El Paso, Texas (NAPSI) - Buying a used car is becoming an increasingly common practice. In fact, it’s estimated that just over three used cars are now purchased for every new one sold.

However, just because many people do it, doesn’t mean it’s easy to find the used car that’s right for you. Fortunately, doing a little homework before buying can keep a driver on the road to safety, savings and satisfaction.

To help, here are a few tips from the experts at AutoTrader.com and OnStar:

• Consider purchasing a certified preowned vehicle: Certified preowned vehicles usually come with extended warranties and have been thoroughly inspected before being sold.

• Make sure the vehicle you’re considering is functional for everyone who will be traveling in it: If searching for a used family vehicle, bring the whole family on an extended test-drive to make sure everyone is comfortable with the vehicle. If you have small children, make sure child safety seats fit and can easily be installed in the vehicle.

• Purchase a vehicle history report report and have the vehicle inspected by a qualified mechanic: By taking both of these actions, you will reduce the chance of unexpected issues later on down the road.

• Ask about promotional programs: Many manufacturers offer specific incentives to purchase their used vehicles. For instance, buyers of used GM vehicles equipped with OnStar are eligible to receive a three-month free trial of its Directions & Connections package, which includes turn-by-turn navigation, automatic crash response, remote door unlock, hands-free calling and more.

• Secure your financing in advance: Because used vehicle loans can vary when it comes to interest rates, visit a bank or credit union before making a final decision so you can be sure you’re receiving the best interest rate.

• Don’t negotiate price based on what you want your monthly payment to be: Monthly payments can always be lowered to fit your budget by extending the length of the loan. Negotiations should be made based on the price of the car, rather than the monthly payment.

• The sale process continues past the acceptance of an offer: After both parties agree upon an appropriate price, dealers usually will offer extra accessories and services you might not be interested in. Be sure to stand firm and make it clear that you are not interested in paying more than the previously agreed upon price.

For more information on OnStar, visit www.OnStar.com.

For more information on AutoTrader, visit www.AutoTrader.com.