• USED CAR BUYING GUIDE

Florida Used Car Buyers Guide

Used vehicles can be a wonderful purchase provided that proper research is performed on the vehicle.  Although the smell of a new car is wonderful, many Florida State drivers can not afford the high dollars that are spent on a new vehicle.  And, there is something nice about being able to pay for a vehicle upfront and not have those expensive monthly payments.  For all Florida State drivers that are purchasing a used vehicle, we have compiled a complete guide to bring you all the information you need to make the most informed purchase in a used vehicle.

Used Car Considerations

Purchasing a used vehicle requires a bit more research than if you were to purchase a new car.  The nice thing about shopping for a pre-owned vehicle is that there is many on the market and finding one to suit your needs will not be difficult. 

To begin, determine what you need in a vehicle.  If you have a large family then you will be interested in a vehicle with more seating.  Just as if you are an avid 4-wheeler than you’ll likely want a 4-wheel drive vehicle.  You must also know what options you want in a vehicle.  Many people cannot live without an automatic transmission or power steering and brakes.  Are you interested in a vehicle that gets good gas mileage?  Are passenger airbags important?  Is a warranty that will carry over on the vehicle important?  These are all things that need to be considered when buying a new vehicle. 

Determine Your Budget

Most used cars are purchased with cash, some are financed.  For consumers that have decided that they would like to pay cash for the used automobile it will be necessary to determine your budget.  For those financing they will also need to determine their budget to ensure that they are purchasing a vehicle that they can afford the monthly loan payment on.

There are things aside from the selling price of the used vehicle that need to be considered.  You will also be responsible for a title transfer and registration fees.  Smog or emissions certification may also be required.  And, there is the cost of the insurance that you will be responsible for. 

When shopping for a used car through a third party, it is unlikely that they will offer financing, however, dealers will, depending on your credit score.  Used car buyers also have the option of obtaining a loan through their bank or credit union. 

Purchasing a Used Vehicle Online

There are many resources for purchasing a used vehicle online such as eBay and other auto auctions.  However, you are not normally able to inspect the vehicle first.  When purchasing a vehicle online you are often taking the seller’s word on the condition of the vehicle unless you do your research first.  A vehicle history report should always be performed on any used vehicle that you are considering for purchase.

Vehicle History Reports

For used car buyers, a vehicle history report is the most useful tool.  A vehicle history report will give you the complete history of the automobile.  This includes whether the vehicle has been salvaged, how many owners the vehicle has had, all service repairs to the vehicle, how many accidents the vehicle has been in and other valuable information that could protect you from purchasing a lemon.  To obtain a vehicle history report you can order online for a small fee which can eventually you save you thousands in future repair bills. 

Forms and Resources

There are a number of forms that you will be responsible for when purchasing a used vehicle.  You will be responsible for transferring the registration and the title of the vehicle and any inspections required on the vehicle.  You will also need to use a Bill of Sale form in the purchase of the used vehicle.  Visit to obtain a List of Forms

Choose A State