So you decided that it is time to start thinking about your next car, but how do you limit your choices in a market overflowing with options? In order to get your head straight when overwhelmed, the best thing you can do is focus on which options will give you the best short-term and long-term value. New cars are exciting to own and drive, but they can be way out of most driver’s price range. Leasing is a viable option, but you gain nothing long term since you don’t generally pay to own. So that leaves you with one clear investment option, and that is used cars. Used cars are often given a bad reputation for being risky and dirty, but any savvy car buyer will understand that the benefits outweigh the investigation work you will have to do.
While there are many more than just five reasons to consider a used car, these reasons are the ones that rise above the rest when it comes to discovering the real value of used cars.
1: They Take Up a Majority of the Market
Considering most cars built within the last 30 years can easily last over a decade or up to 150,000 miles, it makes sense that used cars will always take up a majority of the automotive market. There are many advantages to this, but the most prominent is that you are not limited to vehicles within the current year. Sometimes you can’t find the same style or craftsmanship in a 2018 model that you can in a car from 2008, but the used market will open that choice up to you. Basically, used car shopping is similar to an exciting treasure hunt. What some see as used, others will see as vintage, and a timeless vehicle is priceless.
2: Their Sticker Price is Lower
Clearly, the biggest reason drivers invest in used cars is that they are straight up more affordably priced. Since they are used, they need to be given at a discount, and depending on which model you choose, you can easily maximize the vehicles overall value to the point that is often better than what was paid when it was new.
3: They Depreciate at a Slower Rate
The main reason used cars are more affordable is that the depreciation of new cars is often extremely fast during the first year or so. The second they are driven off the lot a new vehicle will drastically start to go down in value, but a used car will often have a slow rate of depreciation since its first owner took the biggest hit. This means that when you invest in a used car, the value will not change too much from what you paid as long as you keep it in good condition by keeping up with your regular maintenance schedule as suggested by the owner’s manual.
4: Insurance Rates Are Lower
Clearly, a new car will need a lot of coverage just in case the worst happens, and they need to be replaced or repaired. Used cars, on the other hand, are less of a risk for insurance companies and dealers, and will often be given less coverage for less money.
5: It’s an Investment for Your Future
You should never think of cars as a one-time buy; these are investments that can either hurt or help you in the future depending on how to manage them. While new cars are great and have the advantage of having more years in them, they are often valued a bit too high once you include the increased depreciate, interest, and insurance costs. This means a new car will not often be sold at a value that is even close to what you paid. Used cars, on the other hand, can act as a ladder investment that will allow you to buy, sell, and upgrade with ease.
Now that you know the five reasons buying used is the best advantage you can give yourself as a driver, it is time to learn some tips on how to actually invest in one. These tips will not only help you get the greatest value from your used car, but they will also help assure you don’t get stuck with something undesirable.
Use Online Resources
The internet is a vast resource that can be used for many things and helping you find that perfect used car is one of them. Online resources will help you separate what you need from what you want in an automotive so that you can focus on the model that will best fit into your life. It can also help you locate the best deals, and where to find them from the comfort of your own home. In addition to all of that though, you can find everything you need to about a specific models history by simply using the VIN and one of the many reliable automotive sites that will check for any issues with the model you are interested in.
Try Not to Overcomplicate Things
It is best when buying a vehicle to just focus on what you need and try not to get distracted by fancy features or other things that may be nice, but are far from necessary. First, find a vehicle with your basic needs including budget and size, and move on forward from there if you have some extra cash you are willing to spend. Just think of it this way, what can always upgrade later, and what will you need built-in now?
Never Invest in “As-Is”
As-is deals may seem appealing, but they are also a big red flag that says something is almost definitely wrong and will require your attention. Buying as-is is risking your money on trusting that not only are you sure of what attention it requires, but you are sure you can handle it efficiently. There are so many used vehicles out there though that it is just better to look elsewhere or pay a bit extra for the assurance.
Use All of Your Senses While Inspecting
Sight, smell, and sound will be your greatest allies when trying to detect if a used car is ready to drive. You will always what to do an exterior and interior check, as well as a test drive before even considering the vehicle as an option for you and your lifestyle. If even one of your senses picks up something unpleasant, move on to the next used car dealership.
Remember Your Rights as a Buyer
You as a buyer and a driver have the right to invest in a used car that you are sure you will be satisfied with. This means take as long as you want to inspect it, take it to a professional you trust, and ask as many questions as possible while looking for the right vehicle.
Relax and Enjoy the Moment
Buying a vehicle may be a hassle at times, but you need to remember that this is an exciting moment in your life as well. Take your time and enjoy the fact that you will be driving a whole new vehicle at the end of this.
If you’re looking for the best experience in purchasing a used car, be sure to visit your local dealership. A helpful and knowledgeable staff are sure to check off everything you’re looking for from a local used car dealer. So, when you’re ready to purchase your next vehicle, stop by your trusted local lot or check them out online!