Nowadays, more and more people in the United States are pondering the idea of buying a used car. The truth is that buying a used vehicle is not as easy as you may think. However, nobody can argue against the benefits of buying used instead of new. After all, not everyone has $40,000 to buy a new Ford. And if you are looking at luxury vehicles like a Mercedes or a BMW, the prices can be quite prohibitive. If you don’t have the money (or you don’t want to pay the money) for a new car, a second hand vehicle is definitely your best option. Let’s talk about the benefits of buying a used car and then let’s discuss your options.
Benefits of Buying a Used Car
You are buying a used car because you want to save money. In fact, this is the main benefit of buying such a vehicle. According to industry experts, the average person in the US switches a car in around 6 years after purchase. In other words, most people use their new cars until the vehicles lose their warranty and perhaps one or two years after that. During this time, the price of the vehicle drops by around 50%. So yes, you can buy a car that’s five or six years old for just half the price the original owner paid for it.
Another benefit of buying a second hand vehicle is that fact that you don’t have to take the depreciation hit. A car starts to lose value the moment it is driven off the lot. It depreciates very quickly in the first 5 years of ownership. If you buy a car that’s five years old, the bulk of depreciation has already occurred. If you sell the car in one year, you won’t lose more than 10% of its value (and this is due to the higher mileage in most cases).
When you buy a used car, you don’t have to pay all the fees that you would normally pay for a new car. The “dealer preparation” charge, the shipping charges, the destination fees – you avoid all these.
In many cases, you can buy a used car from an auto dealership for 50% of the original price even though the mileage is still relatively low. A car depreciates in time even if it is not being driven much. There are many people who use their cars just to go shopping around town. The mileage on these cars is low, of course. And if the vehicles have been properly maintained, they will keep going for years with just minimal investment on your part.
Private Sellers or Dealerships?
If you’re convinced of the benefits of buying a used car, it’s time to talk about your options. You can basically buy a used car from a private seller or from an auto dealership. There are pros and cons to both options, of course. However, we feel that private sellers are more dangerous to deal with. After all, a private seller can easily attempt to hide some flaws. And let’s not even mention the inherent dangers of meeting with strangers in unfamiliar places (especially when you have cash on you).
An auto dealership, on the other hand, is a company. Yes, companies are always driven by profits, but they also care a lot about customer satisfaction. Would you buy a second hand vehicle from a dealership that has dozens, if not hundreds, of negative reviews all over the Internet? Of course you wouldn’t! This is precisely why dealerships are striving to offer value for money to their clients. The changes of buying a lemon car from a reputable dealership are very slim.
Your Best Option
Considering the pros and cons, we can only conclude that the auto dealership is the better option. There is a significantly lower risk of buying a car that has hidden flaws. Also, you are dealing with a company and with a team of professionals. Let’s not forget that you can even get warranty for Certified Pre-Owned (CPO). A used car dealer can even offer you a 6- or 12-month warranty (for a price, of course).
Even though the price of a good, reliable used car will be a bit higher at an auto dealership, you greatly minimize the risks of buying a faulty vehicle. And truth be told, this usually means significant savings for you.