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3 Things You Must Know About Buy-Here-Pay-Here Car Lots

Getting an auto loan can be difficult, especially for someone with a less than great credit score. But that doesn't mean it's impossible to find a financing option to help make a necessary car purchase.

If you've been turned away from several lenders, but you need a car fast, you might be considering a Buy Here, Pay Here car dealership.

These are slightly different than the average used car dealership.

Not only will the business sell you the car, but it will also loan you the money you need for the purchase.

A buy here pay here dealer can be a lifesaver if you find yourself in a tough situation. However, if you don't to the right research, they can also be detrimental to your finances and your already-damaged credit score.

If you plan to make use of a buy her pay here dealer's services, be sure to consider a few factors first.


Check Out The Car

Michigan Radio advises anyone who is considering buying a car at a buy here pay here dealership to make sure the car is in good enough condition.

Ask to test drive it and consider having a mechanic take a look at it before you agree to driving it home. These dealerships often don't mind buying older cars that aren't in pristine condition.

If you buy a car on the brink of a breakdown, you may wind up paying more than anticipated in repairs.

Research The Price

Before buying any car, whether it's at a buy here pay here dealership or elsewhere, the buyer would do well to look up the value of the car on Kelley Blue Book or a similar service. This is especially important, as it can be easy to agree to a price that is much higher than the car is worth when you're just relieved to find a dealership willing to help with the financing at all.

When you discover the average price of the car, ask what the down payment is. Michigan Radio explained sometimes the down payment covers the cost of the car, while the payments and interest translate into profit for the dealership.

On the other hand, Constellation Auto, a company that provides software for buy here pay here car dealers, explained this is no longer a typical practice for these car lots.

Instead, the interest collected is usually to make up for bad debt charge-offs, a common aspect of this business model.

Ask About Credit Reporting

Before you agree to buying the car, ask the dealership if it reports payments to credit bureaus.

If you have poor credit, one of the best things you can do to improve it is have evidence of on-time payments reported to these bureaus.

Payment history accounts for 35% of your score - the largest determinant of the final number.

If the dealership does report, you can begin boosting your score with the payments you'll be making. If it doesn't, consider looking around for another one that will.

However, be sure you fully understand what the monthly payments will be. If you can't keep up with them and the dealership does report to credit bureaus, your score could be lowered even more.

Buying a car at a buy here pay here dealership can be beneficial in some circumstances, but it's important that you do your research before agreeing to buy a car from one.

By looking into these three points, you will be able to make an informed decision about purchasing at a buy here pay here dealer

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Gravatar megan

This is not at all true information, I got approval for 19500.00 drove over a hour to get to get a vehicle and was told that needed over 2500 down and could get a ford escort that was worth maybe 4000.00 and they wouldn’t discuss anything else. When I called an brought up the approval letter I had and then telling me it was only a preapproval and that all information is different in the store. No information changed from online to me getting there and that there was nothing to do but bring more cash. I drove away and would not recommend this to anyone.

Gravatar DriveTime

Hi Megan – I am very sorry to hear you were not satisfied with your experience. The number you receive when you fill out the online approval form is the price of vehicles we recommend you begin looking at based on the information you provided. The necessary down payment amount will be different for each customer and the will depend on many different factors. Again, I apologize that you are unhappy with your experience, however we’d love the opportunity to find you a vehicle if you are still looking! Thank you – Tiffany | DriveTime Community Manager

Gravatar Edmond karapetian

I am car shopping , i was wondering if you have moving a car from riverside to van nuys dealership. thank you.

Gravatar Mario Smith

Hello Edmond,

Thank you for reaching out to us in regards to your inquiry about DriveTime.
Pertaining to the transporting of a desired vehicle from one location to another, this is based on the distance between the two dealerships, as well as staff availability.
Should you have further questions, I would encourage you to contact your local DriveTime dealership and a member of our sales team would be glad to answer all of your questions.


Rebekah – Customer Relations

Gravatar Pamela

Can you tell me what when you see on your title where it says total loss claim and that on the odometer part it reads Salvage rebuilt can you tell me what does mean we can agree to disagree I ate like?

Gravatar Mario Smith

Hello Pamela,

Thank you for reaching out. We recommend you contact your local Division of Motor Vehicles regarding your question. They will be able to explain to you any details regarding your title.


DriveTime Customer Relations