How to Buy Used Car in Florida

If you’ve been wondering which state is the best for buying used cars, then you should know it’s Florida. There you can find numerous dealers for used cars, and it’s completely normal to ask yourself how to buy a used car in Florida. Know also why in this state the average costs of used cars are almost $1,000 less than in other states.

A guide on how to buy a used car in Florida is good to have because in this state there’s no Lemon Law for used cars. It’s a written warranty that covers small or big problems a vehicle could have. Without it, you should know some things before making a big purchase from a dealership or private sales.

Several cars in a row

If you’re interested in buying pre-owned cars in the Sunshine State, keep reading. I’ve gathered everything you need to know.

Step by Step on How to Buy a Used Car in Florida

Many people who are thinking about changing a vehicle also have second thoughts about whether getting a new or used one is the best option. Although the prices have risen for previously owned cars too, know you’ll still save some money by purchasing them instead of the new ones. However, this doesn’t mean you should ignore some red flags.

Luckily, to avoid inconveniences during the purchase, you don’t have to be an experienced buyer. Yes, the experience will help, but if you take the following steps, you’ll purchase like a pro:

  • Get the pre-approval for the loan – when you are preapproved for whatever loan you need, know that things will go smoother with the dealerships. Not only will they know you’re sure about the purchase, but it will also help you stick to your budget.
  • Take time and do thorough research – making a big purchase like this one will require a bit more time because you should find the best offer and avoid vehicles with accidents history, higher mileage, and with flood-damage.
  • Request the car history report – when you find the best-used car to buy, ensure to request from seller reports like CARFAX or even AutoCheck.

Set the Budget and Check the Sale in Your Area

Even though these vehicles aren’t new, you still have to prepare financially for them since it’s still a big purchase. However, in this area, you’ll find the lowest initial pricesince the large market, but know you’ll be paying a 6% sales tax. And per year, there will be an insurance rate to pay – around $1,800.

Since you can get a used car with bad credit, as tempting as it sounds, buying a pre-owned vehicle with a credit card might not be the best idea. Instead, you should check what the best-used four-wheelers for the money are. Spending a bunch of your savings just on a four-wheeler could mean you won’t have insurance, possible repairs, or deductibles. Additionally, you should know that buying a pre-owned four-wheeler in Florida will require getting a safety inspection. It stands only for used vehicles, and the tests will cost around $100, including certificate stickers that last two years with a $10 application fee.

A woman uses a calculator

How Buying a Vehicle Works From a Dealer

When you find the perfect four-wheeler that meets all of your needs and wants, you should figure out whether used vehicles dealerships are good. Although you have heard many negative experiences, know that with a reputable dealership, you’ll get the best deal. Luckily, Better Business Bureau (BBB) has a list of all new accredited dealers that can help you find a reliable seller near you. Besides the financial benefits a buyer gets, keep in mind that reputable sellers offer warranties that are always good to have. So, here are some of the top-rated ones in Florida.

Pre-owned vehicles dealersYears in business
Ocean Auto Sales19
Infiniti of Coral Gables5
The Collection20
Braman Cadillac46
Mercedes-Benz Of Coral Gables69

Check the Dealer You Plan to Buy From

Since there are numerous dealers in the Sunshine State, you need to be aware that you can run into fraud. And to prevent being scammed and losing tons of money, ensure you do some research first. Use the power of the internet and check the reviews on Yelp, Google, and, as already mentioned, on BBB’s site.

Dealers are obligated by law to show four-wheelers in Buyer’s Guide, no matter if they are sold as-is or under warranty. It’s a document that includes records of any repairs and damages to the vehicle you’re looking to purchase. And since in Florida, the loans law doesn’t apply to used cars, you need to make sure yourself whether a four-wheeler is in good condition by asking numerous questions.

A woman uses a laptop

What to Do When Purchasing from the Owner

Purchasing from a private seller is always a bit of a challenging process. You need to be much more precautious and do thorough research on your own. Luckily, the Motor Vehicle Department and Florida Highway Safety are recommending the following steps to take and be sure you’re safe and making the right decision:

  • Check the steering wheel and keyholes to ensure the vehicle isn’t stolen,
  • Be sure the VIN title matches the etched identification number,
  • Turn away if there’s no title,
  • Examine the person who is selling the four-wheeler.

Inspect Vehicles and Do One Test Drive Before the Purchase

As exciting as getting a new four-wheeler (even though it’s a used one) might be, keep in mind that you shouldn’t seal the deal without testing it first. In fact, Florida is quite serious when it comes to odometer frauds. So, if a seller is trying to tamper with mileage reading, know it’s a felony. So, taking a vehicle to a trustworthy mechanic is more than an important step in this whole process. Also, take the car for a test drive. It’s probably the best way to decide whether it fits perfectly to your needs.

A woman buying a car

Don’t Skip Any Step and Make It Official

Taking a leap and making a purchase like this one is a big step in a person’s life. That’s why omitting any of the steps I mentioned before can lead to some mistakes that will ruin the whole experience. So, be wise and know how to effortlessly make a purchase of your next four-wheeler in this area like a pro.