Secrets Of The Used Car Market

I’m sure you have your mind on some gorgeous modern supercar. However, if you’re like most people, it will be much more practical for you to buy used. Immediately, this is more of a challenge. The used car market has far more variables compared to the new car market. This, unfortunately, makes it a lot harder for people to find the best possible deal. Like any kind of purchase, understanding the market can be a big help in telling a good deal from a bad deal. Despite this, a lot of people buy used cars with no research whatsoever! Here are a few secrets of the used car industry you should know.

Used Cars Market:

carImage by: Flickr

First of all, each used car is an individual. One of the most common misconceptions about buying used is that you can find out everything about a car from its badge and model. This might be true if you’re getting your car straight from the manufacturer. Remember though, all the used cars you’ll be looking at have been… well, used! Even if you have two cars of the same model and year, there could be a world of difference between them. Don’t think that looking up a review for some discontinued car will give you an accurate idea of what yours will be like. The condition of the car itself should be as important to you as the price you’re paying for it. There are a range of online resources you can use to find out how mileage and condition affects the model you had in mind. If you go into that used car lot without knowing this, you could end up paying far too much. Let’s say a car’s mileage is lower than average and the paintwork doesn’t have a scratch. It could be worth significantly more than the same model and year in a more typical condition. Be sure to study the common issues with the model you’re targeting. They could be great tools for haggling!

car-on-moneyImage by: Flickr

Another big secret is that you usually don’t need to go over your budget. Sure, there are times when it might be convenient to break your limit. Odds are though, with enough perseverance, you’ll be able to find a car and a price that’s right for you. Getting a used car, particularly if it’s your first, can be an incredibly easy way to fall into debt. Typically, this is through enticing “low monthly payments” which take your eyes off the overall price. Other times, people simply choose a loan with a much higher interest rate than they can practically afford. Being in debt is never a pleasant experience, so make sure you keep disciplined with your budget. The very first thing you should do after deciding you’re going to buy a used car is set yourself a budget. After this, keep that figure in mind, and make a commitment that you won’t go over. If you know you’re going to be financing your car, then it’s a good idea to shop around for loans before actually comparing the prices of cars. Bear in mind that the interest rates on used car loans are typically much higher than those on new car loans. Furthermore, used car loans are typically harder to get, meaning you’ll have less overall choice. Generally, you should avoid using the loans which are offered by the dealership itself. Sure, places such as Imperial Car Supermarket offer some pretty great deals on the vehicles themselves. However, if you have an average or better credit rating, you should be able to find a much more favourable loan. Make sure to look at your options from banks and credit unions before taking the dealership’s loan.

Nik-Wallenda-Niagara-FallsImage by: Wikimedia

The next secret I’ll go into could save you a fortune. There are ways you can reduce the risk that comes with buying a used car. Unless you’re a mechanical engineer with years of experience, buying used is always going to carry some risk. There’ll always be limits on how much you can know about the car’s past. Often, you’ll know next to nothing about how the car was treated by its previous owners, or the finer points of its current condition. If you drive that car off the lot, and it falls to pieces on you, it’s sure to end up costing you a lot of money. If and when you come across an offer that seems like a complete steal, be wary. Buying that car could cost you far more than you’d anticipate. For example, if a manual has been treated roughly by its previous owners, then you may need to fork out for a new clutch. A lot of cars, particularly those from Japanese and Korean makes, need their timing belts replaced after a certain number of miles. The conditions of the brakes, the emissions, and everything else that could affect the overall price should be looked into. Any mechanical faults and repairs will help you decide whether or not you want the car. If you decide you do, in spite of its issues, those little dents could be a great haggling point. There’s one sure-fire way of reducing your level of risk when buying. When you’re negotiating, ask the seller if they’d mind you taking it to an independent shop for an inspection which you’ll pay for. If the dealer looks for any excuse to avoid this, then walk away. This is a sign that they’re asking for far more than the car is worth. After taking it for an inspection, you and the dealer should be able to chew over a fair price. Being so meticulous with used cars can be a hassle, but it can also save you all kinds of later stress!

Hopefully, this post has taught you something new, and pushed you closer to the best deal possible. As I said before, buying a used car requires a much more careful approach than a new one. When you consider all these factors though, you’ll be able to drive away knowing you didn’t cheat yourself!

About Jyotsna Ramani

Jyotsna Ramani is a passionate writer and an avid globetrotter. She had a knack for writing since her early years, though that was mostly letters to her penpals and jotting her thoughts down in her "Dear Diary". Over the years, she realized how her hobby could turn into a full time career and she started writing web content, books and pieces for local magazines. There has been no looking back ever since.

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