How to Buy a Used Car in New Hampshire

If you are you in the process of finding a used vehicle, it is important to be thorough while exploring your options. Buying a used car, truck, or SUV can potentially save you money in comparison to buying a new vehicle, but if not properly vetted, a used vehicle that has underlying issues can be just as or more expensive. In this article, you can find some general information that may be useful as you shop for your used car in New Hampshire.

young couple looking at used car

Steps for Buying a Used Car

The process of purchasing a used vehicle can be both overwhelming and sometimes complicated. It is important to prepare ahead of time and stay calm when you are working through this process. The following non exhaustive list may help to outline some of the steps involved with purchasing a used car.

Determine Your Budget – Figure out what you can afford and consider getting preapproved for financing. It is important to include additional costs such as insurance, registration, and other fees in your calculations.

Prioritize Your Needs – Making a list of “needs” and “wants” can help you narrow down what vehicles you may either want to focus on or cross off of your list. For example, considering the harsh winters that New Hampshire often experiences, you may decide to prioritize vehicles with either four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.

Look at Reviews – Reading online reviews and checking safety ratings can help you filter out vehicles you may not be interested in if they don’t meet your standards. Consider the vehicle’s track record for reliability and take into account ongoing costs of upkeep, maintenance and repair.

Check the VIN – If you’re seriously interested in a vehicle, obtaining the vehicle identification number (VIN) can help you discover some the history of that vehicle. Using websites like Carfax or AutoCheck can provide you with a report of the vehicle to see if it has been involved in a reported crash, whether it has a salvage title, and access to other pertinent information.

Evaluate the Price – Depending on where you may be purchasing a used car, prices can vary greatly. For example, prices may differ between a large used car dealership, a smaller dealer, or a private seller. Conducting research on the vehicle you intend to purchase and using pricing guides found online can help you determine an estimate of what your potential vehicle could cost.

Go for a Test Drive – A test drive is always a recommended step in the used car process. Cars, trucks, SUVs, and other vehicles may seem to satisfy what you’re looking for at first glance, but the true test is actually driving them. It is also recommended to look for various other things, such as:

  • How is the visibility?
  • How does the vehicle accelerate, shift, or switch into different driving modes?
  • Does the vehicle feel responsive when applying the brakes?
  • How does the vehicle steer and handle?
  • Is the ride quality acceptable to you?

What Paperwork is Required to Register a Car in New Hampshire? – If you are purchasing your used car from a private party in New Hampshire, you will likely need to bring the following paperwork to register your car. It is always a good idea to consult with the New Hampshire Division of Motor Vehicles prior to going to registering your vehicle to see if there is additional paperwork that you may need.

  • Title
  • Odometer Statement
  • VIN Inspection
  • The Vehicle Make and Model
  • New Hampshire License or Identification Card
  • The Vehicle Purchase Price
  • Some of the Buyer’s Personal Information

Closing the Deal – If you’re buying a car privately, you should make sure that the seller has the title and that there are no liens on it. If there is a lien on the vehicle, you may want to consult with an attorney before closing the deal to make sure that the lien is properly handled. If you’re buying a car from a used car dealership, you will either pay in full or finance your used car. Comparing financing options from various banks and credit unions ahead of time can help save you money. You’ll also need to talk to your insurance agent so they can add the car to your insurance policy.

young couple testing out vehicle

Is it Cheaper to Insure a New or Used Car in New Hampshire?

The price of insurance for your used vehicle can vary depending on a variety of factors. Typically, in comparison to a new vehicle, used vehicles are cheaper to insure as their value has decreased, they can be cheaper to repair or replace, and generally are older. To help prepare you for getting your quote, here are some factors that you will need to discuss with your local Cross Insurance agent.

  • The make and model of your used vehicle. A newer and more expensive vehicle will typically tend to raise your rates compared to an older vehicle.
  • How much will you be driving your new vehicle? A vehicle driven for daily use such as to and from work typically will cost more to insure than something that is only used periodically.
  • What will you be using your vehicle for? Personal use versus commercial use can impact rates.
  • The age, gender, marital status, and education of the driver can also affect your quote.
  • Your personal driving record will also factor into your costs.

close up of vehicles on a used car lot

New Hampshire Used Car Insurance Quotes

Requesting a quote for your used car is a great place to start when it comes to comparing coverages and saving. Your local Cross Insurance team would be happy to show you your insurance options.



This article is for general informational purposes only and is not to be relied upon or used for any particular purpose. Cross Insurance shall not be held responsible in any way for, and specifically disclaims any liability arising out of or in any way connected to, reliance on or use of any of the information contained in this article. The information contained or referenced in this article is not intended to constitute and should not be considered legal, insurance, accounting or other professional advice, nor shall it serve as a substitute for the recipient obtaining such advice. The views expressed in this article are that of its author and do not necessarily represent the views of Cross Financial Corp. and its subsidiaries and affiliates (“Cross Insurance”) or Cross Insurance’s management or shareholders.


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