Top Tips for Purchasing a Preowned Car in the Digital Age

It’s no secret that the Internet has drastically changed the ways in which people locate and purchase used vehicles. Sure, it’s still possible to shop for a car using the traditional methods. But taking advantage of the Internet to pinpoint vehicle and pricing information – and even to secure financing – could help set you up for a much better deal. 

Need some help getting started? Here are our top tips:

  • Start with First Commonwealth’s online auto locator. We provide 24/7 access to an auto-buying website exclusively for First Commonwealth members. Just visit to search for vehicles available for sale at area dealerships. Then click on the vehicles for helpful stats and facts, including price, mileage, year, make, model, VIN, condition, fuel economy and more.

  •  Do your research. After using our online auto locator to find a vehicle you’re interested in, conduct research online to ensure the seller is asking a fair price for the vehicle. Resources like Consumer Reports, Edmunds and Kelley Blue Book offer vehicle reviews and pricing information to help you become a more informed shopper.

  •  Consider getting a CARFAX® report before purchasing a vehicle. Vist the CARFAX website and then enter the vehicle’s VIN or license plate information. The report will provide you with information regarding frame/structural damage; salvaged, junked or flood titles; service and repair information; accident indicators and more. The cost of the report is a small price to pay for the peace of mind you’ll gain about your potential purchase.

  •  Prior to visiting the dealership, get pre-approved for your auto loan online. At First Commonwealth, this process is quick and easy – and you'll even get an Express Draft ("blank check") to take to the dealer with you. Once pre-approved, you’ll enjoy extra negotiating power at the dealership, since you’ll know your exact rate and loan amount.

Check out these additional online auto resources including calculators, videos and more.