« Back to Automotive News

Used Car Buying Guide

Are you looking for a pre-owned car near Harrisburg, Mechanicsburg, or Trevose? If so, then read through our used car buying guide. Our team at Faulkner Auto Group provided these helpful tips, so that you can find the car of your dreams.

Read through them below, and contact us if you have any questions.

Determine Your Budget

Before you can pick out your next car, you’ll need to determine how much you can afford to spend on one.

A good rule of thumb is to spend no more than 15 percent of your monthly take-home pay. This number is so you can factor in all your auto costs. Remember, you’re not just paying for the car itself each month. You also have to pay for insurance, gas, and other costs. With all those additional fees, you’re looking at about 22 percent of your monthly income.

So, you’ll need to think about what you’re already paying for each month, like: bills, groceries, child expenses, etc. Put your monthly income in one column, and your expenses in the other. Whatever you have left over is roughly what you can afford for a car every month.

Decide What Vehicle You Want

After determining your budget, you’ll need to decide the kind of car you want. If you’re single and have long commutes, then you may want a fuel-efficient sedan with lots of features. If you need a bigger car for your family, a station wagon or SUV might be good. Or, if you do a lot of work outside, then a tough and capable pickup truck may be best for you.

You’ll also have to think about what features you’ll need, and which ones you can live without. Again, this is where your budget comes in. Do you not drive far often? You may be able to forgo that fancy navigation system. Do you live in a colder climate and need heated seats? The good thing about buying used is that you can get this feature, all while fitting it in your budget.

Take a Test Drive

Browsing through an inventory is a great way to find a car of interest. You can use search filters to narrow down options by things like year, body, and exterior color. Then, each vehicle listing will have photos and a description of its features.

But, while reading about a car is great, you’ll need to experience it in person to see if it’s right for you. By scheduling a test drive, you can look at every inch of the car. You’ll want to make sure the exterior and interior look good, that the seats are comfortable, and that the controls are within reach and in working order.

When you start driving, you’ll want to pay attention to any odd noises or smells. You’ll also want to see how the vehicle handles on different roads and at different speeds. See how the steering feels around corners, and how the brakes react when hitting them hard or gently.

Check Out Our Used Car Inventory

The above-mentioned tips will help you find your ideal vehicle. When you’re ready to get started, take a look at our used car inventory. Then, schedule a test drive at Faulkner Auto Group, to take it for a spin around Harrisburg, Mechanicsburg, or Trevose. Find your next pre-owned car today!