Car Buying 101: How to Buy A Used Car in Nebraska

Used Cars in Omaha, NebraskaUsed Cars in Omaha, Nebraska
Published on
May 5, 2022

Deciding that a used car is the right route for your next vehicle is a great decision.

Used cars can provide great value and are a more attainable investment than many new cars. Making sure that you get the right used car for you takes a great deal of research and there are several important decisions to be made along the way.

Before you buy a used car in Nebraska, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Should You Buy From a Private Party Seller or Used Dealer?

If you are buying from a private seller, you will need to transfer ownership at your county treasurer’s office yourself. You will need the vehicle’s title with all relevant transfer sections complete and a bill of sale for this process to go smoothly.

Once you understand the process for buying a used car, the first decision to make is whether you will buy from a private seller or a dealer. Each option has its benefits and potential pitfalls, especially if you are buying your first car. Most, if not all of the potential pitfalls can be avoided with diligent research, patience, and the advice of a good mechanic.

Buying from a private seller can sometimes provide you with a great deal on a car, but there are a few things to keep in mind if you decide to go this route. Before you speak to any potential sellers, do the research and decide what you are looking for in a car. This could be as specific as a certain make, model, and year or as broad as deciding to go with a hatchback or a sedan.

Research the history of the car

Once you have narrowed down the kind of car you are looking for and have found a potential seller, make sure you research the history of the car you are thinking about buying. You can easily order a vehicle history report with just the car's VIN and 40$, which will give you information on everything from damage sustained by the car, accident history, title history, and open recalls.

Sites like, Carfax, and AutoCheck are easy to use and can provide you with all this information.

It’s also a good idea to request the service records for the car from the seller. Service records will give you a good insight as to how often the car has been serviced and will show if there have been any recurring problems with the vehicle that you need to worry about. Some sellers may not have the service records, which could be a red flag that the car has not been well-maintained.

Make sure that before you buy any vehicle you take a test drive

  • There is no better way to check that a car is running properly and that you enjoy driving it than driving it yourself.
  • A test drive will also be a good chance to ask the seller relevant questions about the vehicle and how it drives before you decide to buy.

Make sure you get the car inspected by a professional

  • Mechanics will be able to find potential issues with the car that you would not have even thought to look for and will be able to give you a good overview of the current health of the vehicle.
  • Once you have a green light from the mechanic, you should feel comfortable starting the price negotiation process and making the call to buy the vehicle.

If you don’t feel comfortable buying from a private seller, buying from a dealer can be a much easier and much simpler way to buy your next used vehicle

Most of the previously provided tips can be applied to buying from a dealer, specifically obtaining a vehicle history report and taking a test drive in the car. There are however a few things unique to buying from a dealer to keep in mind. 

Before you even walk into a used car dealership

  • Make sure you consult the Better Business Bureau’s website and check on your potential dealer’s reputation.
  • The BBB will have a record of any complaints made against the business and this research could save you a huge headache in the future.
  • Also make sure to research their social media and Google reviews to see what people are saying about their experiences with the business.

Be on the lookout for high-pressure sales techniques

  • Don’t allow yourself to be rushed into a decision by a salesman or to be bullied into signing a contract of any kind before you are ready.
  • It’s important to remember that documents or contracts you sign will most likely be legally binding, while any verbal agreements will not.
  • Make sure that you know what you’re signing and that you are ready to commit to the vehicle before you sign.

Why People Choose Gateway Auto Sales For Used Cars in Nebraska

If you are looking for a used car dealer in the Nebraska area, Gateway Auto Sales is a highly reputable used car dealer that offers a lot of the information we have discussed up front without you having to obtain it yourself.


Gateway also has relationships with local credit unions to help you get your vehicle financed at the best rates with the least hassle. They don’t charge any “document or sale fees” that many other dealers will pack into the back end of contracts to extract that little extra bit of money from you. Overall, they are one of the highest-rated used car dealers in the state.

The Gateway Advantage: 

All of Gateway Auto Sale’s vehicles are backed by the Carfax clean title guarantee, which means they don't sell any vehicles that have been totaled, flooded, or rebuilt. They also offer a 10 percent discount on any service and repair your vehicle may require at their full-service auto body and mechanical repair centers.

Unlike other used car dealers, we have full-service auto body and mechanical repair centers as well. That means our cars get extra love before they're sold to you, and that you have a place you can trust to take care of them down the road.

In Conclusion:

Buying a used car can be a stressful and time-consuming experience with a couple of important decisions to make along the way. But if you do your research, find the right seller and ask the right questions, you are sure to come away with a used car that you love.

We met our customer at the airport with his new Lexus ready to go!
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