The one great thing about vehicle depreciation is that it gives us all a shot at buying the performance car, truck, or SUV of our dreams. Unfortunately, it’s time to face the sad reality that not all of us are in a financial situation in which we can just stroll to the nearest dealership and plunk down several thousands of dollars on a Ford F-150 Raptor, Mustang, or some other performance ride. Ford pre-owned cars are the way to go if your wallet isn’t as thick as one of the masterpiece sandwiches created by Dagwood.
Maybe you have always wanted a Mustang since you were a kid; it’s something that keeps you awake at night. Perhaps you really want to be seen driving an Explorer ST, but the price tag for a new model gives you uncontrollable convulsions. Whatever performance vehicle you have your heart set on, you have a much better chance of reaching your goals buying used. But you can’t just sift through Craigslist, Auto Trader, or head over to a used car lot and expect to drive away in your dream ride without a hitch; you need to do your homework first. Here are a few tips to think about before rushing out and buying your dream car.
Become an Expert
Before you buy that vehicle of your dreams, you need to become an expert on that particular model and trim, and to become an expert; you have to do your homework. Now, anybody in the market for a vehicle should be doing at least a little research before making a buy, but you need to give it a lot more time and effort if you are eyeing a performance model.
Let’s talk about the Ford F-150 Raptor. If you are looking into an older model, you will find them with a V8 under the hood. However, Ford ditched the V8 in 2014, so you will have to settle for the V6 if you desire a newer model. Now, Ford is expected to offer a V8 in the Raptor in the near future.
If you are in the market for a 2019 Mustang, there are a few things you should discover. For example, you might want to find a model with the active valve performance exhaust, which was an option on all models. This cool feature allows the driver to vary the loudness of the exhaust system; you can basically run in quiet mode or another louder option. There are four settings that include Quiet, Normal, Sport, and Track. And you guessed it, Track is the loudest mode, and many of you will never even try the other modes.
If you are in the market for a gently-used 2020 Explorer ST, you should know that the base model includes all sorts of goodies that you will enjoy, including leather upholstery, a navigation system, and automated parking. What you also need to know is that some models can be found with additional features that you might desire. For example, there are Explorer STs in the market with 14-speaker audio systems, front seat massage, and a larger center screen. There was also an optional dual-pane sunroof if something like that would be of interest to you.
Our point is that it pays to do the research and become an expert on the used model you want. This way, you are sure to get precisely the features you are looking for when you start looking at the dealership, and you won’t be disappointed with your purchase.
Look to the Past
It is essential to check the history of any used vehicle, so you know just what you are getting. A vehicle history report is a very useful tool that will inform you if the performance car you are shopping for has ever had any major repairs to it or if it has ever been in an accident. Remember, you are in the market for a performance vehicle, so the model you choose might have been driven by a previous owner with a flair for adventure, and we all know that can be somewhat reckless.
There are other compelling reasons for a vehicle history report that you might not have considered. Sometimes, you find a used vehicle with very low mileage, which is great unless that is not the case. There are people in this world who would roll back the odometer to make a few extra dollars. A vehicle history report will verify the mileage.
Lastly, a vehicle history report will give you the ownership history, including how many previous owners, how long they owned the vehicle, and where it was owned. Just because you are buying a car in Southern California does not mean that is the origin of the vehicle; it could have spent several years plowing through snow, ice, and salt in some rural areas of Michigan. These things are good to know.
Look to the Future
As with any used car, there will come a time in the future that you might have to take it in for repairs. It’s a good idea to know and understand everything you can about the performance vehicle you are interested in owning. The local mechanic you utilize might not be very knowledgeable about the Ford F-150 Raptor because of the performance parts. You might wind up having your Mustang at the shop for several days because your mechanic is having a difficult time getting the right parts for it.
While it is an added bonus that many performance cars have really great and unique features, sometimes they can cause problems down the road. For example, Ford gave the Explorer ST stiffer springs, and they tweaked the electric-assist steering system for a weightier feel, so you might want to ensure that these features haven’t been a problem for drivers. One of the best ways to find out is by joining an online forum and asking others who have owned the same model questions about any problems they may have had.
Also, never assume that any repairs you might have to have on a performance vehicle will cost the same as any other type of vehicle. There is a chance that you will have to find a repair shop with a mechanic that specializes in performance cars, and you will probably have to pay extra for that. And as you probably already know, the parts on a performance car will be more expensive than on other models. The bottom line is that it could be more expensive to keep your performance ride in good working order compared to a non-performance model.
Time Is on Your Side
It might be very tempting to jump on the first performance vehicle that meets your needs and desires, but you don’t want to do that. In all of the excitement, it is far too easy to make rookie mistakes. Take your time and take a good hard look at several models before you make a final decision. Sure, you might miss out on a potentially good buy, but you will eventually find another bargain, even if it does take a little time. Any performance car worthy of your affection is worth buying the right way, so take your time, and the performance vehicle of your dreams will come along. When it does, the ride will be sweet, and you will be glad you did this the right way.