Save Big with These 7 Tips for Buying a Car in Texas

woman buying a car

Buying a car in Texas can be expensive. It’s understandable that you’d want to save as much money as possible when making such a big purchase. Before you buy, check out these helpful tips, along with answers to your most pressing questions.

7 Best Tips to Save Money on a Car Purchase

1. Buy Used

Buying a shiny, brand-new car right off the lot may seem exciting, but it can also cost you thousands more. If you just need a reliable set of wheels, there’s simply no reason to buy the latest model. Buying a used car that is three or four years old could save you as much as 25% on the total purchase, due in part to the initial depreciation that occurs in the first few years of ownership.

However, buying used can come with risks. It’s important to do your homework and thoroughly test-drive the vehicle to make sure it has no major issues.

2. Find a Trusted Dealer

There’s a stereotype of a manipulative, shady used car salesperson that’s usually inaccurate, but it’s still smart to research dealerships before you start shopping. Look for highly reviewed car dealers online or ask friends and family members who have recently purchased vehicles for recommendations.

3. Buy from a Private Seller

If you know someone who is selling their car, you may be able to get a better deal. Buying a car from a friend, family member, or trusted associate offers many advantages. If you know the person well, you’ll probably have an accurate idea of how well they took care of their vehicle.

4. Negotiate the Price

Car prices are usually open to negotiation. Salespeople generally want to make a sale, and some have incentives available to them if they sell a certain number of cars per month. You might be able to score a great deal as a result.

Don’t go to the lot unprepared, though. Read up on tips to improve your negotiation skills or bring someone with you who feels comfortable haggling.

5. Check Vehicle History

Sometimes used cars sold at surprisingly low prices are actually hiding sinister secrets. Always check the vehicle history to see what repairs have been done and whether the last owner kept up with the recommended maintenance schedule.

Also, make sure you understand the terms in the vehicle history. For example, dealership owners may try to offer you rebuilt or salvage-titled cars without explaining what that means.

The rebuilt or salvaged title label indicates a car was in an automobile accident and declared a total loss. The seller bought the vehicle at a significant discount, repaired it, and is attempting to resell it. While these cars can be cheaper, they can also have issues and be difficult to insure.

6. Take the Vehicle to a Trusted Mechanic

Before you buy a car, insist on taking it to a mechanic. Choose a mechanic whose work you trust, someone who will inspect the car in detail.

7. Get Pre-Qualified

Many dealerships offer financing options on the lot to take advantage of buyers who are excited or in a hurry. Unfortunately, these financing options rarely provide the best rates. Before you shop for cars, shop around for financing.

Get pre-qualified so that when the dealership offers you a certain rate, you can compare it to the one you’ve been qualified for. You can always ask if a dealership will match it.


1. What Do You Need to Buy a Vehicle in Texas?

Family buying a carTo buy a vehicle in Texas, you need the following documents:

  • Valid driver’s license
  • Insurance card

If you are trading in your vehicle, you’ll also need documents that show you’re the owner, including:

  • Registration
  • Loan release
  • Title

Depending on the situation, you may also need:

  • Recent pay stubs
  • Proof of residency documents
  • References
  • Cash or a cashier’s check

3. What Fees Do You Pay When Buying a Car in Texas?

The following fees may apply when buying a car in Texas:

  • Registration Fee: $51.75
  • Local Fee: $10.00
  • Inspection Fee: $7.50
  • Processing and Handling Fee: $4.75
  • Title Transfer Fee: $28–$33 (depending on county)
  • Sales Tax: 6.25% of purchase price

Fees are subject to change.

Get Cash from Power Finance Texas

Power Finance Texas can help you get the money you need quickly. Apply for an installment loan and start shopping for your next vehicle.