Buying a used car isn’t exactly your first thought when you look for a vehicle, but it is becoming more popular. It may be the most cost-effective way to buy a car, or buyers may simply be tired of the depreciation that happens on new cars. Whatever the reason, used cars in sacramento are now an option for those looking for something different from their purchase.
The Window of Opportunity
According to Carfax, an auto research company, most used cars are purchased between 20-30 months after they were produced. That means the vast majority of used car buyers are purchasing them within 3-5 years and that is changing the rules on buying used cars.
The first rule of buying a good quality used car is don’t pay more than 20% below retail value for a car that’s more than 3 years old. For example, if a car has a retail value $15000 and you can buy it for $8000, it isn’t bargain basement price anymore.
The Used Car Dealer
Name brand dealerships that sell a lot of cars every year have low profit margins and are usually the best place to look for a used car. Dealerships that don’t sell many cars are often high pressure and may be more interested in selling you something than finding the best deal.
Styles and Models to Avoid
Gas guzzlers from the seventies, especially American models, are probably terrible investments and should be avoided by those looking for a used vehicle. Most new models were made with better technology and cost less in today’s dollars than their older counterparts. In addition, you should avoid sporty cars with high performance engines due to higher maintenance costs.
If you can ask the previous owner for copies of service history and documentation that would be your best bet. A poor service history means poor maintenance and is a red flag you should avoid when buying a used car.
Online Dealerships versus Brick and Mortar
Many people prefer to buy online rather than going to a dealership, especially younger people that don’t like the pressure they get from dealerships. Online dealerships are also popular because they often offer more vehicles for sale since they don’t have high overhead costs from physical stores or commissioned sales people on site.
Buying a used car online has the same pitfalls as any other purchase. For example, you may not get a warranty or no guarantees if the seller doesn’t have to honor anything if you’re unhappy with your purchase. You have to remember that used cars are not new cars, so they might have sudden problems that aren’t covered under warranty or might just not work properly and that’s something you should consider before making a major investment.