Used Car Buying Guide

Used Car Buying Guide
Finding a great new-to-you used car can be a smart but daunting decision. To help you out, West Point Ford has this guide to help you navigate it. Buying a used car essentially comes down to these simple steps:
1. Budgeting
2. Valuing your trade
3. Locating used cars that fit your lifestyle
4. Understanding different used and certified pre-owned options
5. Look over the used car: Inspecting the vehicle
6. Test drive: What to look for during your test drive
7. Financing: Identifying the best value by speaking with financial experts


Get an idea of what kind of budget you need to set. Ideally, you want to find a pre-owned vehicle with good quality at a value that aligns with your budget. Try to calculate what a reasonable monthly payment for you would look like. Browse a few used cars to see what you're looking for price-wise. Factor in your monthly bills to see the max amount you can afford. And if you have a trade-in...

Value Your Trade

You can use tools such as our online calculator to get a rough estimate of what your car is worth. Visit us in person and we can get you a more concrete number using our expertise and online pricing tools.

Locating the Right Used Car

We absolutely advocate purchasing from a reputable used car dealership and not a private seller. Starting your search is as easy as searching the web for used car dealers near me. Browse the used car inventory of your local dealerships and use the search filters to find your perfect match. Once you have a list of models, research them as much as you can including finding differences between model years and trim levels.

Knowing the Certification Levels

There are a few certification levels for used vehicles that show the types of warranties, history, and special offers available for a specific car. Here's the breakdown for the levels at our dealership:
Certification LevelsFord Certified Pre-Owned
  1. Comprehensive limited warranty: 12 months or 12,000 miles
  2. Limited powertrain warranty: 7 years or 100,000 miles
  3. 24/7 roadside assistance
  4. 72-hour exchange policy
  5. $250 in service coupons
  6. 172-point vehicle inspection
  7. VA state inspections for life
  Richmond Ford Simply Certified
  1. Limited powertrain warranty: 3 months or 3,000 miles
  2. 72-hour exchange policy
  3. Complimentary first oil change and $500 in service coupons
  4. 127-point vehicle inspection
  5. VA state inspections for life
  Richmond Ford Bargain Pre-Owned - all of our used inventory
  1. 72-hour exchange policy
  2. Complimentary first oil change and $500 in service coupons
  3. 127-point vehicle inspection
  4. VA state inspections for life

Looking Over A Used Car
Speak to one of our sales representatives. You can either drop by the dealership or schedule an appointment. Here is what you should let the sales representative know:
  1. What you're looking for.
  2. What specific vehicles you're considering.
  3. How much time you have available for test drives.
  4. If you're bringing a trade-in.

Next, make sure you inspect the vehicle so it is up to your standards. Here are some general starting points for you:
  1. Exterior/Interior: Look for any signs of wear such as dents, scratches, or tears in the upholstery.
  2. Smells: Be aware of any strange odors coming from the vehicle. You want to do this before and during your drive. Check for smells such as smoke or burning. Many of these can be fixed by the dealer.
  3. History: Ask about the vehicle's history if available. See if the dealer has a vehicle history report.
  4. Mileage: Make sure the vehicle is at the right mileage for you and that it matches up with the vehicle's online listed mileage.

Test Drive
The easiest way to know if a car is good for you is to test drive. Here are some things to keep an eye on as you are behind the wheel.
  1. How does the steering wheel feel? How responsive is it?
  2. How is the accelerator and brake pedals? Are they sensitive? Do they perform as expected?
  3. Listen to any unusual engine sounds. It could be a mechanical issue.
  4. Play with the technology features and see if it is useful for you.
  5. Inquire about any safety or driver-assistance features.

Congratulations! You've found the right used car for you. Now, you need to figure out how to finance it. You can improve the overall value of any used model by speaking with financial experts who will understand how to find the best solution for you. Your trade-in could hold more value than you can find with a simple appraisal. This appraisal will have a well-trained expert checking over the state of your vehicle such as its make, model, year, condition, and reliability.

Once all that is set up, you could be driving home in your new-to-you used vehicle! 

At West Point Ford, you can begin your process by checking out our used car inventory. We are a proud used car dealership in the West Point, King William, and Williamsburg areas.