With these tips from Carfax consumers shopping for auto loans can navigate the troubled waters of picking out the right used car even if they have bad credit

Our experience

Here at Auto Credit Express we've spent more than two decades helping car buyers with problem credit looking for online car loans find the right kind of dealers that can afford them their best opportunities for car loan approvals. At the same time we try to share what we know by guiding them through what is usually their first – and we hope only - experience with subprime auto loans.

One thing we like to point out is that just because they're typically less expensive, buying a used car is no longer just for consumers who can't afford or qualify for a new car.

Used car financing

There are a number of reasons why financing a used car instead of a new car makes more sense:

• Depreciation – New cars depreciate a lot. By buying a two - or three-year-old vehicle, buyers can save anywhere from 20% to 35% off the price of a comparable new one.
• Warranties – New cars typically come with transferable warranties. Buying a used car that's still covered by its new car warranty can result in saving money on an extended service contract if it's purchased from a franchised new car dealer.
• Certified Used Cars – Most manufacturers now offer certified used cars which, while more expensive, come with extended service contracts that offer fairly comprehensive coverage that can be worth the cost difference.
• Quality – Today's used cars are some of the most reliable in history.

Carfax tips for used car buyers

1. Pricing. Prices on most used cars have leveled off and even dropped recently from historically high prices. Visit third-party pricing sites to get retail book values and use their shopping tools to adjust those values based on their condition.

2. Consider certified pre-owned (CPO). Certified used cars are the closest thing to new at higher used car prices. Most manufacturer programs, such as Honda, GM and Toyota include a Vehicle History Report (from AutoCheck or Carfax) and thorough mechanical inspection.
3. Check out online car sites. Sites like AutoTrader.com and Cars.com let you compare vehicles to give you a better idea of what a fair selling price might be.

4. Check out the paperwork. Review as much documentation as possible including title documents and service records and receipts.

The devil is in the details, so check for:

5. Open recalls. According to Carfax, estimates are that 30% of all recalled cars go unfixed. Franchised new car dealers for that brand will fix any open recalls for free.

6. Odometer issues. Digital odometer tampering is often difficult to detect. Be sure the interior and exterior wear and tear correspond to what the odometer displays.

7. Flood damage. Check for any odors, corrosion, mud and dirt – especially in those hard to clean areas. Also be sure all warning lights and electrical components are working properly.

8. Curbstoners. These are illegal dealers that pose as private sellers and sell cars on the internet, along roadsides and through classified ads. These vehicles often have hidden problems and the sellers typically disappear after the sale.

9. Professional inspection. Not something to look for but what you should have done by both a certified master mechanic and a body and frame specialist prior to signing any sale documents.

One last tip

Check us out. Here at Auto Credit Express we specialize in matching consumers in challenging car credit situations with those franchised new car dealers that can offer them their best chance for approved car loans.

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