How Long Does It Take To Buy A Used Car?

Posted Friday, Sep 29, 2023

So how long does it take to buy a used car? This can be a tricky question. It depends on which parts of the car-buying process you include. If you are wanting to know how long it will take to buy a used car in Lake Worth, do you want to include the time it takes to research vehicles? Or do you mean, “I know the exact car that I want, and it’s available. How long does it take to purchase the car from when I walk on the lot to when I drive away with the car?” For your convenience, we will cover both answers.

Before You Start: Creating a Budget That Works For You: 15 Minutes

Before you purchase a car, one of your first thoughts will undoubtedly be, "How much car can I afford?" In order to provide a straightforward response to this question, financial experts recommend that prospective car purchasers set aside no more than 10% of their take-home income for a car loan and no more than 20% for all auto expenses, which include things like fuel, insurance, maintenance, and repairs.

You can determine how much you can afford to borrow for your auto loan after you know how much you can afford for a monthly automobile payment. This allows you to determine a reasonable goal price. This step can be accomplished in 15 minutes or less.

Do You Need Financing?: Two Hours - Two Days

Purchasing a new car can be thrilling, and you usually want to drive it right away. However, you'll need to confirm that you have the money before you can test-drive your new wheels. Before obtaining ownership of the car, financing will probably need to be obtained.

Your neighborhood bank or credit union is the most popular location to look for a loan. Still another option is dealership financing. Lastly, if you need to get authorized for an auto loan, you should think about using Internet resources. Each choice has advantages and disadvantages, and the length of time it takes to have your auto loan authorized will depend on the lender you select.

It Takes Time to Research: 2 Hours - Up To A Month

I Don’t Know Which Car I Want To Buy: Where should you start? You can refine your search by price, car category, and even options on a number of automobile websites, such as Autotrader and Kelley Blue Book. After reading opinions from owners and automotive experts, create a target list of five cars to investigate further.

Even if you feel fully committed to one model of car, it’s vital to consider alternative models. These days, there are so many models on the market that it's simple to miss one that might be a better fit for your needs than your first choice. For most car purchasers, a vehicle is a long-term investment, so don't rush this phase of the process.

Other tools, like the Edmunds Compare Cars tool, display features and specs in an easy-to-view table for side-by-side comparison. This can be really helpful if you're having problems comparing rival cars. Make a shortlist of three cars based on your study. Remember to check manufacturer warranties, recalls, and other online rating systems when conducting your research.

Once you finalize your selection, research the trim packages that are available for that particular vehicle. Make a list of must-haves, wishes, and bonus features that you’re looking for.

I Know Which Car I Want To Buy: Once you know which exact car you want, the next phase of research is finding that vehicle for purchase. How far are you willing to travel to acquire this car? Are there any available at the budgeted price you set for yourself? Used car dealers in Lake Worth can help you look for the car you want at the price you need. 

Time To Secure The Car: 2 - 6 Hours

It's time for the most exciting aspect of purchasing a car: the test drive. Take your time driving the car around the neighborhood if you're serious about it. Pay attention to how driving feels and make a list of the things you dislike. Bad purchasing selections result from concentrating solely on the things you love. Don't rush it; this is your greatest opportunity to determine if this is the right car for you.

This is where the study you did before will be useful. It is important to confirm that the car you are considering is comparable in terms of both cost and quality. Not only will having a figure predetermined help you get a better bargain more quickly, but it will also help you get one sooner. Before you start financing paperwork, make sure you check the history of the specific used vehicle you’ve chosen. Dealerships are great about providing these reports, as it gives confidence to the car-buying decision.

The most tiresome aspect of purchasing a car can be the paperwork, which always seems to take an eternity. Here, you will choose whether to finance or lease a vehicle in consultation with a finance representative. Options for warranties and insurance will also be covered. If you've picked the appropriate dealership, the paperwork should be easy to complete. It can take a little longer if you're trading in your car.

Your automobile will be cleaned and ready for delivery by the dealership after the paperwork is finished. 


Congratulations! You’ve just spent up to 33 days of your life purchasing a used car! It usually doesn’t take this long, but if it does, please know the time is worth it. You can be sure you’ve done due diligence in securing a car that you will enjoy driving. 

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