Years ago, the phrased “used vehicles” made people wary, bringing to mind used car dealerships that sold bad cars — or “lemons.” The stereotype used to include a slick salesman who would do anything to get you to buy a car, and often they wouldn’t act in the buyer’s best interest.
However, today this has changed, with even pricey brands like Lexus and BMW offering “certified pre owned vehicles” that have been thoroughly inspected for quality. And while some people may still shun the idea of buying pre owned vehicles, this is actually the way that most Americans find their vehicles. In 2012 alone, an estimated 40.5 million of all vehicles sold were used. And this doesn’t just mean buying a car from several years ago: many car dealerships make it possible to find cars that are between one and two years older than the newest model, and buyers can save 20-30% on the sticker price. In fact for every one new car sold in the U.S., another 3.3 used cars are sold.
So why exactly do so many people purchase used cars? There are several factors that contribute to this decision, but mostly it comes down to cost. However, the process of purchasing a used vehicle isn’t always straightforward, even when purchasing from a dealership. Here are some things to expect when you decide to purchase a used car:
1. Selection: Many dealerships offer both new and used vehicles, but selections for new cars will often be limited to only current model and year. Used car sales tend to give buyers greater options in terms of make, model, and year, and even different styles, customization, and colors are also available on the sales lot. Don’t forget to test drive to make sure that the vehicle of your choice runs well.
2. Pricing: Most people are aware that used vehicles are cheaper than new ones, but not all of them know just how those prices are determined. When it comes to used cars, the Kelley Blue Book is used to determine the value of a used vehicle. This guide helps rate vehicles on a scale or poor and fair to good and excellent in terms of their condition and gives car dealerships a recommendation on pricing. You can typically check KBB values online if there is a specific type of vehicle you’re looking for in order to get a good idea of how much you’ll have to spend.
3. Financing: Many dealers will often work with you in terms of both the price of the car and how you’ll pay for it. Some have loan officers on site to meet with you and discuss your finances. However, it’s important to understand that having bad credit can lower your chances to finance a car, and sometimes it can stick you with a high interest rate if you are approved. Know your situation, and your budget, before you go in, so you’ll know what to expect.
Have questions or suggestions on buying a used car? Leave a comment below. More information like this: Used car lots