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Michigan is commonly known as the center for the U.S. auto industry. However, if you’ve tried getting an auto loan in this state with bad credit, you know that getting the vehicle you want here can still be a challenge. Fortunately in this case, it’s a challenge that’s surmountable. As the state’s economy has fallen onto hard times recently, lenders have become increasingly aware that they can’t afford to simply deny loans to everyone with bad credit. There are many lenders in the area who are more than willing to work with you, whatever your credit situation may be. That means finding a realistic payment plan that you can afford, repairing your credit as you make the payments, and – most importantly – finally getting the vehicle you want.

Car Buying and Dealership Requirements in Michigan

When looking for a vehicle to purchase, working with a respected, law-abiding dealer can save you a lot of time and headache. Here are just a few of the requirements auto dealers in Michigan are required to adhere to:

Driving in Michigan’s Top 5 Cities

  • Multiple dealers may not pool their resources to meet the minimum resource requirements.
  • The place of business must be at an address where the Secretary of State can mail the dealer their license, customers can mail complaints, and a state representative can meet with them to review their records.
  • While dealers are permitted to conduct a large portion of their business out of a motor home, it can’t be considered the business’s permanent address.
  • If the dealer is a Class W license holder, they are not allowed to conduct any retail trades; they can only deal wholesale.
  • Class W dealers are not required to purchase dealer plates (though they can if they want). However, Class A and B dealers are required to purchase a minimum of two dealer plates. To apply for these plates, they must have 20/40/10 fleet insurance that covers all of the vehicles they own.
  • Dealer licenses expire Dec. 31 every year, and they must apply for renewal by Nov. 1 to ensure there’s enough time for processing.
  • Depending on the location, dealers in Michigan may be restricted from doing business on Sundays. If the county has fewer than 130,000 residents, they may complete a sale on Sundays. Motorcycles and recreational vehicles may also be sold on Sundays, and used vehicle parts may be sold anywhere on Sundays.

1. Detroit, MI

Detroit has seen its ups and downs over the past 70 or so years. Once seen as the embodiment of the American dream with a thriving economy, the city has recently fallen upon tougher times. Despite its recent economic woes, the city remains one of the country’s most important transportation hubs.

Detroit has a huge network of toll-free freeways controlled by the Michigan Department of Transportation. Interstate 75 is the city’s major north-south route, allowing access to Flint, Pontiac, and Troy. I-75, along with I-96, also connect the city with Kings Highway 401. This route also allows access to some southern Canadian cities in the province of Ontario, including the greater Toronto area.

2. Grand Rapids, MI

While the state of Michigan tends to be known for its connection to the auto manufacturing industry, Grand Rapids may actually have stronger ties to furniture production. During the latter part of the 19th century, it was given the nickname “Furniture City”, in part due to all the timber that was harvested in the area.

Major highways accessible from the city include I-96, I-196, I-296, BS I-196, US 131, and Bus. US 131. There are also a handful of freeways, including M-6 (named the Paul B. Henry Freeway) which connects I-96 and I-196 along the south side, as well as M-45, which takes you to Lake Michigan.

3. Warren, MI

Like much of the state, the auto industry has a strong presence in Warren. General Motors is easily the city’s biggest employer, while Chrysler comes in at third behind TACOM – part of the U.S. Army Material Command. As such, it has experienced the same hardships as other cities who depend on the auto industry. However, the city does have a nice recreation center, along with a system of 24 parks.

In addition to convenience, having a vehicle in Warren is advisable for safety reasons. Crime rates have risen in recent years despite a despite a decline in population. This means that walking in certain areas is not always safe. Having a vehicle here can keep you out of sketchy situations.

4. Sterling Heights, MI

In contrast to Warren, Sterling Heights is actually ranked as the safest city in Michigan out of cities with at least 100,000 residents. The city, sometimes considered a suburb of Detroit, has two main state highways: M-53 and M-59. Other important roads include Mound Road, which goes north-south through the city, 16 Mile Road, a main thoroughfare, and Utica Road, which crosses through the city diagonally going northwest.

5. Lansing, MI

Lansing is Michigan’s capital, and the most important city in the Central Michigan region. While the auto industry also has a presence here, most of Lansing’s major buildings are devoted to government functions. Major highways include I-69, which goes through Indianapolis to Lansing and on to Flint, I-96, which leads to Detroit or Muskegon, and I-496, which loops through the downtown area and connects with I-96 on either end.

Having a vehicle in Michigan is important for many reasons – not the least of which, their public transportation system is simply unreliable. Luckily, lenders in the area realize that good people can fall on hard times, or just make a silly mistake that leads to a bad credit rating. Finding an auto loan in Michigan with bad credit isn’t that difficult, as long as you’re willing to work with the lender’s terms and make timely payments.