8379 St Rd 64 Georgetown, IN 47122

Mike’s Car Store | Used Car Buying Guide

If you're looking to buy a used car, here's our step-by-step guide that will walk you through the process. We are your one stop shop for all of your pre-owned vehicle needs!

How Much Can You Afford?

In order to find out how much you can afford, lenders will want to know your gross monthly income and your existing monthly debts. Let’s work backwards a little bit. We already know that you have a budget of $4,000 per month for maintenance and transportation costs. So, let’s figure out what the maximum you can afford for a payment would be. To figure out the payment, we’ll take your monthly income and divide it by how much you can afford to pay each month in total debt. In this case, that's $4,000 divided by $550 or, roughly 8% of your income. This will allow you to make an affordable monthly payment for your transportation costs.

Find the Right Car

There are a lot of cars on the market today, which can make it difficult to figure out what type of vehicle is right for you. There are some factors that will help narrow down your choices. For example, if you have a family or travel frequently with friends, you’re going to want a bigger car. If you live in an urban area and tend not to travel too far from home, then something smaller might be more suitable. Here’s our list of steps that will help you find the right car:

- Determine how many passengers you need to seat.

- Figure out your average annual mileage.

- Think about the car’s style, size, color and brand.

- Consider what types of special features are important to you.

- Make a pros/cons list for each candidate that fits your budget.

The Law of Supply & Demand

Once you have decided on a few candidates in your price range, it’s time to do some research. The first thing you want to figure out is how much of an inventory there is on the market for that make and model. If there are a lot of the same type of car on the road, then buyers will have more bargaining power with sellers. This means that prices will tend to be lower and there will be more opportunity for negotiation. This is the law of supply and demand: The more there is of something, the less it’s worth.Get Pre-Approved

When you find a car that has everything you are looking for, it’s time to go to the bank! We only work with quality lenders that can help you find the best rates for your budget. Once you tell them what kind of car you are looking to buy, they will be able to give you a few different payment options so that you know how much each one will cost before negotiating with the seller.

Research Costs & Fees

Now it’s time to figure out how much the car you are looking to buy will cost in taxes, licensing fees and other costs. The standard rate is around 13% on average for most states. This will vary by county and state, so do your research! If you’re not sure where to start, our friends at DMV.org can help with that!

Negotiate the Best Price for Your Budget

The final step is to negotiate with the owner and find out how much they are willing to sell it for. Keep in mind that you should never offer your maximum budget! Instead, make an offer slightly below what you were actually hoping to pay and express that you would like to leave a little room for negotiation. If they say no, move on to your next candidate and try again! If they say yes, then it’s time to sign the papers and get your first look at your new ride!

Don't have enough money to buy a car or just can't decide which one you should buy? Check out our blog article Buying A Car With Bad Credit for various options to make it happen!

- Be careful of any loan fees (such as titles, registration, etc.) that will tack on extra costs.

- The interest rate should be no more than an 8% APR. Anything higher is asking for trouble.

- Ask the lender if they have a "hassle-free" guarantee. This guarantees that they will work with you if you have any problems.

- Negotiate the price of the vehicle before signing anything so there are no surprises.

Final Tips

When it comes to financing your car, do your research up front and be smart about it! Take extra care to avoid any additional fees that may cut into your monthly budget. Remember to keep an open mind about financing options, even if the seller pressures you into taking "their" loan. Play it smart...you’ll be glad you did!

For more information on how to buy a car check out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3SfvfnLsEg





Mike’s Car Store- Buying a Car with Bad Credit

How to Buy a Used Car With Bad Credit

Are you looking to buy a used car with bad credit? But the process seems like it will be impossible? Well, that’s where you are wrong because it’s easier than you think to get your hands on a used car when you have bad credit. Follow these simple steps and before you know it, you’ll be cruising down the road in your new ride!

Top ways to get approved for auto financing with bad credit


  1. If you're going with a dealership, get pre-approved for financing ahead of time. This way, when you walk into a dealership and say I want to buy a car, they know you mean it. Use free websites like MoneySupermarket to find dealerships in your area that have great rates on auto loans.

  2. Get financed through a loan from your bank or credit union if possible. In many cases, these sources offer better interest rates than a dealership and their terms are often more flexible - meaning you can negotiate on monthly payments as well as a total price (as opposed to getting haggled by salespeople).

