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J.G. Wentworth Blog

How to Buy a Great Used Car at a Great Price

Buying a used car, even under ideal circumstances, can be a very stressful experience. You want to make sure you’re buying a car that will last… while paying a fair price for that car. 

Every week, J.G. Wentworth interacts with thousands of people around the country looking for financial relief; we understand how important each and every dollar is to them, and do our best to help qualified customers get the value for their future structured settlement and annuity payments. In that spirit, today we would like to offer some of our tips on how to buy a great used car at a great price so folks can drive away from the purchase feeling great about both their car and the deal they made for it. Here are our favorites:

– Know your budget

Before considering what type of car you’re interested in, make a budget about what you can honestly afford – and then stick to it.

– Find several car makes and models that interest you

You probably have a car in mind that’s the perfect blend of horsepower, color, gas mileage, brand, etc. You may find it, of course, but a better strategy is to keep your mind open to more than one car type so you’ll have more purchasing options.

– Do your general research

The next step is to research those cars that interest you on such sites as,,, and others, weighing the pros and cons of each brand.

– Shop with due diligence

Once you go to a used car dealership, or answer an advertisement for a used car, your search is no longer general. This is good news: now you can perform due diligence on this specific car, looking at the car’s VIN number and obtaining its history.

– Find a mechanic you can trust to look under the car’s hood

One tactic far too few used-car buyers attempt is to bring their mechanic with them when they are considering a specific purchase. It may cost a bit of money to pay for the mechanic’s time, but that money is much less than what you might pay an auto repairs if you end up buying a lemon.

– Watch out for tricky financing terms

This is advice specifically related to buying a used car from the dealer, but is important to know that some dealers make most of their profit from the financi terms of the car sale. Make sure the terms are reasonable, fair, and, of course, within your budget.

– Always be willing to walk away from a negotiation

Last but certainly not least is that trickiest of subjects, the Fine Art of Negotiation. Some people are born with the gift of negotiation, and always find a way to make a great deal for themselves; others it’s just the opposite, and they tend to spend more than they might have had they only been savvier. Apart from doing your due diligence on a specific car so you know it’s blue book value, and not letting your emotions get in the way of your logic during the negotiations, our recommendation is that you should also always be prepared to walk away from any deal that seems unfair to you. Doing so will keep you from making a purchase you may deeply regret later.

We hope these tips will help you buy a great used car at a great price! Frankly, helping our customers keep their hard-earned money where it belongs – in their pockets – is one of our great pleasures at J.G. Wentworth, and we post blogs like this in our Money Smarts section on a weekly basis, offering general tips on a wide range of topics. You should also always feel free to give J.G. Wentworth a call to learn more about how we can help you get a lump sum of cash for your future structured settlement and annuity payments. We can be reached anytime at 877-227-4713.