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J.G. Wentworth Blog

Five Tips for Buying a Great Used Car

Hi folks, J.G. Wentworth here. When folks call us to talk about selling their structured settlement or annuity payments for cash, one of the top reasons why they need that cash now is related to buying a car. In this blog we would like to offer five tips on what you can do to try and make sure you are buying a great used car – one that both fits into your immediate budget and won’t cause you long-term financial harm by making you pay for numerous repairs down the road.

So if you are considering buying a used car, here are five tips to make sure you spend your hard-earned money wisely:

1) Learn everything you can about the history of the specific car you are considering purchasing.

This includes the car’s complete maintenance history, the number of previous owners, and if it has been in any accidents. It may surprise you to learn that this information is fairly easy to obtain from websites like

2) Have the car inspected by a mechanic before buying it.

Do not be shy about either bringing a trusted mechanic along with you to inspect the car, or even potentially asking the seller if you could borrow the car for a few hours to bring it to an automobile repair shop yourself. Even if you must pay a mechanic some additional money to inspect the car, it will probably be a fraction of the money you will spend if the car has trouble down the road.  And if the seller refuses  an inspection, consider this a red flag and move on to another seller and another car.

3) Try to arrange financing from a source other than the used car dealer.

If you are buying a car from a used car dealer, be aware that financing is frequently the source of their profit on the sale of the car.  Consider then, arranging financing from another source beforehand – say your bank, for instance.  This will keep the used car dealer from making loan terms that are not to your advantage; it will also give you a bargaining chip in any loan negotiations.

4)  Read every page of the contract before signing.

This rule also generally applies when you are buying a car from a dealer, as opposed to a person-to-person transaction.  But always read contract pages carefully before signing them.  In this case, you are trying to avoid ‘As Is’ clauses (ones that don’t give you 30 days to return the car if something immediately goes wrong) and other clauses that the used car dealer might slip into the contract without you knowing.

5) Know your budget, do your research, and be patient.

As with any transaction, the more patient and knowledgeable you are about your needs, the better deal you will get for yourself.  So do your homework; make a budget and stick to it. Also, don’t rush into any purchase unless you are entirely comfortable with the transaction.

We hope the above tips will help guide you towards buying a great used car at a great price.  And if you are thinking about making any kind of new purchase, and would like to learn about selling your structured settlement or annuity payments for cash, please give J.G. Wentworth a call at 877-227-4713.