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How to Find Where to Buy the Car You Want in the United States


Buying a vehicle can sometimes feel like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to. By doing some research, you can make the process easier when it comes time to negotiate and purchase your car. You will want to narrow it down to a few options that fit your needs, and then it’s time to find the best place to purchase your vehicle. 

Are You Looking for a New or Used Vehicle?

New Cars

So, you have decided to purchase or lease a new vehicle, and now you need to figure out where to buy it. If you already know the make and model of the car you want, you will need to find a local dealer that has one. Our advice is to start online by searching the manufactures website or a specific dealer to view what new vehicles they have in stock. If the vehicle you want is in high demand, you may want to reach out directly and ask if they have any arriving soon and start a relationship with the dealer. 

There is no need to stress if the local dealer doesn’t have what you want on the lot. Often, if the dealership doesn’t have the car in stock you are looking for, they can order it. When ordering a domestic car, keep in mind that it can take six to eight weeks for the vehicle to arrive. If you want to purchase an import, you will have to factor in the time it takes to travel across the ocean and ship to your dealership. You may not receive your car for a few months. 

Used Cars

If you have decided to purchase a used car, there are many more options to consider when deciding where to buy it. There are tons of used vehicles to choose from, and if you aren’t looking for a specific make or model, buying used may be the best option for you. Some places to consider when purchasing a used car include:

Local car dealers

buying from a local used car dealership can come with a lot of benefits that you may not even know of, such as,

  • When purchasing from a local dealership, the salesman must provide you with used vehicle history. They can show you a CarFax or AutoCheck and any other relevant information that would let you know you’re making a solid purchase and set your mind at ease.
  • Reputable dealers will often offer warranties on the cars they sell. This can act as an added layer of protection if anything happens to your vehicle after you’ve purchased it.
  • Dealers will usually offer financing options. If you don’t want to pay the total amount of the car upfront, you can take advantage of any dealership that offers to finance. This way, you can spread your payments out over time.

National used car online sites

Used online car websites have become increasingly popular over the last decade, and with good reason. They offer a large selection of vehicles to choose from and will ship the car right to you.

  • Carvana is an online-only used-car retailer that acts very much like a physical dealer, except everything is done from the ease of your computer. You can search for and buy a used car and never haggle with salespeople. The site also accepts trade-in vehicles and offers financing and extended warranties. By typing in the criteria you’re looking for, you can have a list of options at your fingertips in seconds. Carvana makes the car buying experience as simple as it can be. 
  • Vroom is another website that allows you to purchase a used car online. It works similarly to Carvana but is a much smaller company. Vroom offers financing, and once you’ve placed your deposit, your car will be delivered to you. After receiving the vehicle, you have a whole week or 250 miles to return the car if you don’t love it. 

Private party

Private sellers are another option to consider when purchasing a used car. The main reason to go through a private seller over a dealership is affordability. Private sellers are often motivated to sell at lower prices and don’t typically use the pressure sales tactics that can come with a dealership. However, when using a private seller, you will have to do some research to make sure the car is in good condition. Since private sellers aren’t legitimate businesses, they aren’t required to offer a car history or financing.

When deciding which route to take when purchasing your vehicle, you will want to consider all of these facts and decide which option would be the best fit for you.

Researching a Local Dealer

Once you’ve decided whether buying a new or used vehicle is the best option for you, the next step is to research local car dealers. When doing your research, there are a few key factors you will want to keep in mind. 

  • Inventory Make sure that the dealership has the car in stock that you want or the ability to order it. 
  • IncentivesIncentives and rebates are programs offered to consumers or dealers to promote more car sales. The most common programs are cash rebates, low-interest financing, special leases, and marketing supports. The manufacturer establishes new vehicle incentives, but a local dealer may have additional incentives or discounts to sweeten your deal. The dealer should advertise these on their website.
  • The dealership’s location You will likely want your vehicle serviced with your dealership, so you must keep the location in mind to make your routine service needs easy.

A positive experience as an immigrant

  • Does the dealership advertise that they have Spanish-speaking staff?
  • Take the time to read past reviews of the dealership and look for any positive or negative experiences that may help give you better insight.
  • Depending on your immigration status, you may want to look for dealerships that understand immigrants and have experience with the documentation options. If you live in an area with a high population of immigrants, the dealership may advertise this, or you can always reach out before visiting.

Buying a vehicle is a significant investment and one you will want to take seriously. Take the time to shop around and ensure that you’re getting the best car at the best deal and a positive buying experience. By keeping these factors in mind, you are sure to drive off the lot in a vehicle you love.

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