  3. Buy at auctions: Local government agencies auction off repossessed cars all over America and credit unions can sometimes help buyers finance purchases of repossessed vehicles.

Where to find used cars for sale in your area

Craigslist, local used car dealerships, and private party sellers. If you’re buying from an individual it is best to do a background check on them. Start by searching through their name on Google and see what pops up. You can also do an online search with their phone number, address, or email they have provided you with to see if anything comes up that is concerning or may lead you to think twice about purchasing your vehicle from them. When speaking to someone for the first time over the phone be aware of any inconsistencies in their story or information that does not match. If you feel uneasy about someone who you are working with then walk away from the deal because there could be something hidden in his/her past that could come back and bite you later on down the road.

Tips when buying from dealerships

Dealerships can be scary for some people. They often have to use high-pressure sales tactics, and there’s usually no way out of it if you’re already there. The good news is that you don’t have to put up with it if you know what you want and what you don’t want—and are willing to walk away. It takes research, but getting a car with bad credit doesn’t mean having any choices or dealing with shady dealerships.

Apply For An Auto Loan at Mike's Car Store Today

As someone with bad credit, it can be hard for you to get a loan for an automobile. Thankfully, Mike's Car Store offers financing solutions tailored specifically for individuals with bad credit. By applying online today, you could have your loan approved in as little as 15 minutes! Before you fill out an application, however, read on for tips about how to buy a used car with bad credit successfully. If you're worried that being under-employed will lead auto lenders to reject your credit application, don't panic: there are still ways to get approved.

Value Your Trade with Mike's Car Store In Minutes

Before you head to Mike's Car Store, get an estimate of your vehicle’s value from our very own Value Your Trade tool. Simply input information about your vehicle and then fill out the form required for sending you the personalized current market value of your car. You will be provided with useful statistics on Local Supply, Local Market Demand, and the Estimated Value of your vehicle. Save time by quickly seeing how much money you can expect when selling your used car to Mike's Car Store!

For more information on How to buy a car with bad credit check out this video by our very own 'ChevyDude’.

9 Fees to Never Pay at a Car Dealership

Here's a list of common charges. Some of which are gotchas. How to review on the final bill of sale when buying a new or used car. Remember, car dealers, are SNEAKY. They work numbers every day, you don't. In this video, I show you how to spot, and negotiate out of these fees that I think are scams.

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g53DkNWRgDE&t=5s


1. Document Fees

This is a fee that I have personally seen at almost every dealership in my area. Car dealerships should never charge you extra to provide the paperwork needed for the sale, but unfortunately, this happens all too often. This fee is on top of the sales tax, so it can be very misleading. Just be on the lookout for this sneaky extra charge!

2. Dealer Prep Fee

This fee is similar to the Document Fee, and it covers the cost of preparing your car for sale. Since they are responsible for detailing your vehicle and removing any previous owner's possessions from the car, most dealerships won’t let you do this for yourself before picking up your car.

3. End of Month Fees

There are dealerships that will try to tack on extra fees at the end of the month (or even the beginning) to make their sales quota for the quarter. They often offer promotional financing or sell existing inventory below cost, so avoid dealers at this time if you can.

4. Unwanted Add-Ons

A car dealer may try to sneak some extra charges onto your final bill. You can avoid this problem by saying “no” to all of the extras, including things like an extended warranty or VIN etching on your windows.

5. Window Sticker Fees

This fee is simply a ripoff, so it should be avoided. The window sticker is the official price tag of a car, and it should never be altered or removed before your purchase.

6. Inappropriate Fees

If you are being charged for anything that was not previously discussed with you, then this is an inappropriate fee. Dealers have been known to charge customers for items like VIN etching, car washes or other services that they did not ask for.

7. Destination Fees

This fee is used to cover the cost of transporting your car from the dealer’s lot to their warehouse before it gets delivered to you. It is usually between $50-$100, but it likely won't be included in your purchase quote.

8. Inspection and Processing Fees

The inspection and processing fee is a little-known extra fee that most dealers won’t mention, but it can increase the cost of your vehicle by as much as $600 depending on the dealership. This money goes to the bank that provides financing for your car.

9. Finance Fees at the Dealership

Many dealerships will say that they don’t charge processing fees, but if you take a look at your paperwork, you’ll see that there is still an extra fee for financing through the dealership itself. The key to avoiding this fee is to get pre-approved or pre-qualified for financing before you make your way to the dealer.


Watch the video here: