Why buy pre-owned?


1. Less depreciation. If you buy used you do not have to worry about the aggressive depreciation like that of a new vehicle. According to Edmunds.com, new cars depreciate in value by 20 percent after they are driven off the lot, and depending on the make and model, some will even depreciate an additional 10 percent in their first year! After that, vehicle depreciation is steady until a car is five years old.
2. Insurance rates are cheaper on a used vehicle. Once a car’s value goes down, the cost to fix or replace it also decreases, which will make month-to-month expenses on a used vehicle are much less than a new one.

3. Affordability. Registration fees are also cheaper on a used vehicle as the rates decrease with the value of your car. When states increase the rates on registration fees, it hits new vehicles harder than it does used ones because of the way those fees are calculated.


4. More amenities. We’ve already mentioned that buying used helps you stick to a budget, that’s a no-brainer. But, more than just getting a vehicle you need, you can get a vehicle you want. You may not have the funds to buy a new luxury vehicle, but a two or three year old version of the same model could maximize the bang for your buck, getting you all the same amenities with a cheaper price tag.
5. Little risk. The risk of buying a used vehicle is also a concern for car buyers, but it doesn’t have to be. With new technologies that record everything a vehicle has encountered, and Carfax reports that verify important information such as mileage and insurance claims, buying a used vehicle has never come with less risk. And if that isn’t enough, you can also buy a certified pre-owned vehicle which will come with a warranty from the dealership.

So now that we’ve won you over with why you should consider buying used, here are a few tips on how and where to start!

Choosing the right car can be like going on a scavenger hunt.

You want all the right amenities, safety features and fuel economy—all at the right price for your budget. Luckily we have developed a list to help you navigate the waters of buying a pre-owned vehicle.

To get help determining what vehicle is right for you, scroll below or select one of the following: 


Your Budget

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Price the Car

You Want

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Take A

Test Drive

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Negotiate the

Best Price

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Determine the right vehicle for you. 

Start with the make and model you would like to buy. Would you like a truck, SUV, midsize sedan or something different entirely like an electric vehicle? Begin by developing your list of necessities and accompany that with your wishlist to find the right fit. A few great questions to start with:

What will you be using this vehicle for?

•  Are you going to need to tow anything? How much stowing space will you need?

•  Will it be a commuting vehicle? And if so, how many miles each way?

•  Will you ever need it for long distance travel?

•  Will you be driving on rough terrain? Pavement only? Will you being driving through heavy snow? Mud? 


How many people will be operating this vehicle and/or how many passengers?

•  Will there be a teen driver operating this vehicle at any time?

•  Will you be the sole driver or sharing with another person?

•  Do you have kids? Are you planning for more?


What’s the average anticipated weekly mileage of use?

•  Factor in your commute each way, as well as an average of weekly extra trips.


What kind of amenities are you looking for in a car?

•  Here are a few of the best amenities.

•  Here are a few you can skip.


Important features to consider:


1.  Fuel economy. Fuel economy is one of those buzzwords connected to buying a car, but how is it actually determined for the make and model you are searching for? Vehicles are tested in the National Vehicles and Fuel Emissions Laboratory. Each vehicle is rigorously tested using a dynamometer which simulates a driving environment. A driver will run the simulation through various trip tests that would be similar to driving in city and highway traffic. For cars using carbon-based fuels like gasoline, diesel or natural gas, a hose is connected to the tailpipe to collect engine exhaust during lab testing. The collected exhaust will then be used to determine how much gas is actually being burned.
Fuel economy is important when thinking about individual trips to the pump, but it’s more essential to think about overall cost of ownership. Fluctuating gas prices might change your average monthly savings, but if you factor in the cost overall of a sedan versus driving a large SUV, the savings could amount to hundreds over the course of ownership.

2.  Safety ratings. It may seem like a no-brainer, but check the list of safety features on the vehicle you are considering purchasing. In case of an accident you will want to make sure you are protected. You can also check safety ratings for mass produced vehicles from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The easiest way to find the crash test rating specific to your vehicle is to type the year, make and model into your favorite search engine followed by NHTSA. This will take you to NHTSA’s crash test information on your car.

If you are buying a make/model older than 1990 or one that was not widely produced, check the nearest year if available.

