Ready to buy your next used car near Marion, Herrin, or Carbondale, IL? If so, we here at Watermark Ford of Marion want to help. As you explore our used car buying checklist down below, feel free to contact us with any questions or to learn about our used car inventory!

Establish Your Price Range

When it comes to picking out a used car, you will find variability based on the make, model, age, condition, mileage, and other similar factors. One of the first steps is to determine your price range. This will help you narrow down your options more easily. When picking your target price range, you'll want to consider:

  • The down payment.
  • The value of your trade-in if you're trading in your current set of wheels, which can be applied towards the down payment.
  • Monthly car loan payments.

As a helpful tip, you should shoot to spend between about 10 to 15% of your income on all your automotive expenses, including your monthly payments, fuel, maintenance, and any necessary repairs.

Apply for Financing

Next, you'll want to find out what kind of auto loan you can expect to get. An important aspect of this is your credit score. We offer a secure credit estimator that you can use through our website to quickly check your score. Along with that, you can fill out our finance application from the comfort of your own home.


Research with Vehicle Reviews

With this information in hand, you can now begin searching for a used that car that suits your price range, preferences, and driving needs. By reading vehicle reviews on trusted websites like CARFAX® you can compare things like fuel economy ratings, features, performance specs, and more.

To narrow down your options more quickly, you can specify your preferred body type, year, and more. Our dealership also offers a CarFinder form that can streamline your research process even further. 

Consider Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) Options

Certified pre-owned models are later-year vehicles with lower mileage on them that have been well-maintained and thoroughly inspected. This can give you greater peace of mind before you take the wheel. We offer two different types of CPO vehicles, including Gold and Blue. A few of the perks you can expect include:

  • Comprehensive Limited Warranty
  • 24/7 Roadside Assistance
  • FordPassTM Rewards Points & more!

Schedule Your Test Drive

Once you narrow down your options, it's time to schedule your used car test drives. During each test drive you'll want to pay attention to the way the vehicle drives, including how it brakes, turns, and accelerates, and examine the features throughout the cabin to ensure everything works properly.

What to Bring

To speed things up at the dealership, it's helpful to gather some important documents ahead of time. A few of these include your driver's license, proof of insurance, payment, pay stubs, and your credit score. At the dealership, we'll help you through each step of the financing process along with all the necessary paperwork to make it official. 

Slide into the Driver's Seat of Your Next Used Car

Now that you've read through our used car buying checklist, it's time to start browsing through our selection of used cars. Then give us a call or visit us at Watermark Ford of Marion to take the wheel of a used car near Marion, Herrin, and Carbondale, IL, today!

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Watermark Ford of Marion

1910 West Coolidge Avenue
Directions Marion, IL 62959

  • Sales: (618) 217-3459
  • Service: (618) 993-2161
  • Parts: (618) 993-2161


  • Monday 8am-6pm
  • Tuesday 8am-6pm
  • Wednesday 8am-6pm
  • Thursday 8am-6pm
  • Friday 8am-6pm
  • Saturday 9am-5pm
  • Sunday Closed