Buying Used FAQ

Pre-Owned Car Shopping in Fort Myers, FL

Should I purchase a used or new car?

If you’re on a budget, buying a used vehicle is a great option. It offers affordability in terms of insurance and monthly payments. The used car market can provide more features and better performance within a reasonable budget, allowing you to explore higher-quality models. However, if you’re looking for a new car experience with cutting-edge technologies, visit our shop, and we’ll help you find the ideal vehicle.

What are the advantages of purchasing a used car?

  • Lower cost: Used cars generally have a lower purchase price compared to new cars.
  • Depreciation: Used cars have already experienced their initial depreciation, which means they can retain their value better than new cars.
  • More affordable insurance: Insurance rates are typically lower for used cars, resulting in potential cost savings.
  • Variety and availability: The used car market offers a wide range of makes, models, and years, providing more options to choose from.

How can I determine the value of my car?

To assess the trade-in value of your current car, use our helpful KBB tool. Kelly Blue Book is the industry standard for appraising vehicles, providing an approximate guideline of your car’s worth. This knowledge empowers you with more buying power for your next purchase.

Should I buy from a dealer or a third party?

Choosing a dealer over an independent vendor offers more assurance and transparency. Independent vendors lack the reputation and verification of a business, making it difficult to assess their honesty. They might also sell cars with hidden issues that may only become apparent after you drive away. Used-car lots undergo frequent inspections and adhere to high standards based on recommendations from previous customers. Here are other great reasons to buy from a dealership:

  • Assurance and reputation: Dealerships have a reputation to uphold and are accountable for the vehicles they sell. They often offer warranties and guarantees, providing peace of mind.
  • Financing options: Dealerships usually have relationships with multiple lenders, making it easier to secure financing for your purchase.
  • Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) programs: Dealerships may offer CPO vehicles that have undergone thorough inspections, come with warranties, and provide additional benefits.
  • Trade-in options: Dealerships often accept trade-ins, allowing you to simplify the process of selling your current vehicle and purchasing a new one.

What is the difference between certified pre-owned and used?

While all certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles are used, not all used cars are CPO. CPO refers to used cars undergoing thorough maintenance and inspection checklists at affiliated dealerships. These vehicles receive a factory-backed seal of approval, ensuring their quality. However, CPO cars are often pricier than regular used cars due to the added benefits and warranties.

What should I check before buying a used car?

Before making a purchase, it’s essential to take the used car for a test drive. This allows you to detect audible and tangible signs of mechanical issues, such as worn brake pads or a damaged serpentine belt. Additionally, consider requesting a third-party inspection for a more comprehensive evaluation. However, CPO vehicles come with strong warranties, reducing the need for additional inspections.

Can I access a vehicle history report?

A vehicle history report provides valuable information such as accident history, open recalls, previous owners, and service records. This data helps you determine the suitability of a vehicle and can be advantageous during price negotiations. You can obtain a report online using the vehicle identification number (VIN) or license plate number, which takes just a few minutes. Many used-car dealers also provide this report free of charge.

How should I prepare when going to buy a used car?

Determine your budget

Calculate how much you can afford to spend on a used car, including insurance, maintenance, and other associated costs.


Research the make, model, and year of the car you’re interested in. Look for common issues, reliability ratings, and market prices.

Get pre-approved for financing.

Secure pre-approval from a bank or credit union to know your budget and better understand the interest rates and terms you qualify for.

Take a test drive

Test drive the car to assess its performance, handling, and comfort.

Vehicle history report

Obtain a vehicle history report using the VIN to check for any accidents, title issues, or other important information.

What are some questions I should ask while test driving?

  • How does the car feel in terms of comfort and driving position?
  • How responsive are the acceleration, braking, and steering?
  • Are there any unusual noises or vibrations?
  • Do the air conditioning, heating, and other interior features work properly?
  • Are the safety features functioning as expected?
  • How is the visibility from different angles?
  • Are there any maintenance records available?
  • Has the car undergone any recent repairs or maintenance?
  • Are there any known issues or concerns with the specific model or year?
  • What is the warranty coverage and any additional benefits offered by the dealer?

How do I determine the right budget for buying a used car?

Consider your financial situation and determine how much you can comfortably afford for monthly payments and insurance costs. Research the average prices of the specific make, model, and year of the used car you are interested in to get an idea of the expected costs.

Should I get a pre-purchase inspection before buying a used car?

Yes, getting a pre-purchase inspection is highly recommended. A professional mechanic can assess the used car’s condition and identify any potential issues or hidden problems that may not be immediately apparent.

Can I negotiate the price of a used car?

Yes, negotiating the price of a used car is common. Do your research to understand the market value of similar vehicles and use that information to negotiate a fair price with the seller or dealership.

Is it possible to finance a used car purchase?

Yes, many lenders offer financing options for used car purchases. Check with banks, credit unions, and the dealership itself to explore different financing options and find the best interest rates and terms that suit your needs.

How can I check the vehicle history of a used car?

You can obtain a vehicle history report using the vehicle identification number (VIN). Services like Carfax or AutoCheck provide detailed reports that include information about accidents, previous owners, service records, and more.

Should I consider purchasing an extended warranty for a used car?

Purchasing an extended warranty for a used car can provide additional coverage for potential repairs and offer peace of mind. Consider the age, mileage, and condition of the vehicle when deciding if an extended warranty is worth the investment.

What should I look for during a visual inspection of a used car?

Check for any signs of rust, body damage, or mismatched paint. Inspect the tires for wear and tear. Look under the hood for any leaks or visible damage. Check the interior for signs of excessive wear, tear, or damage. At Dixie Buick GMC, we take pride in putting only cars we have inspected and trust on our lot to sell to our customers.

Are there any specific mileage limits I should consider when buying a used car?

Mileage is an important factor when evaluating a used car. Higher mileage generally indicates more wear and tear on the vehicle. However, the overall condition and maintenance history of the car are equally important in determining its value and reliability.

Can I trade in my current vehicle when buying a used car?

Yes, many dealerships, including ours, accept trade-ins as part of the transaction when buying a used car. You can discuss the trade-in value of your current vehicle with our finance team and apply it towards the purchase of the used car.

Visit Our Fort Myers Dealership Today!

Visit Dixie Buick GMC for an exceptional used car buying experience. With our wide selection of quality pre-owned vehicles, transparent pricing, and a knowledgeable team, we are committed to helping you find the perfect used car that fits your needs and budget. Our dealership offers a trusted and reputable environment where you can explore various financing options and take advantage of our exceptional customer service. Come and see us at Dixie Buick GMC in Fort Myers to discover your ideal used car and drive away with confidence.