3.  Warranty. Every qualified vehicle from Collierville Auto Center comes with our Lifetime Limited Powertrain Warranty. It is so important when buying a pre-owned vehicle not to skip over the warranty! Depending on the make/model/year of the car, you may still be covered under the manufacturer's warranty. Check to make sure this is the case before you purchase an extended warranty you may not need. It’s always a good idea to have more coverage than less on the major mechanics of the car such as: the engine, transmission and drivetrain.

4.  Yearly cost of ownership. According to Edmunds.com, there are eight factors to consider when determining the true cost of ownership for your vehicle.

•  Depreciation: How much will your car lose in value per year?

•  Interest: If you took out a loan, how much interest will accrue per year?

•  Taxes and fees: The yearly cost of title, sales tax and other registration fees.

•  Insurance: Factor in your yearly premiums.

•  Fuel: What is your average fuel economy vs. weekly, monthly, annual commute mileage.

•  Maintenance: Check the owner’s manual for suggested scheduled maintenance.

•  Repairs: Anticipated extra maintenance required based on the year and wear of your vehicle.

•  Federal tax credit: Does your vehicle run on alternative fuels? If so, you can receive a federal tax credit.


Non-Essential features to consider:


1.  Technology features
2.  Upgraded amenities


Determine your budget.


You get two options when buying a car, pay cash or take out a loan. If you’re paying cash, be careful not to use all your savings, and budget to set money aside for initial taxes and registration fees, insurance and minor repair costs. If you’re wanting to buy a more expensive model or protect your savings, opting to take out a loan may be your best option.

If you are going to take out a loan, try to get pre-approved first. It will help you negotiate the best price at the dealership and save time doing so. You should also arrange to put 10 percent down and pay off the loan in less than five years to save on interest if you can afford it.

You can use an auto loan calculator like this one to help guide you.


Price the car you want.

You’ve now determined the type of vehicle you need, the wishlist of features, and your budget. The next step is to set a price range. Before you go for test drives, search sites like Kelly Blue Book to establish a price range for the vehicle you want. This is a great way to understand the market value of your next car which will help you negotiate the best price possible.


Take it for a spin.


You might think test driving a car is a piece of cake, right? You get in, turn on the ignition and drive around to see if you like the feel of it. But, there is much more to consider. Start with the actual route you’ll be taking, make sure it is a bit of everything: hills, rough pavement, highway, and be sure to throw a few curves in there. Next you will want to drive with the right environment, be sure to turn off the radio and try to limit other distractions. Pay attention to:

•  Visibility

•  Acceleration

•  Ergonomics

•  Brakes

•  Mechanical condition


Click here for more tips to take on your next test drive.


Negotiate the best price.

Now that you have test driven your vehicle and you’re ready to buy, it’s time to negotiate. Don’t fret. Negotiating doesn’t have to be hard or time consuming if you come prepared. Here are a few things to help you get started:

1.  Get pre-approved. It may seem simple, but walking onto a lot with pre-approval from a lender is the same as walking in with cash as far as the dealer is concerned. Just be sure to negotiate in terms of out-the-door cost and not purchase price.
2.  Do your research. Know the average purchase price of the vehicle, and start with a smaller but reasonable range from there. Lowballing will make the seller think you are not serious about the purchase, but a slightly more reasonable number will give you a jumping off point to negotiate from. It can help to look at the average price of some similar cars sold at that dealership and compare to their asking price. You can figure out how much they markup the price of the vehicles and use that knowledge in your negotiation.
3.  Understand the fees associated with your buy. Sometimes the negotiated purchase price is not the out-the-door price, be sure you read the fine print of your contract before signing.
4.  Be willing to walk away. Once you sign the contract the vehicle is yours. If you do not like how you are being treated or negotiated with, it's ok to walk away.

Financing a Vehicle: The Process & Factors to Consider

When it comes to buying your car, there’s really only two options: cash or a loan. However, there are numerous other factors to consider after that. Below are a few we’ve listed to help you get started.

Learn the most important factors that make the financing process go smoothly by scrolling below or select one of the following:

Get Pre-Approved

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Your Credit Score

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Interest Rates

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Your Offer

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Get Pre-Approved.

Getting pre-approved with a lender can mean the same thing as walking into the dealership with cash in hand. It can aid in your negotiation and quicken your negotiation time. Not sure on where to start to get pre-approved? Here’s a checklist.


Know your credit score.

Your credit score or lack thereof can be a determining factor in your interest rates and whether or not you get pre-approved. Your credit score allows lenders to assess the risk factor in lending you money.

