Should I only look to buy certified used cars?

should I only look for certified used carsMany car owners, when it’s time to buy a new vehicle, choose a pre-owned vehicle, also known as a used car. Owning a brand new car used to be a part of the American Dream. For car buyers now, however, that dream has given way to the reality that a used car is a better choice, financially, than a new car. Buying a late model used car provides many of the same benefits of buying a new car at a much lower price and usually with better financing terms. Considering all of this, many car buyers decide to buy used and let someone else deal with the depreciation. To save money on auto insurance coverage, enter your ZIP code into the FREE comparison tool above!

Two Choices when Buying a Used Car

When buying a new car, consumers have basically two choices. They can buy a used car from a dealer, or they can buy from the owner of the car. While there are advantages to buying from a trusted dealer, many people think the disadvantages are far more influential.

Buying from a Dealer

Dealers’ used car prices include their cost on the car, their profit and their overhead in running a dealership. This is not shady or underhanded. Businesses include their overhead in their pricing, as well as their profits. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t have a business for long.

Advantages of Buying from the Owner

When buying from the owner of the car, the price is often always lower. Some owners will accept a reasonable offer on the car, and most are willing to negotiate. Whatever the price, it is almost always based more on the actual value of the car than the prices at dealerships.

buying only certified used carsAnother advantage of buying a used car from a private owner is that it is easier to learn the true condition of the vehicle. Most people are honest and will give a truthful answer to a question like, “Why are you selling this vehicle?” Dealers, while not necessarily dishonest, may not always have all the facts on a car or may embellish the truth. Dealers will also usually not have the maintenance documents on a used car. Most owners will have these documents, making it easy to see what’s been done on the car and judge what shape the car is in.

Finding Cars for Sale by Owner

Having decided to buy a used car directly from the owner, a purchaser now needs only to find the right car at the right price and make the purchase.

  • In spite of the hype about the impending death of the newspapers, the local newspaper car classified is still alive and well and featuring used car advertisements. Many people who do not use the Internet place ads in the classifieds. Many people who do advertise something online also advertise it in the newspaper to increase their odds of selling it. The best part about checking the newspaper classified ads for a used car is that many people no longer look in the paper for cars. This means less competition for a good car seen in the paper.
  • In addition to the newspaper, check local flyers and the little papers known as shoppers. These flyers and papers are often distributed at grocery stores, gas stations and libraries. A car owner may use these inexpensive outlets to announce the sale of their car.
  • Online, Craigslist is a good source of used cars for sale. Local cars which can be viewed quickly are a better choice on Craigslist, because little time is spent looking at a car and deciding not to buy it, if that should happen. Many people who drive even a relatively long distance to check out a car will end up buying it even if they have misgivings.
  • When considering a car at a distance, on Craigslist or through any other advertising venue, do a thorough check of the buyer before traveling to look at the car. Ask questions about why the seller is getting rid of the vehicle, about what condition the vehicle is in, about how the vehicle was used. Ask the same question different ways. If different answers result, ask again to be sure the seller wasn’t confused. Receiving inconsistent answers is a big indicator that those answers are not true.
  • Ask to have a mechanic check out the car. In many cases, the seller’s reaction will be enough of an indicator as to whether to buy the car. It should not be necessary to actually call in a mechanic. An honest seller with nothing to hide will be glad to have the car checked out. A person whose car is not as represented will not want a mechanic looking at it.

certified used carsBuying a used vehicle can save thousands of dollars over buying a new vehicle, and can provide years of service. Choosing a used vehicle may also allow for buying a nicer model of car or a larger car. These financial benefits are important. A used car may also mean lower insurance premiums than a new car. This depends on the make and model of the car and on the insurance company.

Once you are done finding out the facts on your car, enter your ZIP to compare car insurance online!

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