Step by step Are you buying a used car for the first time? Do you have little knowledge of the used car market? Follow the steps below, and use the articles of the PreOwnedCarAdvice Handbook.

The following nine steps lead you through the complete purchasing process: from the orientation process to the actual purchase of a used car. The links lead you to articles on this website with more information about the topic.

1. What kind of vehicle do you need?

How much are you willing to spend? Which fuel type will be the most economic in your situation. Do you prefer a specific brand or type of car. And of course: what will you use this car for? If you have no clue of what the used-car market has to offer, spend some time on the different car search websites (for example, or, or buy a used-car magazine. It is important to learn about the different brands and models that the market has to offer.

2. Find a car on the internet

When you have a certain model or type of car in mind, then put you preferences in the previously mentioned car search sites. Select a brand, type, price, and fuel type. To get the best result, keep the criteria that are of less importance empty. If you want to buy close to home, then most websites give you the possibility to enter your zip code to narrow the search results down to your local dealerships. The results will show a number of cars with prices that can differ significantly. Therefore, take special interest in the registration dates, mileages, trim level and colours. For example, an air conditioning increases the price of a car substantially, whereas a peculiar colour lowers it.

3. Select a couple of potentials

You now have got an idea of the kind of car you would like to buy, got the important accessories lined up and made sure that the average value of such a car stays within your budget. It is time to pick your winners and visit the dealerships. Contact the dealerships beforehand to make sure that the car you have in mind is still for sale, because when a car is sold, it can take a couple of days before they removed it.

4. First visit to the dealer

Your first visit to a dealership is best to be seen as a first impression of the dealership. Besides the viewing of the car in question, it is important to feel the atmosphere of the dealership. Ask yourself: In what manner am I treated? How are the cars presented in general? And is the ad accordant to the vehicle in front of me?

Furthermore, ask about the warranty plans and the pre-delivery inspection. But most importantly, do not let yourself be reasoned into a purchase during your first visit. You have made a list of cars you want to see, so stick with the plan.

When you return home, do not forget to google the names of the dealerships. The charming salesman you have spoken to can very well be a notorious swindler.