Buying used cars makes good sense for a lot of consumers during this uncertain economic climate. But like always, it’s important to know what you’re getting into before finalizing any purchase. Let’s talk about a few steps in buying a used car…
New or used?
Remember, when purchasing a new car, that vehicle depreciates by a couple of thousand dollars the moment it leaves the dealership lot. Even used cars that are only 2 or 3 years old are 20%-30% cheaper than new models. Insurance costs less for us for used cars, and the vehicle may still be covered by the factory warranty (or a certified used car warranty, at least).
Which used car?
It makes sense to explore all options, and not just in terms of the type of vehicle (sedan, coupe, wagon, minivan, truck, etc. Also look into what the resale values and reputations are for the used cars you’re considering.
Research Your Purchase
After you’ve visited dealerships or found an individual owner/seller, this is where you really start to drill down and do your homework. Use resources like Edmunds.com, Consumer Reports and various car magazines to find out the service reputation on that individual model, recall history, etc. And of course, you can use CARFAX® to research the collision history and recall history for any particular used car, using the car’s VIN. If you’re satisfied with the car’s history and your gut tells you it’s a safe bet after a test drive, call in a mechanic or LemonBusters-type service to give the car a thorough pre-purchase check-up.
How much can you really afford to spend? Remember, that question takes into account total purchase price (including tax, title and license), down payment (or trade-in allowance), monthly payments, and insurance. Don’t be afraid to shoot low and work up from there – and remember that the salesman wants to close the deal, which gives you a strong hand in negotiations. Don’t let yourself get railroaded, and don’t settle for a payment plan that exceeds your budget!
At Lewisville VW, we’ve got a huge inventory of used cars on hand…and we’re betting there’s one that’s a good fit for you. Keep track of what’s going on with Lewisville VW by connecting with us on YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter!