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Is My $500 Down Payment On My Next Used Car Enough?

Our research at BHPHPrices.com indicates the most common dollar amount the average BHPH consumer has to put down is $500. In this article we are going to provide you with a helpful guide on what the BHPH buying process is like.

The BHPH Car Buying Process

The BHPH car buying process is unlike any other car buying. We are going to walk you through a typical transaction. At most new and used car dealerships the salesman helps the consumer shop for an automobile. This is a straightforward process. The salesman takes the consumer on various test drives and once the consumer chooses which vehicle they want to purchase the price is then negotiated.

The BHPH buying process works in reverse. Instead of test driving multiple vehicles before you purchase a used car, you get pre-qualified by the finance manger at the BHPH car lot.

What does it mean to get pre-qualified?

Pre-qualification process includes a series of basic questions that you will be asked to determine if the BHPH dealer wants to sell you a vehicle.

What are questions the BHPH dealership may ask me?

  1. Do you have a job?
  2. How long have you been employed at your current position?
  3. Where do you live?
  4. How long have you lived at your current address?
  5. How much is your down payment?
  6. When was the last time you purchased a car?
  7. Did you do business with another BHPH dealer or private individual?
  8. Have you ever had a repossession?
  9. Do you have any outstanding loans?
  10. How much money do you make?
  11. After taxes and expenses are taken out of your weekly payment, how much take home pay do you have?
  12. What's your martial status?

Questions I should ask the dealer

  1. How long have you been in business?
  2. Are the vehicles state safety inspected?
  3. Does your car dealership provide a rental car during servicing?
  4. What happens if I default on a payment?
  5. Do you provide a service contract?
  6. Do you provide a warranty?
  7. Do I own this car or am I leasing this car from your dealership?
  8. If the loan agreement is paid off quicker, can I get a price discount?
  9. Does your dealership report to the credit bureau?
  10. When/where should I make the payments
    • Do I come into the dealership and pay or do you have a satellite office elsewhere?
  11. When I need to make a warranty claim, what number should I call? Who should I talk to?
  12. If my vehicle is stuck on the side of the road, who should I call?
  13. Does your dealership use a starter interrupt device?
  14. How long does the financing process take?

What should I bring with me to the car dealership?

Any documents that show who you are, what you do, where you live, and how much you make is always a positive. Most dealerships may require these.

Therefore, bring:

Do I Need A Co-Signor?

Some dealerships may want you to have a co-signor when you purchase a car from them but this is largely dependent on your relationship with that dealer.

What used cars can I expect to purchase with a $500 Down Payment?

Please be aware that the dealer is acting like the bank and is loaning you money. The car dealer is taking a chance on you. That's why we here at BHPHPrices.com stress that you make every effort to establish a strong record of punctual repayment. You should be flexible and not necessarily expect the most expensive, loaded vehicle on the lot. Demonstrate your commitment to repay. That is the best way to moving into that vehicle you may want.

We have outlined a list of used cars that the $500 Dollar Down Payment will buy.
  1. The 2001 Nissan Sentra is a reliable, roadworthy, quality ride. It is time tested and a solid choice for any consumer. The biggest problem we find here is that they are not found on many lots. The reason is they are expensive and aren't offered much on the typical lot. Therefore, if can find one of these, we recommend that you purchase.
    Pros: Roadworthy and Reliable
    Cons: Cost and availability

  2. The 2005 Buick Century is a time tested solid car with a great track record. It provides a smooth ride and has a history of being a low maintenance vehicle with very little need for major part failure.
    Pros: Roadworthy and reliable
    Cons: This model is discontinued

  3. The 2004 Pontiac Grand AM offers a lot of car for the money. They are stylish, reliable, and inexpensive. They are mainstays on the typical BHPH lot for these reasons. They only downside to these is the fact that they are no longer in production. However, parts are readily available because they are interchangeable with the Chevy Cavalier and Malibu models.
    Pros: Cost, Style, Road Worthiness
    Cons: Out of Production Therefore Resale Can Be Impacted

  4. The 2005 Kia Rio is a staple on the typical car lot. There is a good reason for this and that is cost. They are normally inexpensive for the dealer to acquire, but they also are a pretty good vehicle. They are easy to maintain and they are very good on gas. They aren't luxury type vehicles, but they are sound transportation cars. They do have a rust problem that can be severe under the frame. Watch out and examine carefully.
    Pros: Cost and Gas Savings
    Cons: Rust Can Be Severe

This article was written by Brian McCormick of Providence, Rhode Island. Brian is a BHPH expert and has been involved in the used car and BHPH industry for over 10 years. He enjoys traveling and sports. Follow him on Google+