Many people look forward to receiving an income tax refund each year. If your current vehicle is has become unreliable or your lifestyle has changed, a tax refund can be a boon for a new to you vehicle. At Paul West Used Cars, we’re known as the buy here pay here Gainesville, FL dealership residents have known and trusted for many years. Every day we help people find the dependable used car they want and tax season isn’t any different. If you’re anticipating a tax refund this year, here are a few tips to help in your car search.
Start Shopping Before Refund Arrives
There’s nothing wrong with window shopping before your refund arrives, plus you’ll be more aware of what vehicle you want. Once the tax return is submitted, you’ll know how much the refund will be, though it can take up to three weeks for the money to arrive. Knowing the amount will help you determine how to proceed.
One Refund, Two Options
There are online calculators that can help you determine how far your tax refund will go to buy used cars in Gainesville. Two common choices buyers make is to use it as a down payment or to pay for several monthly payments on a financed vehicle.
The more of a down payment you can put on a vehicle, the lower monthly payments will be. However, that hinges on the terms of the financed amount, such as total auto loan amount and interest rate. A large down payment shows you have a vested interest in buying a vehicle from one of the Gainesville used car dealerships. On the other hand, the more you’re able to put down lowers the chance of eventually owing more than the car is worth once its value begins depreciating. This is called being “upside down” on a loan. You should research auto loans before making any type of commitment.
Another option for using your tax refund to buy a used car is to get a jump-start on monthly payments. Instead of using the full refund for a down payment, depending on the amount of the refund, it could be used to cover several monthly payments. For example, a refund of $2,000 could be used to make 10 monthly payments of $200. That’s nearly one year’s worth of payments paid for.
A pre-purchase inspection is a safeguard against winding up buying a used car with your tax refund that winds up costing much more. The inspection checks for many things, including:
- The vehicle’s condition level;
- Hidden problems with the body, engine, and/or frame; and
- Engine codes that may show engine problems.
These inspections can be performed by a local mechanic you trust, a dealership service department, or another auto service facility. Whatever method chosen, make sure the inspector is qualified and that you receive a description of the points, or areas checked, in the inspection and how it’s conducted. Keep in mind most inspection findings aren’t guaranteed.
Check Out These Features (And Bypass These)
Vehicles produced in the past decade or two come with a plethora of features that catch many people’s eye. While you may long for a car with a crank window handle, Paul West Used Cars in Gainesville, FL discusses three features to consider in your new vehicle and three to pass on.
It might sound like a no-brainer, but when looking at Gainesville, FL used cars to buy, it’s easy to get caught up in other features you want. Think about how much time you spend in a vehicle, especially if you have a commute to work each day. Having a comfortable seat for yourself, and anyone else who will spend time in the vehicle such as kids, shouldn’t be an afterthought.
Smartphones are an integral part of our lives and this includes when we’re driving to and from places. Ditch the mess of tangled cords and consider newer used cars with Bluetooth connectivity. Located in the car’s audio system, Bluetooth lets you answer a call hands-free and listen to audio, such as podcasts or a music streaming service, through the car’s speakers. Once your phone is paired with the car’s Bluetooth connection, the only thing left to do is choose what song to listen to first!
Safety and convenience mesh into one with a backup camera. When the vehicle is in reverse, a screen, usually mounted in the audio and climate controls, appears and shows you what the camera is looking at. Even if you’d checked all mirrors and turned around to physically check for anything, such as a person in a blind spot, the camera is a great second check before moving. Backup cameras also help when backing into a parking spot, with several styles providing an alert, such as beeping, as the vehicle gets too close to a stationary object.
Rear-Seat Entertainment Systems
Remember when built-in DVD players and other entertainment systems were touted as the way to make family road trips even more fun? That was right before tablets and smartphones became everyday fixtures, often at a fraction of the cost for a rear-seat entertainment system.
Wi-Fi in a car sounds like a great feature, but it comes with a couple of catches. First, the majority of smartphone plans come with mobile hotspots, allowing you to use the data you’ve already paid for. Then, a Wi-Fi router in the vehicle requires its own, separate monthly data plan to provide the Wi-Fi signal in the first place. Don’t pay for data twice plus a car payment and skip the Wi-Fi connection altogether.
Roof racks are great for moving, traveling, and embarking on an outdoor vacation with a kayak or canoe. But the racks installed at the auto factory are generic, meant to fit everything when everything has its own needs. Roof racks are available at sporting good stores in many different styles that are more likely to fit your specific needs. Plus, buying a roof rack separately can be removed when not needed as studies have shown they can decrease a vehicle’s gas mileage by more than one-third.
Gainesville, FL Used Cars
When you use a tax refund at Paul West Used Cars, you’re guaranteed to find a wide selection of quality used cars Gainesville, FL residents can trust! Our family-owned business knows how much a refund means to you and we want you to have a reliable vehicle for years to come. Don’t worry about finding a mechanic to complete a pre-purchase inspection; all our vehicles are carefully inspected and certified before you visit. If you’re searching for a reliable used vehicle at a low price, visit Paul West Used Cars in Gainesville today!