Dos and Don’ts of Financing a Used Car

Dos and Don’ts of Financing a Used Car:
A comprehensive guide for first-time buyers

September 2023

Purchasing a used car might be a daunting task, especially for a first-time buyer. Making different decisions is necessary to buy a used automobile at a decent value.

You can finance used cars without hassle. You don’t need to pay the whole amount at once.

But financing a car demands attention. You need to be careful during the car financing process. You have several options to finance a car through a bank, a credit union, brokers, or the dealership itself.

When you are financing a used car, knowledge is your best ally. Spending some time researching creditors and comparing various choices is the smart option. Get pre-approved for an auto loan. Compile all the necessary papers and start working on them.

Things you should “DO” when financing a used car

1.   Research on lenders

Explore various lenders like banks, credit unions, community banks, and finance companies to find the best fit for your needs. Don’t forget to consider the dealership. Compare the interest rates and deals. There are so many factors that need to be considered. Large banks offer higher interest rates and fees, while credit unions provide better deals and lower rates. Community banks offer personalized attention, while online banks offer streamlined applications and affordable auto loans. Finance companies cater to niche customers. Choose wisely.

2.   Getting financing quotes

Finding as many financing options as you can is generally a good idea before choosing a business or dealership. You will then have access to sufficient quotations to make a choice. Finding a corporation to borrow money from might be compared to buying a precious item. Compare the loan amount on the table and obtain quotations. Examine the conditions and length of each loan. Also, you must contrast their interest rates. Only accept a contract if it offers the maximum benefit.

3.   Choose the type of interest

Regarding interest rates, there are two choices: fixed rates or variable rates. Fixed and variable interest rates are available for loans, with fixed rates ensuring fixed interest payments over the loan duration. Variable rates offer flexibility but increase risk due to market fluctuations. Both options involve a gamble in determining the best interest rate for a loan.

4.   Down payment

Save for your down payment and try to put down at least 20% of the entire cost. It would not only minimize the installments but also have an impact on interest rates. A higher down payment would be more beneficial in the long term. The down payment would be deducted from the original price of the car; hence, you would have to borrow a lesser amount.

5.   Get pre-approved for financing

Get pre-approval for your car loan. Regardless of your credit score, getting pre-approved for a car loan is the smart option. Compare multiple lenders to get pre-approval for your car loan. Make sure you consider all the terms and conditions and choose the one that best suits your needs.

Submit an application for a car loan pre-approval and get started.

Common mistakes you make when financing a used car:

1.   Not checking your credit score

An auto loan is not the same as other mortgages. Despite having poor credit, you can still qualify for an auto loan. No doubt, your credit score will impact your interest rates. Dealerships can help you get the lowest interest rates with a lower credit score.

Although you should try to improve your credit score.

2.   Not making a budget

Review your financial situation and make sure you can afford to pay back the loans before financing a used car. It is important to make a budget while considering monthly payments but make sure the monthly payment is not the only significant thing in the budget calculation. Determine your monthly income and spending and then anticipate the amount you can afford to make an additional monthly loan installment as per your budget.

Set the limit of your budget and buy a car within.

3.   Extending loans

Even though a smaller term loan requires higher monthly payments, you’ll wind up saving money over time. You will eventually pay less interest if you pay off the loan sooner. Although delaying payments for five years or longer is alluring, doing so will just raise your costs as interest rates rise. Also, by the time you have paid off the loan, the automobile might not have been worth the cost.

4.   Ignore financing fees and hidden charges

Dealer fees, documentation costs, and sales tax are additional costs when purchasing a used car. First of all, don’t add these costs to the loan and all such extra payments and fees need to be paid in cash.

Don’t ignore hidden charges and other expensive add-ons. This can lead to exceeding the car’s value. Financing fees or expensive add-ons are not recommended.

5.   Focusing only on interest rates

Usually, borrowers consider only the rate of interest when comparing auto loans. Yes, interest rate is a big factor, but we should not ignore other factors too. The interest rate does not show the actual cost.

The term of the loan, type of the loan, and the monthly payments are some of the factors that you should consider. 


Applying for used car finance involves immediate action to obtain the lowest monthly payment and quick approval. To minimize risks, avoid mistakes during the shopping and buying process by not rushing the process and carefully reading loan terms and conditions before signing.

Skyline Auto Group is the perfect place to go if you’re searching for a great price on a used car. We are a trusted used-car dealer in Surrey, British Columbia, and can also help you finance the used car. We offer good interest rates and the best offers. We have cars for everyone.

Contact Information

 Phone: 604-503-2886

 Phone: 604-591-8322

7237 King George Blvd
Surrey, British Columbia

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