Car buying can be a daunting experience, but the proper knowledge can help. Whether you want to shop at a dealership or pursue private sellers, Consumer Reports has all the essentials to choose, test drive, and finance your vehicle.
With new-car inventories strained, dealers seek trade-ins to fill out their lots. That makes buyers eager to negotiate.
Participating dealers typically refer to car dealerships or retailers actively participating in a specific program, promotion, event, or offer. The term is often used when referring to special promotions, discounts, sales events, or marketing campaigns initiated by car manufacturers or dealership networks. Due to the ongoing inventory shortage, used car prices have been increasing. However, this could be positive for shoppers who can utilize their trade-in or have modest incomes. Budget-conscious drivers are commonly advised to purchase a reliable used vehicle rather than risk higher initial depreciation on a new one. Still, knowing what you can afford and plan during this challenging time is essential. You can use traditional car-buying advice to your advantage by establishing a flexible budget.
Dealership financing may seem like a risky proposition, but with the right partner and business model, it can be a massive source of wealth for dealerships. To maximize the benefits of these programs, the dealer list should choose to work with a persistent agent who is knowledgeable about these programs and can provide valuable guidance.
When buying used cars, consumers must know the warranty and any guarantees or conditions associated with that vehicle. The dealership where you purchase the car has every reason to treat you fairly and offer a solid warranty to keep your business. Likewise, financial service companies have relationships with reputable companies that provide guarantees. The best way to avoid getting stuck with a sketchy or invalid warranty is to buy a certified one from a company with a good reputation.
Formally known as the Used Car Rule, the Buyers Guide is required on used vehicles sold by dealers in states that allow for sales “as is.” The Buyers Guide will tell you whether a dealer offers a warranty and what terms and conditions accompany it. When negotiating, be sure any changes in warranty coverage are reflected in the Buyer’s Guide and the contract. It will ensure clarity over hearsay in a future legal proceeding. Also, always read the warranty carefully and make a copy for your records.
Whether you’re purchasing from a dealer or a private seller, having a third-party mechanic look at the car before you buy is essential. Be sure to get the full report, including a breakdown of all the costs of any necessary repairs. This way, you’ll know whether the car is a good deal. You can also use the inspection to talk with the seller.
Consider choosing a certified pre-owned (CPO) car from a dealership to increase your peace of mind. This low-mileage car has passed an inspection, and the manufacturer has typically refurbished it to meet their standards. Choosing a model that performs well in reliability surveys helps you have peace of mind.
Buying used cars is an excellent option for both first-time buyers and seasoned vehicle owners alike. Unlike new vehicles, used cars are less expensive to insure and maintain. They’re also more likely to have lower maintenance costs and can be inspected and repaired by professionals. In addition, financing options are available that can make buying a used car even more affordable.
Buying a used car doesn’t have to be a significant hassle. It’s essential to make a budget, cast a wide net, and do the necessary research to find a good car at an affordable price. Check out current auto loan rates before heading to a dealership, and consider financing through an online lender or credit union. You should also factor in ownership costs, such as insurance and fuel, and any potential repairs needed after your purchase.
You can shop for used cars at many places, including new-car dealerships’ used-car sections, independent used car lots, and websites where private sellers list their vehicles. You can even find Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) vehicles inspected and backed by warranties by dealerships. Prices will vary depending on the source, with CPO cars typically costing the most.
Financing a used car will result in a higher monthly payment than cash. It’s also a good idea to set aside money for maintenance, routine stuff like oil changes, and potentially more costly things such as replacement parts or an emergency fund. Following the tips, you can drive off the lot with a great used vehicle to save you on sticker prices and ongoing expenses.
Arman Ali, respects both business and technology. He enjoys writing about new business and technical developments. He has previously written content for numerous SaaS and IT organizations. He also enjoys reading about emerging technical trends and advances.