Buying a car is a huge expense, it doesn’t matter if it is new or used it is still a major part of most people’s budget. So before you get to carried away you might spend a few minutes online looking for used cars in your area.
You can buy a used car by going to a few local dealers, checking the classifieds on your local paper or visiting various websites. Some people prefer to buy from a car dealer because they believe the dealer has checked over the car and would not sell anything that was junk. This is not always true, some dealers sell cheap used cars or as they might call them bagels or hoopdies (car lingo) in an As-Is condition.
There are a couple reasons that most everybody knows why used cars are cheaper. The first reason is that new cars that are purchased and driven the off a lot depreciate immediately. A common rule of thumb is that most cars depreciate about 20% after they are driven off the lot and then about 15% each year for the next 5 or 6 years. So you can see why used cars can often be a good choice if they have been taken care of.
Another reason that used cars are cheaper is that not everyone can afford to pay in full when buying a car. Therefore they would need to finance their new or used car purchase. However with the tightening credit market of late, financing a car with poor credit has become more difficult. These people that need to buy a car and are unable to finance their purchase need cheap cars to buy.
With the state of the economy at the time of writing this post, many banks and lending institutions have had quite a few repossessions. Being that the banks are not in the car business, they take them to the auction and often sell them for less than is owed on them. Then wise car dealers will buy these used or pre-owned cars at auction and sell them on their used car lots. Some may get serviced, inspect and reconditioned, buy some might not. Do your homework, the few extra steps can save enormous amounts of aggravation and money.
The Cheap Used Car – Beware!
Before buying a car do some research and decide what type and price range of used car you want to buy. The time spent doing some research online could save you countless hours of going from car dealer to car dealer. By doing this type of search online and checking out various dealer’s websites, you will better your chances of finding the used car in your price range and be able to pick up the right car at the right price. While you are online you can always go to Edmunds, where they will provide values and prices on new and used cars, recently they started including some used car listings.
Cheap Used Car History
You know you can check the history of a used car that you are seriously considering. You can go online at AutoCheck (opens in a new window) and type in the vehicle identification number or VIN. This can check for accidents, amount of owners, recalls, mileage verification and any other unusual history of the car. I personally would not buy a used car without a History Report from AutoCheck, this very small investment can save you from scams and any type of unscrupulous activity along with untold amounts of money down the road.
Cheap Used Car Maintenance Records
Ideally the used car you are considering should have a maintenance record, but not all do. You should ask the dealer to see it and if it is not available, you should contact the dealership or repair shop where most of the work was done.
Test Drive and Inspect The Cheap Used Car
Make sure you take the used car for a thorough test drive at different speeds and road conditions. The best thing to do if at all possible is to bring someone that is a mechanic or a friend that is knowledgeable when it comes to cars. An alternative would be to ask the dealer if you can take the car to a mechanic’s shop that you trust for an inspection.
Last but not least, what kind of warranty does the car include? Depending on the used car you are considering, the cheap used cars might not have any warranty or a very short warranty. That is something you need to consider. However there are companies that warranty almost any used car that you can purchase from directly, one good one is Smart Warranty.
Happy Car Buying