Your personal score is the result of many factors, including:

•  How many years you’ve had credit history

•  Your credit utilization rate (how high your balance is, relative to the credit limit on an account)

•  Your payment history (making sure you pay on time)

•  Types of credit on your report (think mortgages, credit cards and student loans)


The easiest way to gain actual credit if yours is nonexistent is to open a limited account and make the payments on time or in full before they are due. Here are a few more ways to raise your score if needed.


Check in with current interest rates.


The national average APR for US lenders in 2018 is 4.21% on a 60 month term. Rates for borrowers are dependent on credit score, term length, age of financed car and other relevant risks for lenders. Knowing your credit score will be invaluable when helping you decide which lender to go with. The higher your score, the lower the rate, and vice versa.

Buying used tends to lead to higher interest rates because the risk is higher for the lender depending on the make, model and depreciation of value in the car.

When buying used you can go with a loan from a bank or a credit union. Banks that offer auto loans tend to have similar interest rates that range from 2 to 3 percent for qualified applicants. For less qualified candidates the range can be anywhere from 6 to 25 percent. There are normally more restrictions when going with a bank such as dollar minimum, max age and mileage. A credit union usually offers a lower interest rate and more flexible payment schedules. However, borrowing from a credit union is sometimes restricted to membership, location, profession or organization.

What are you willing to offer at purchase?

Do you have a sizable down payment or a valuable trade-in?

1.  Making a down payment. Making a down payment can not only help you reduce overall monthly costs, but it can also help you decrease your interest rate. It is recommended that you opt to put down 10% of the overall purchase price if you can afford to do so. If you can’t afford 10 percent, some is better than none. It will reduce the overall risk the lender takes. For more information on determining your down payment, click here.
2.  Do you have a valuable trade-in? Trading-in can help you negotiate the overall price of your pre-owned purchase. Be sure to research what your trade is worth, based on:

•  Make/model

•  Year

•  Mileage

•  Drivetrain

•  Condition

•  Amenities

Do not let the sales person depreciate your vehicle’s worth, try negotiating your trade-in first. Here are a few extra tips to help you get the best value for your current trade-in.

The Ins & Outs of Car Maintenance

There's a lot that goes into maintaining a vehicle, even including the vehicle inspection and certification process that takes place before you purchase your vehicle. 

Learn more about purchasing a car that's safe for you & your family, as well as the upkeep needed to keep it that way.

Scroll below for more details or select one of the following:



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What does it mean to be certified?

Here at Collierville Auto Center, most of our inventory is certified and comes with a Lifetime Limited Powertrain Warranty. You can find out more about our certification process here.

But, what does it mean when a car is certified? A certified vehicle has gone through a multi-point inspection process. Any issues found in inspection are then fixed, and additionally, we guarantee it with our Lifetime Limited Powertrain Warranty. It’s our way of making sure you feel secure in your purchase and that you are driving off the lot with a safe and reliable vehicle for you and your family.

Multi-Point Inspection Process


•  Lights

•  Windshield

•  Upholstery, floors, glass

•  Emergency parking brake

•   Horn

•  Fuel tank cap

•  In-cabin microfilter

•  Clutch

•  Dome light/amp and light dimmer

Under the Hood

•  Fluid levels

•  Engine air filter

•  Engine coolant

•  Drive belts

•  Radiator core

•  Cooling system

•  Battery and terminal

Under the Car

•  Shock absorbers and suspension

•  Steering gear box, dust covers, linkage & boots, ball joints

•  Muffler, exhaust and mountings

•  Engine oil

•  Brake line, hoses and parking brake cable

•  Drive shaft components

•  Transmission, differential and transfer case

•  Fuel lines and connections

Tires and Brakes

•  Tread, wear and pressure of tires

•  Tire alignment

•  Wheel Balance

•  Front & rear brake lining

•  Front disk brakes condition

•  Rear drum brakes condition




When you purchase a new vehicle from a dealership it will come with a manufacturer’s warranty, but it will expire by a certain age or mileage for your vehicle. It is a good idea to opt for a backup when buying a pre-owned vehicle. An extended warranty, often referred to as a service contract, will kick in after your manufacturer's warranty is expired. However, it is a separate cost addition added onto the purchase price of your car. You can purchase an extended service contract from your dealership or a third-party. Regardless of where you purchase it, it must be purchased before your manufacturer's warranty is expired.


