do. Instead, empower yourself to choose a used car in 20 minutes while still doing your due diligence and ensuring that you get the best deal possible on your dream car. Men and women, get ready to start your engines!

Shop Online

Technology and the Internet are your best friends as you search for a used car. Start by perusing the website of your auto dealer of choice. You may finds a complete list of cars there, and, if you have questions, you can email the salespeople prior to going in. Walk into the dealership with a couple of cars in mind so you can start discussions and test drives right away. If you also fill out some preliminary paperwork online, you can be walking out of the dealership in under 20 minutes.

Take Advantage of Free Resources

A plethora of free resources are available right at your fingertips. When you're buying a car, the following free apps can go a long way to saving you time and, in some cases, money:

While some of the above are also available as websites, the app ensures that you have access to it at your fingertips even when you're walking around the car lot trying to make those final decisions.

Make a List

Be sure to make a list of what you must have in a car before you show up on the lot. Read it over a few times. Try to reduce what's there. The more inflexible you are with your requirements for a car, the less likely you are to find the right match. However, you also don't want to compromise on what you truly must have to be happy with a car. Make the list accurate and concise, then keep it by your side as you look at cars. It will automatically help you skip over spending time with vehicles who ultimately won't make the cut.

Test Drive the Cream of the Crop

By talking to the dealer and looking online before you show up on the used car lot, you can have a good idea about the type of vehicle that you want as well as the ones that will be in your price range. After looking over your top choices, try to make the decision before you're ready to test drive. By only taking one or two cars for a spin, you'll prevent wasted time on cars that aren't really for you.

Finally, make sure to maintain a balance between your ideals of a dream car and what is realistically available in your area. It's possible to buy a used vehicle from a place like Auto Max in 20 minutes while still satisfying your basic wishes for a car and your budget.