Buying a used car can yield hefty discounts if you know where to look, yet it also can be intimidating if you’re no auto expert. A price may look great on paper but it’s difficult to know whether the car is right for you without doing a little digging first. By taking the time to compare options carefully and do a little research, you can find the perfect car for your needs at a bargain price.
Do Your Research
With thousands of used car listings in your area, you’ll want to find a way to narrow all of the options down before you get serious about your purchase. Read lifestyle car reviews with Motoring or similar websites sources to get a full picture of what to expect with a particular type of car. Take note of average sale prices, fuel efficiency, and safety ratings. With a few ideal makes and models in mind, you’ll be better able to negotiate when the time comes.
Buy at the Right Time of Year
Just as retail operations hold sales at predictable times of year, the price of used cars tends to drop at certain times. This includes the early fall, which is the time right before many auto manufacturers release their new models. As a result, dealers are eager to clear out their existing inventory to make room for the new cars. Another ideal time to purchase a car is at the end of the fiscal year, when car dealers are eager to boost their annual sales figures. Before and after Christmas are also good times to buy a car, as dealerships may try to lure holiday shoppers with bargains.
Use Online Resources
There are many different places where you can purchase a used car these days, from your local car dealership to your neighbours. One of the easiest ways to sift through a large selection of used vehicles is online. Websites like Motoring, AutoTrader, and CarsDirect are all potential options that let you compare cars, read reviews, and search for dealers. Some will even allow you to purchase from the website directly. Buying online can sometimes save you money, and will allow you to see a wider selection.
Get a Second Opinion
It’s important to examine any potential car thoroughly on your own, but you’ll also want a second or third opinion. Take a friend along when you go for a test drive, and have the car assessed by your own mechanic. This could help illuminate any drawbacks to the vehicle that you may not have noticed on your own.
Don’t Be Afraid to Negotiate
Although some used car prices will be set in stone, assume that most are flexible. It’s important to remember that the price of a new car depreciates in value up to 60% over its first three years. To help offset this factor, you’ll want to negotiate the price if you are purchasing a car that’s only one or two years old.
By keeping these factors in the back of your mind while searching for the perfect used car, you can not only save money but increase your chances of finding the best fit.
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