Used Cars Can Be a Great Money Saver

Mar 11, 2019

Many people, when contemplating buying a car, can’t decide whether to buy a new one or a used one. They wonder which one will save them money in the long term. Some people like the new car “feel” and the new car “smell”. They want to bring home a brand new car, because they think that’s what a new car should be. Also, they don’t want to worry about past history and the wear and tear of the car. If they have an excellent credit rating, they can get deals on new cars, such as cash back incentives, low interest rates or no interest rates. Even though all of these new car options sound good, they want to find out if buying a used car would be less expensive and they would still have their "new" car. They want to find out the best ways to save money, buying a used car, and know that it is also reliable and one that will last without added expense.

The Five Important Questions

1. How do I know I’m buying a reliable used car that won’t have a lot of problems later on?

A. To save money, it is a good idea to spend some money to find out if the car has a clear title history by running a used car history report, using its VIN number. Also, they should take the used car to a reliable, certified auto mechanic for a thorough inspection to see if there are any major flaws inside or outside, as well as anything wrong mechanically.

2. What is the best way to buy a used car?

A. People can go on-line to see many used car listings and compare styles, brands and most anything they’re looking for to find the best deal. They then need to visit the dealer to “check out” the car and perform a test drive. They can also visit various used car dealers and browse around to find the used car they may want. Another way is to check newspaper ads for individuals selling cars, contact them to look at the car, test drive it and have a licensed mechanic inspect it.

3. Will it save money to get pre-approved or find the car first, then go through the dealer?

A. When it comes to financing their used car, this is a puzzler for many people. The best way to save money is to check out various interest rates and get pre-approved before their purchase. They can check at their banks, credit unions or other financial institutions. They can also go online to apply and get the best terms and rates. The rates will vary according to how old the car is and how many miles the car has.

4. Should they buy a rental car, aka program car to save money?

A. Rental cars may or may not be the way to go when purchasing their used car. A positive is that the car may have low mileage. Also, the maintenance and oil/filter changes may be up to date, because the rental company wants the cars to be available for the next rental. On the other hand, some negatives are that there may not be time for the rental company to keep up with maintenance because they want the cars rented as quickly as possible. The car may also have scratches and dents. It needs to be examined thoroughly to determine if this is the best choice for the buyer.

5. How old should a car be to save the most money and get the best deal?

A. The car should be no more than three or four years old and have low mileage. This will save the buyer more money because new cars depreciate in the first three years. It is best not to buy an older one because the next three years, it continues to depreciate by twenty-five percent. It is also a good idea to buy an extended warranty, due to more costly maintenance and repairs that you  may end up spending money on. This will give peace of mind to the used car buyer.

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