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2016 Nissan Altima

Top 10 Used Car Buying Tips

Buying a used car is a fun, exciting process. A lot goes into finding the right one and making your decision, so you’re probably wondering: What are some tips for buying a used car? Stateline Nissan put together this list of the top 10 used car buying tips to help drivers near East Providence, Cranston, and Pawtucket know what to do and what questions to ask when buying their next used car!

1. Make a Budget

The first thing you should do when shopping for a used car is make a budget. This way, you’ll know what makes and models are in your price range and what financing rates you’ll be able to budget for.

2. Improve Your Credit

credit reportThe next step of budgeting is checking and improving your credit. When you apply for an auto loan, the rates you’re offered depend on your credit score and credit history. You can check your credit online with Experian®. Once you know where you stand, take some steps to get your credit in order, such as paying off any outstanding debts.

3. Start Searching Locally

Now you’re ready to begin looking for your next car. Start your search by looking for models that meet your preferences and needs—chances are, there’s a dealership in your area that has a used car that matches exactly what you’re looking for.

4. Compare Prices

Once you’ve found some local dealers that have the car you want, it’s a good idea to compare prices. You’re looking for two things: how much each dealership is asking for the car, and whether the value they’re asking is accurately priced. With reliable services like Kelley Blue Book®, you can check the value of a used car for free!

5. Ask for a Vehicle History Report

If you’ve ever wondered what questions to ask when buying a used car, the first thing you should ask for is a vehicle history report. It tells a used car’s entire past, including its service history as well as information on its previous owners.

6. Take a Test Drive

test driveIf everything checks out, it’s time to take the car for a test drive. Pay close attention to how the car drives, accelerates, handles, and brakes, and check as many features as possible. Turn on the heat, air conditioning, and defroster to make sure they work.

7. Check for Wear & Tear

After you’ve finished your test drive, give the car another look-over before you make any decisions. Walk around the car and examine it; pop the hood and look at the engine. Remember to check the tire tread and look under the car for any leaks as well.

8. Have the Car Inspected

While you’ve already read the vehicle history report, taken a test drive, and looked over the car, it’s still a good idea to have it inspected by one of the dealership’s technicians. Get a trained eye to look over it and double check that it’s in good condition.

9. Ask About Warranty

Another thing to ask about when buying a used car is if there’s a warranty. Most dealerships provide a warranty for new and certified pre-owned cars, but you can sometimes find them for used cars too. Overall, warranties are a good way to get some of your routine maintenance covered.


At this stage, it’s time to sign the paperwork. You’ll meet with the dealership’s finance department to discuss auto loans and options; this is the point you’ll be glad you took steps to improve your credit earlier! Once you sign on the dotted line and make your down payment, the keys will be all yours.

Used Car Dealership Inventory

Visit Stateline Nissan to see our great selection of reliable used and certified pre-owned cars. We’re proud to provide dependable service and a large inventory of vehicles to drivers throughout East Providence, Cranston, and Pawtucket. To learn more about the top 10 used car buying tips and what to ask about when buying a used car, contact or visit our dealership today!

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