You want your vehicle to be safe, dependable, and affordable. It doesn’t sound like too much to ask, right? But new car financing options — while flexible — sometimes don’t work for folks who need a vehicle to get around immediately. Considering purchasing a used vehicle could help with that barrier. There are plenty of used car dealerships in any area, which can provide you with options if you’re looking for a used truck or car. Used cars are plentiful on the road — IHS Markit research reports that by 202, over 20 million vehicles will be on the road that are over 25 years of age. And, between used car dealership sales and private-party sales, almost 40 million used cars pass between buyers and sellers on an annual basis.
Why Should I Check Out Used Vehicles?
New cars depreciate quickly — according to Consumer Reports, after only three years, your new car will be worth under half of what you paid for it. Purchasing a new car isn’t always the best use of your money, especially since “used cars” can be last year’s models! Furthermore, if you purchase a used car, you’ll pay less when it comes to outside costs, like insurance, taxes, registration fees, etc.
It’s also worth noting that cars these days just tend to last longer. Technology has improved, as has car quality, which means you can drive your vehicle for longer, even if it’s older.
Though some might be surprised that “quality” is something listed when it comes to used cars, seeking out dealerships that offer certified pre-owned programs ensures that you’re getting a high quality car for a great price, backed by the manufacturer.
What Should I Look For In a Used Vehicle?
Before going on the hunt, it’s always a good idea to conduct some research of your own. Narrow down makes and models (and even years) so you have an idea of what kind of vehicle you’re looking for. You want a reliable model, after all.
Once you’re at a used car dealership and looking at cars, you’ll want to conduct a visual inspection of both the inside and outside of the car. Rust or extreme dirt can be a bad sign that the car wasn’t properly cared for or repaired at some point. You may also be able to argue the price down if some things look shabby. And, just like you would with a new car, you want to take it on a test drive to get a feel for how it responds and performs, as well as figure out if there are any odd noises or if certain features don’t work.
If you’re interested in a vehicle, you should always ask for a vehicle history report, to make sure that there are no issues with ownership history, titles, previous accidents, or service incidents. If there are, you want to know about them.
Where Can I Find a Used Vehicle?
Likely you’ve passed car dealerships in your area before, so you may have a general sense of where to go. If you’re not sure if they’re a used dealership, you can always check online. In fact, a little online research is a great way to find places around you that sell used vehicles — whether it’s via a dealership or a private party.
You may also be able to get a used vehicle through a friend or family member. This is usually a good option if you’re younger and just need something to get around — obviously, if you have more means, it’s wiser to go through a dealership.
As you can see, buying a used vehicle is becoming an increasingly popular choice for those who are looking for an affordable, reliable vehicle to get around in. If you don’t care about having the latest model off the factory line and just want a dependable car to help you get around, buying used is definitely the way to go.