Are you a college student on a budget? It’s not uncommon for college kids to be on tighter budgets – school isn’t cheap, and you’re often also footing the bill for housing, books, groceries, and other bills that were covered when you lived at home. However, don’t let the fact that you need a new ride stress you out; buying an Orlando used car is a great (and affordable!) way to get back out on the road in time for fall semester. Today, Toyota of Orlando is talking tips for college students who are in the market for a used vehicle and how to make the experience stress-free!
Use our tips to help you find the right used car in Orlando
Buying a car is also usually another first for college students – up until that point, your parents have probably helped you in big decisions and maybe even taken care of part of the financial burden. Don’t let used car shopping daunt you; Toyota of Orlando has tips to guide you in the right direction!
Tip #1: Do your research. If you walk onto a used car lot in Orlando unprepared, it’s going to be VERY daunting. There are a ton of makes and models to choose from, as well as numerous price points to explore. It’s easy to get overwhelmed in a very short time! Our dealership recommends making a list of the qualities you NEED out of your next car – consider factors like interior space, fuel efficiency, safety and entertainment technology, and performance capabilities. This will help you match your needs up to a more specific list of vehicle options that you can look for when you hit the lot.
Tip #2: Go online! Most Orlando used car dealers list their cars online, so you can check out their website and see if any of the vehicles match your list of needs before you even leave the house. This will help weed out dealers that don’t have what you need and cut down on your actual shopping time.
Tip #3: Figure out what your budget is. We’re not just talking price, either – you should factor in things like fuel costs, maintenance costs, and insurance costs to ensure this Orlando preowned car is REALLY going to be feasible for your budget. This will help narrow your selection of cars even further.
Tip #4: Call ahead. You can ask the dealer if the car you’re thinking about test driving is still on the lot, as well as schedule an appointment ahead of time for your test drive to speed up the process. This is also a good time to ask what documents you should bring with you just in case you decide to sign that dotted line while you’re there.
Tip #5: Tell the sales specialist exactly what you’re looking for when you arrive at the Orlando used car dealership you decide on. Whether it’s a specific car or a specific set of characteristics, they can help you find what you need and save time by ruling out options that aren’t right for you.
Tip #6: ALWAYS take a test drive. But before you get behind the wheel, make sure you inspect the car inside, outside, and under the hood. Look for damage, excessive wear and tear, rust, and other issues that might be a dealbreaker. Additionally, get behind the wheel and just sit for a minute – can you reach everything inside this particular Orlando preowned vehicle? Make sure you’re comfortable and everything is ergonomically laid out to your liking.
Tip #7: About that test drive – hit the road. You’ll need to notice how the used car handles, including acceleration, braking, turning, and reversing. The car should move through all the movements smoothly, without shaking or hesitation, and you should be comfortable driving it. Don’t be afraid to hit higher speeds to see how the car handles (after all, you’ll be taking it out on the highway at some point).
Toyota of Orlando shares signs that you might want to NOT buy that particular car
And there you have it! Trust us – a little preparation will go a long way in terms of putting you more at ease when you reach the Orlando used car dealership you’ve found, and taking that test drive can really make or break your decision and leave you feeling sure about your choice. However, there are a few more ways to rule out a used vehicle in Orlando – check out this list of signs that you should say thanks, but no thanks!
- Incredibly high mileage – this can shorten the lifespan of the car, leaving you in a rut down the road, as well as mean more expensive and more frequent repairs that can take a big toll on your budget. This is especially true if a lot of mileage is from highway driving, which causes more excessive wear and tear.
- Rust – rust eats away at the metal on your car, which can lead to structural damage. This can impact the safety of your ride as well as lead to costly Orlando auto repairs that you’ll have to shell out big bucks for.
- Flood damage or salvage status – this is never a good sign. These cars are often more damaged that you might think, unsafe, and very expensive to insure… and the resale value is little to none, so you’re sinking your cash into a bad investment. Avoid Orlando salvage used cars at all costs!
- Mismatched paint colors, panels that don’t meet, or any other weird repairs – this can be an indicator that this Orlando preowned car was in an accident that wasn’t reported and repairs were done on the sly (which in turn can mean the repairs weren’t necessarily up to par). Plus, if the accident wasn’t reported, there may be more damage than what meets the eye, which means you could be in trouble down the road.
If you spot any of those signs, reconsider the used car you’re shopping. It may be smarter to go with another option or visit another Orlando used vehicle dealer!
Need some help or want to shop our preowned vehicle selection? Call us today to set up your test drive – Toyota of Orlando is open seven days a week until 10pm at (888) 725-3520!