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Thousands of People Save by Financing and Even Buying Used Cars Online

Finding the perfect car has never been easier. By searching for a used vehicle online you'll find a bigger selection and lower prices than anywhere else. Wondering where to start?

This page:

• Explains how used car finder services work

• Describes the search process

• Helps you sort through the financing offers for used vehicle purchase


Get the lowest auto loan rates:

Capital One Auto Finance offers the lowest auto loan rates in the country, for people with all types of credit ratings.

Apply with Capital One whether you are buying a new or used car, or even if you are buying from an individual. Whatever your choice, you will save thousands.

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If you have poor or no credit, click here to apply for special financing.


How used vehicle "finder" services work

Some used cars sales sites are nothing more than big lists of online auto classified's. But a good used car finder service will offer much more.

A good used cars sales service will allow you to enter any criteria you choose: type, make and model, price, and geographic location, and will return a list of vehicles meeting your specifications. (Talk about easy comparison shopping!).

Most of these services list ads from both independent third parties and dealerships, so you'll need to take note of who the seller is. An independent owner will probably ask a lower price, whereas a dealer will likely offer more product guarantees.

Keep in mind that financing on a dealership purchase will be a lot easier to arrange. (Although buyers with good credit can secure person-to-person auto loans at very reasonable rates.)

How to get the best deal

Companies that advertise "buying used cars online" services, often just act as billboards for dealerships. That's not really much help to you.

There are a few rules of thumb you'll want to keep in mind when you search used car sales sites:

• Search a large area
• Act fast
• Don't choose a car on monthly payment alone
• Get independent financing

• Search a large area. When the service asks you to choose a search area, make it as big as possible. You'll get a better idea of what's out there, and if you find your dream car, an extra 50 miles isn't too far to go.

Most dealers who advertise used cars online will even arrange delivery for a low fee. And that can be worth finding the right car at the right price.

• Act fast. If you see something you like, like the seller know you're interested. A lot of used cars get sold within hours of being posted. (And you know those aren't the bad deals!) Studies show that buyers who "just cruise" won't buy for months (and most never do). Just think about how many deals may have passed them by.

Remember, there's no commitment in contacting a seller. But it will get the ball rolling.

• Never choose a car based on it's monthly payment. We mean monthly payment here, not price. By all means shop and haggle for the best deal you can get.

But don't search used vehicles by lowest monthly payment. That usually just means a long, interest-heavy financing plan. Low monthly payments don't necessarily mean low price tag. They usually mean a long loan. Which brings us to our last tip . . .

• Arrange independent financing. Get your loan and then get your car. Dealerships make a lot of money by financing, even though they're not lenders themselves. Why? Because they charge you for the service. Save yourself thousands of dollars and get your own loan, directly from the lender.

You'll earn a lower interest rate, and you'll be able to negotiate a vehicle price without getting financing costs mixed up in the equation.

Get that car!

Ready to shop? Try Autobytel, one of the largest online used car finder sites in the country. They've got thousands of used cars listed, and great customer satisfaction ratings.

And if you need help with vehicle pricing, they offer online pricing guides from both Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds. So you can shop with confidence. Try them now: getting a used car quote takes only a couple of minutes, and it's free.

And don't forget the financing! Read our in-depth guide to auto loans online. You'll find help on choosing the right loan product, calculating payments, and finding a lender. It will save you thousands.