Experian® Expertise for your business
Helping your customers make good used car buying decisions
According to Experian Automotive, more than 35.5 million used cars were registered in 2009 — more than three times the number of new cars. Clearly, buying a pre-owned vehicle can get your customers into a great ride for a lot less money. However, it is essential that you help them make well-informed buying decisions. Here are six simple suggestions you can share to help your customers have a positive experience when they come to you for a pre-owned car loan.
- Obtain a copy of their credit report and credit score several months before they plan to buy a vehicle. Doing so will enable them to identify any credit problems that could make it difficult for you to approve their loan application.
- Get preapproved if they need a loan. By doing so, they will know how much they can afford, and they will be able to more quickly and confidently obtain financing when they find the right vehicle.
- Have the vehicle checked by a good mechanic. A thorough examination by a qualified mechanic will help ensure there aren’t any hidden problems.
- Ask the owner for the vehicle’s maintenance records so they can document that the oil was changed regularly and that required maintenance was performed.
- Carefully research the sales value of the car to ensure they are paying a fair price. Online resources and their bank or credit union can help them evaluate how much the car is worth.
- Be aware of problems that could be instant deal breakers, such as:
- Is the title clean, or has the car been salvaged, rebuilt, or damaged in an accident or a fire?
- Was it reported as a lemon, was it sold through a salvage auction, or has it had frame or water damage?
- Is the odometer reading accurate? Is the odometer broken or has it been rolled back? Does the number of miles exceed limits for resale value? Is the mileage suspect?
- Has the car been reported as stolen?
- Was it used in a business fleet, as a police vehicle or as a taxi?
So your customers can answer these and other questions, advise them to obtain an Experian AutoCheck® vehicle history report. Your institution should do so as well as part of the loan underwriting process. The report provides the information you and your customers need to help make a purchasing decision with greater confidence while avoiding potential costly problems down the road.