In the state of today’s current economy people are looking for different ways to save money. This is certainly the case on big item purchases such as cars. One way to save a significant amount of money is to consider buying a used car rather than a new one. It’s also a great way to get a more expensive car at a price that your budget can afford. A new car is depreciated as much as 28% as soon as it’s driven off the lot. That makes it possible to get great deals on cars that are relatively new. There are a few helpful hints to make sure you get the best deal and buy a quality vehicle.[pullquote]Who wants to waste 30% of their hard earned money just to say I bought the car new. Seems kind of silly[/pullquote]
The first step is to do your homework and gather as much information as possible. Whether you are buying from a used car dealer or from an Internet ad or classified, knowledge is power. The Internet is the best source of information. Consumer Reports, NADA and Kelly Blue-Book are all excellent resources for information about values and resale averages for used cars. When you face a salesman or private owner armed with all the pertinent information about the vehicle you are considering they will take you much more seriously and won’t attempt to intimidate you.[pullquote] The internet provides all the background information you need to make an intelligent purchase decision. Trust and verify.[/pullquote]
The condition of the vehicle is one of the most important things to consider when buying a used car. Cars at dealerships often come with warranties and guarantees that back the mechanical condition of the car. The seller should not have any issues with you having the car inspected by the mechanic of your choice before you agree to the purchase. Many states protect consumers with “Lemon Laws”. If you purchase a car that is less than three years old and has less than 36,000 miles, the manufacturer’s warranty should still be in effect. That is a highly desirable situation. It is always helpful to ask for all the maintenance and repair records of the car.[pullquote]A manufacturer’s warranty is an added bonus, when purchasing a used car with low mileage.[/pullquote]
If you are buying a used car with cash instead of having to obtain financing you might be able to negotiate an additional discount. The obstacle in this is that many used car dealers’ benefit from providing financing and might see this as a negative instead of a discount feature. The private seller is more likely to be motivated by cash. If you are financing your used car you’ll find that lenders do not lend more than 80% of the selling price. The down payment may be a little more than that of a new car but the savings and benefit to your family budget will be well worth the initial cash outlay.