Your Guide to Buying a Used Car in 2024

Your Guide to Buying a Used Car in 2024

June 19, 2024

Buying a car in 2024 needs careful thinking and planning. Prices are high, and there aren't many cars available, but you can still find great deals if you know how to negotiate well. This guide gives you easy steps to buy a car successfully.


Here’s what you need to know before buying a used car in 2024:


1. First, figure out what you need

Before you start looking, think about what you really need. Think about things like how big you want the car to be, how much gas it uses, how much it costs to keep it running, and any special features you want. Doing this first step will make it easier to choose later on.


2. Decide on a budget

Decide how much money you can spend. Remember to think about not just the cost of buying the car, but also things like insurance, keeping it running, and filling it with gas. Stick to your budget so you don't have money problems later.


3. Check financing options

Decide if you want to pay all at once or get a loan. Check out different places for loans and compare how much interest they charge and how long you have to pay it back. Think about your credit score too, because it affects if you can get a loan and how much interest you'll pay.


4. Get pre-approved for a loan

Get pre-approved for a loan from your bank or credit union. This will help you figure out how much you can spend and make it easier to buy a car. Plus, it gives you more power to negotiate with the seller.


5. Check out different car models

Once you know how much you can spend, look at different cars that fit your budget. Compare things like how they're made, safety features, and customer reviews. Doing this will help you choose the best one for you.


6. Find a good car dealership

Look for dealerships that people trust. Good reviews online usually mean happy customers, but watch out for a few bad comments. Choose a dealership that has lots of different cars to pick from. More choices mean you're more likely to find the one that's just right for you.


7. Take the car for a test drive

Cars come and go at dealerships all the time, so what you see online might not be what's still available. That's why it's a good idea to be prepared for a test drive. Look beyond just how shiny it looks. But if you're not sure how to do this, ask a mechanic for help.


Read: What to Look for When Test Driving a Car?


8. Check the car's history

Before you buy a used car, it's important to get a vehicle history report. This tells you about the car's past, like if it's been in any accidents or had repairs done. Even though the dealership might give you a report, it's smart to get one yourself from a website like You can use the car's identification number on the website to get the report and make sure the one the dealer gave you is real.


Read: How to Get a Free CARFAX Vehicle History Report 


9. Negotiate the price

Negotiating with a dealership might seem intimidating, but it's simpler than you think. You can snag the best price by exchanging a few emails. First, ask the dealer for their best out-the-door (OTD) price. Next, check out similar cars at other local dealerships and get their best OTD price too. Then, go back to the original dealer and ask if they can beat the other offers. Keep doing this until you find the lowest price and make your purchase there.


Read: 7 Tips To Negotiate With A Used Car Dealer


10. Get insurance for your car

When you're all set to buy a particular car, you'll need insurance before you can drive it away. You can't drive in Canada without car insurance, and dealers won't let you leave the lot without it. You'll also need insurance to register your car. The price of the insurance will change based on things like your driving history, the kind of car you get, and how much extra coverage you want apart from what's required by law.


Read: Everything you need to know about Ontario Car Insurance


Getting a car in 2024 needs careful planning. By following these steps, you can go through the process confidently and choose the right car that fits what you need and what you can afford.