June 12, 2024

Your Guide to Buying a Used Car

Used car dealership

Purchasing vehicle involves weighing the benefits of a vehicle–fuel economy, features, reliability–and considering the commitment you will make in paying for it. While the weighing of the benefits can be an exciting experience, the payment process involves an understanding of what you can or cannot afford.

According to Kelley Blue Book, the amount people paid for new cars rose $836 from 2014 to 2015, with the average transaction amounting to over $30,000.

“Prices were up across most of the industry,” Alec Gutierrez, a senior analyst for Kelley Blue Book, said in a press release.

Many who found they could not purchase a new car even with the help of a financing agreement turn to dealers of pre-owned vehicles for a vehicle. The popularity of purchasing used cars is at an eight year high: There were 38 million used vehicle sales nationwide according to the 2015 Used Vehicle Market Report.

In fact, two statistics show that a used car changing hands is not that uncommon:

  • Nearly 40 million used cars exchange each year between private party and dealership sales.
  • The average vehicle will likely have three owners in its lifetime.

Buying a used car once was fraught with more peril than it is now. Often, buying a used car meant relying on the salesperson for accurate information about the vehicle, some of which had been driven thousands and thousands of miles. Today, there are organizations like Carfax that enable you to find a vehicle’s history, including if it has been in any wrecks, a service history, or the annual miles per year.

Still, rollbacks still occur and one statistic shows that consumers lose $4 billion each year to odometer fraud. The average rollback is cited as $15,000 miles.

An important aspect to purchasing a vehicle is the financing, whether you’re purchasing a new car or a used car. Virtually all automotive dealers including used car dealers offer financing onsite so that the vehicle purchasing process is more convenient. However, when preparing for your visit to a pre-owned dealership, know that banks will generally not give a loan for a car four or five years old.

Dealers of pre-owned vehicles can have a variety of types of vehicles on the lot and when looking into used cars for sale, it always helps to drive the vehicle in question. And if you’re buying a vehicle that is less than five years old, consider getting one that is certified pre-owned.

Dealers of pre-owned vehicles can help guide you through the process of buying a used vehicle. Another option for your search include online databases.

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