First time car buyers with credit problems should follow the advice of the annual study by Consumer Reports that not only reveals that most used cars are now more reliable but offers a number of useful tips
Buying Your First Used Car
What we know

Credit-challenged first time buyers that are looking at a used car should first check out the annual auto issue published by Consumers Report before making a decision about which used car to finance with high risk car loans.

Based on our experience here at Auto Credit Express we think it could help. That's because for the past twenty years we've been helping car buyers with credit issues find dealers for their best chances at approved car loans. We also try to show them how to pick the right used cars with low credit scores.

Annual auto issue

The full report is available at (subscription required) or in print form. The latest news points to the fact that "With every passing year, buying a used car becomes less of a gamble."

Since used cars are generally more affordable than new ones, this is also good news to consumers with bad credit, since the car loans offered to these consumers typically carry higher than average interest rates - making a used cars the obvious choice.

In the report, Volvo, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, Hyundai, Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler showed the most improvement (all showing at least a ten percent gain when compared with the results from 2002). CR also tracked differences in the reliability of ten 2007 models with the Prius averaging six problems per 100 cars in its first year to just 26 problems per 100 cars after five years. This compares to the MINI Cooper S hatchback that averaged nine problems per 100 cars its first year and 113 problems per 100 cars by year five.

Avoiding lemons

In addition to these findings, CR offered its advice on "seven ways to avoid a lemon." Here they are:

• Check for signs of collision repair.  Some include mismatched body panels or doors, hoods, or trunks that don't close properly.  Bring a magnet to test for the presence of body filler; if it doesn't stick well to a steel panel, there may be filler under the paint and can indicate a repair.
• Beware of flood damage. A moldy or mildew smell, discolored carpeting or intermittent electrical problems may be signs.
• Check the fluids.  Wet spots in the engine compartment or under the vehicle can indicate leaking oils or fluids.  Check the oil and transmission fluids for proper texture and color.
• Read the smoke signals.  Blue smoke from the tailpipe indicates that the engine may be burning oil.  Billowing white smoke indicates water in the combustion chamber, usually because of a blown head gasket, damaged cylinder head or even a cracked block – all expensive repairs.
• Step on the gas.  Knocks and pings while accelerating can reflect an overheating engine.  If the engine revs excessively before the car accelerates, it may indicate a misadjusted or worn-out clutch or damaged automatic transmission.
• Check the vehicle's history.  A vehicle history report from Carfax ( or Experian Automotive ( can alert a buyer to possible odometer fraud; reveal past fire, flood, and accident damage.  Unfortunately, these services don't catch everything, so it's no guarantee that a car is problem-free.
• Get it inspected.  Have any car thoroughly inspected by a qualified mechanic.  Check for any recalls related to the car and verify whether the work was done.

The Bottom Line

By following the advice from Consumer Reports, first time buyers with bad credit will have a better chance of successfully completing an auto loan.

One more thing: Auto Credit Express specializes in placing applicants with poor auto credit with dealers that can give them their best chance of car loan approvals.

So if you're ready to begin reestablishing your car credit, you can begin now by filling out our online auto loans application.