A dealership extended warranty will usually come with stipulations of where the car can be serviced. Depending on the dealership, it will vary in what is covered. Warranties can cover bumper-to-bumper or just partial coverage, like engine or drivetrain repairs. Be sure to read the service contract thoroughly before purchase.

A third-party extended warranty comes from an independent provider that has no direct business relationship with the manufacturer of your vehicle. It is sometimes referred to as an aftermarket warranty, and can come at a much more affordable rate. Because these are third-party providers, be sure to do your research and make sure that it is a reputable warranty. A good recommendation on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website is a great place to start!


What to look for:

Whether you are buying from a third-party or a dealership, you should ask these questions before signing on the dotted line:

1.  How much warranty do I already have? Is your vehicle currently under the manufacturer's warranty still, and if so, for how much longer? When buying used, if the manufacturer’s warranty will run out during the anticipated length of ownership, it would probably be a good idea to opt for the extended warranty.
2.  What’s covered? What isn’t? Differences may seem slight from dealership to third-party, but be sure to read the fine print of what is covered. Look for powertrain and electrical coverage.
3.  How long will I actually be covered? What is the exact mileage and year length that the warranty will cover, estimate the yearly mileage with length of ownership anticipation and you can determine if you need additional coverage.
4.  What is in the fine print? Will your car need to be serviced by a particular provider? If the car maintenance schedule is not kept up to date, can they refuse you service?

Remember to do your research. You do not have to buy the extended warranty the day you buy your vehicle. Make sure you are buying from a reputable source and that it covers the most essential and important elements of the vehicle. It’s also a great idea to look for dealerships that offer added coverage, such as a Lifetime Limited Powertrain Warranty. When buying from Collierville Auto Center you will receive a Lifetime Limited Powertrain Warranty with any approved vehicle. 


This warranty will cover the following:

•  Engine maintenance and repairs

•  Transmission

•  Drive Axle

•  Towing allowance 


Routine Maintenance

We’ve discussed how a warranty can help you keep your car in tip-top shape, but now let’s discuss routine maintenance (or tune-ups). Most of these you can do yourself, but if you need extra assistance, our Service Department is here to help!

1.  Brake check 

•  Check your fluid and change it once a year or at the very least every other year. If you don’t routinely change the fluid, it will fill with air and your brakes will be more susceptible to malfunctioning.


•  Check your brake pads. A good rule of thumb is that if your brake pads are thinner than an eighth of an inch, you should expect to replace them within the year. Other things you want to watch for include leaking brake fluid and evidence of cracks or wear on the rotors, such as ridging.

2.  Tire check 

•  Use the good ole’ penny test to check the tread depth. If the tread comes to Abe’s ear, you’re good. You will want to do this on each tire in different spots to check the wear of your tires. If it is uneven, it’s a good time to get your alignment checked.

3.  Alignment check 

•  Watch for changes to your alignment if your tires are starting to age. If you notice your car drifting to one side or the other and are having a hard time maintaining neutrality, chances are your alignment needs to be adjusted. To keep this in check, get your tires rotated and balanced.

4.  Engine Check 

•  Change your engine air filter. If you commute more than the average person, or you are mostly driving in stop-and-go traffic, you will want to check the air filter more frequently. These are usually very easy and inexpensive to replace and often something you can tackle yourself. Check your owner’s manual to find out where yours is located. If it’s dirty, just replace it. It will help your engine continue to run smoothly and be able to breathe.
•  Check your spark plugs. Most standard vehicles need to be replaced around 30,000 miles. However, it can vary based on the make and model of your vehicle. If your plugs are dirty or worn out, it can mean your engine isn’t running smoothly which can take a toll on your fuel efficiency.
•  Check your fuel filter. If your filter is clogged it can lead to your engine running rougher than normal or not at all. Car manufacturers usually vary greatly on recommendations for changing the filter, so consult your manual. You can also ask your mechanic to perform a pressure test to check the health of your filter.
•  Change your oil. This is a no-brainer. However, depending on the make and model of your car, you might not need to change your oil as often as you’re used to. Older cars recommended that you change your oil every 3,000 miles, but using better oil in your vehicle may require way less maintenance. Newer cars that run on synthetic oil can last anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000 miles. Regardless of when it needs to be changed, be sure to follow a routine schedule. Your oil and oil filter need to be changed, because as your engine runs, tiny bits of metal, dirt, debris and carbon end up in the oil, which cycles back through the engine and can lead to excessive wear.

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