The Best Way to Buy a Used Car in Cincinnati

May 20th, 2018 by

a watercolor painting of the Cincinnati Skyline

There are many different reasons that people decide to buy a used car in Cincinnati. Here is a great list of important factors to consider as you start shopping around.

Finding a Quality Dealership

There are a few things that you can do to find a quality dealership of used cars in Cincinnati that is right for you. You’ll want to check these boxes to be sure that the dealership you choose can provide you with everything you need during your used car buying process.


One of the most important parts of choosing a used car dealership to shop with is making sure they have a good reputation. When you find a dealer of used cars in Cincinnati, start by asking friends, family, neighbors, and other businesses if they have ever dealt with the particular dealership you are considering and inquire as to what their experience was. Word of mouth is one of the best ways to find out how a business treats their customers. You may also want to do a little searching online. There are many websites that are dedicated to sharing customer reviews about businesses and their customer service experience.


A used car dealership’s inventory speaks volumes. Be sure to check online, or in person, to get a good idea of what kind of inventory a particular dealership has. A struggling dealership will show this through a few traits, one of them being a small, and often older and less well-kept vehicle inventory. A successful used car dealership in Cincinnati will have a nice size selection of well-kept and newer cars, trucks, and SUVs. While they may also carry older vehicles as well, these vehicles will not make up the whole of or dominate their inventory.

Finance Options

Once you find a dealership that you like, have checked around about the quality of their reputation and taken a look at their inventory, you’ll want to look into the financing options they offer. If you have good credit, you may not be as concerned with alternative financing options and may simply want to go ahead with traditional financing via a bank lease or loan. However, if you have less than perfect credit or no credit at all, you may want to consider a dealership that offers buy here, pay here, financing options. This type of in-house financing is approved and executed through the dealership themselves. Those with poor credit can almost always secure this type of financing as long as they have a regular income and an address. This type of financing also lets drivers rebuild their credit with on-time payments and open up opportunities for refinancing with lower interest rates in the future.

Think Smart: Setting Your Budget

Once you have found a dealership you are happy with, you’ll want to set your budget for purchasing a used car in Cincinnati. Don’t start shopping without carefully considering and following through on this step. Without a solid budget, you may end up buying a car that is too expensive and that you will not be able to afford in the long run. You can speak with a finance specialist at a used car dealer to calculate just how much car you can reasonably afford. After you set your budget, you can move on to the next step of successfully buying a used car.

Choosing Your Perfect Car

You’ve done your research and found a quality dealership that has a great reputation. You checked their inventory and finance options. You’ve taken the time to thoughtfully create a budget for your used car purchase. Now the fun part begins – it’s time to find your perfect used car.

Here are a few great things to consider when you are sorting through which type of used vehicle you need:

What will be the vehicle’s primary use? Will your used car purchase be primarily a work vehicle? Is it a secondary vehicle for your family? Or, will it be your main means of transportation? What you are intending on using your vehicle for weighs heavily on the used car, truck, or SUV you choose.

What are your must-haves? When you buy used, you get the added flexibility of choosing from a larger selection of makes and models, as well as more of a selection of vehicles in higher-end trims, and with aftermarket upgrades and customizations. If there is something you would really like your vehicle to have, chances are your used car dealership in Cincinnati can find a used car that has what you need.

Time to Finance

Now that you’ve found the perfect used car in Cincinnati, it’s time to think about financing options. Here are the most popular options:

Traditional Bank Loan. For drivers with decent credit, this is probably the most common way to purchase a used car in Cincinnati. A finance specialist at your dealership will help you calculate down payment, monthly payment, and the length of the loan and then go through a bank or credit union to secure you a loan for your used car purchase.

Cash Upfront. Depending on the price of your vehicle, paying cash upfront may be one of the most appealing options. No monthly loan payments to keep track of and manage, no interest, cheaper insurance options – its one and done. While this is not the most popular way to buy a vehicle, it is used, especially when a vehicle is an older model and carries a lower sticker price. If cash is not an option for you and you are not in good credit standing, the next option may be your best shot at securing the vehicle you want to purchase.

Buy Here, Pay Here Financing. For drivers with not so great credit, buy here, pay here is a good option to explore. This in-house financing can make obtaining a necessary vehicle a possibility for those that would otherwise be locked of this opportunity. Most drivers with a steady job and a confirmed address can secure this type of financing.

When you decide to buy a used car in Cincinnati, keep these points in mind, and you will be able to find a great dealership to sell you a quality used car that works for you.