Where can I find the best value in used cars?
Consumers have found that purchasing a new vehicle goes against common sense; the vehicle loses a large amount of value by simply rolling out of the parking lot. As an alternative, buyers are looking toward a more practical purchase: the used car. A pre-owned car does not need to be the jalopy in the corner from two decades ago, rather it can simply be a few years old with some mileage on it. In fact, there are a number of different places that offer the best value in used cars for everyday consumers. Once consumers find the right car, they can easily find car insurance online as well by simply typing in their ZIP code to a vehicle insurance search engine.
Rental Car Companies
One of the best places to find a quality used car is at a rental car company. Many consumers do not think of this pathway to a practically new car at an inexpensive price, but rental companies do not typically keep their cars for too long. In fact, most companies will remove vehicles from the lot after two or three years; rental entities want to keep the newer cars on the road for the benefit of the customers and to keep repair costs down.
As a result, car rental companies will often sell their two or three year old car fleets as used vehicles for incredibly low prices. A consumer will know that the vehicle had its proper maintenance since the rental company needed to keep the car in the best shape for their clients. It should be noted that it is possible that the cars may have higher mileage values since many rental customers use the vehicles for long road trips, such as vacations.
Although a standard car dealership may not be the most obvious choice for the best used cars, it is certainly an outlet for consumers. A large part of car dealers’ income is through leasing; vehicles are essentially “rented” for a certain duration of time, like two or three years. After this duration, many leasing customers will turn the car in for the new model year car style. As a result, the dealership maintains a constant stream of returned leased vehicles.
The dealership must sell them as used cars with a sticker price to match. Commonly, lease customers contract to stay current on any car repairs during the leasing period, so the vehicle should have minimal or no repair issues after the contracted period is over. Used car customers will reap the benefits of a cheaper vehicle price with high value. Most of the vehicle’s lifespan is still ahead of it.
Some consumers take it upon themselves to sell their vehicles personally. Buyers can find a great value in a used car by verifying that it has had one owner throughout its life; one owner cars tend to be taken care of compared to multiple owners over a few years of time.
If consumers find a private party’s vehicle to their liking, they should initially ask for the car’s identification number, or VIN. The VIN is a unique number that only that car has for its entire lifespan. Consumers can go online and look up the car’s history, from the amount of owners to its repair history. If the vehicle has a short repair history of purely maintenance items, and one owner, the car will most likely be a good value. However, consumers should keep in mind that excessively old vehicles, such as over ten years old, should normally be avoided since higher priced repairs are in the immediate future.
Local government agencies, such as police forces, use many cars to patrol a city or region. At some point, the agency will retire the vehicle; the sheer amount of retired vehicles will commonly require the agency to hold an auction. These vehicles are normally well kept since police officers need a reliable car to defend a community’s laws. Maintenance periods are strictly followed to keep the officer from becoming the victim of a vehicle breakdown.
Consumers can attend the auctions and look over the inventory before bidding. If possible, consumers should try and obtain VIN numbers from the desired vehicles to research repair history before the bidding begins. Good value cars are easily found at inexpensive prices. The bidding process allows consumers to offer their best price toward the car without pressure from a salesman. If the bidding becomes too high, consumers can try to offer an amount on the next car up for sale.
The power of the Internet has made finding a best value in used cars to be a simple process through online auctions. Similar to government auctions, bidders can offer their desired amount in hopes of purchasing the vehicle. No pressure exists on the bidder, but consumers should be wary about this form of car buying.
Before the bidding begins, the current owner of the car should have no problem offering the VIN number to potential buyers. Consumers should be able to research the car’s history before attempting to bid on it. If the owner will not offer the VIN number, consumers should refrain from bidding since there may be issues with the vehicle.
Overall, finding the best value in used cars requires research and comparisons. Consumers should find a car they desire and plug in their ZIP code into an online car insurance search engine to find the best rates.