Before you find yourself roaming the new car lot, you may want to take a step back and think about buying used. There are many benefits of buying a slightly used car, and once you know what they are, you may start to consider this route. While buying used is not for everyone, you should at least consider the benefits of buying a slightly used vehicle. You may be surprised at what you discover. Before we go any further, what does “slightly used” mean in terms of buying a car? Most people consider this to be less than two years old with no more than 30,000 miles. Of course, you can set your own standards when searching for a slightly used car, but this is the general rule of thumb.
A lower price. After buying new, the first year of ownership is when you take the biggest hit on depreciation. Buying a car that is one or two years old will allow you to avoid this loss. Also, think about the average price of buying new. Figures from CNW Marketing Research show that the average price of a new car in 2008 was $25,536 before taxes and fees. Do you really want to spend this much money when you don’t have to? This is a decision you need to make.
Still in excellent shape. Just because you are buying used doesn’t mean that the car will be dinged up and in bad mechanical shape. In fact, if you know anything about cars, you should be able to find one that is in like new condition. Nowadays, cars are meant to last for 100k miles or more. Simply put, you don’t have to give up reliability and overall condition when buying used. (See number five below, certification programs)
More bang for your buck. Have you had your eyes on a vehicle with a sunroof? How about a navigation system? Options are very expensive when buying a new car. This definitely holds true when dealing with a manufacturer that packages many of them together. When buying used you get more for your money. You may not have been able to afford that navigation system on a new car, but you may be able to find a used car with some of the features you want already built in.
More negotiating power. This does not always hold true, but there is one card that you are holding: you can always tell the seller it does not make sense to buy used when you can spend a bit extra and get something new. Even if you don’t subscribe to this train of thought, it is a tactic that you should consider when negotiating with a used car salesman.
Certification programs. Did you know that most car manufacturers have certification programs with long term warranties attached to them? Every car maker has strict requirements for which cars can become certified. Along with this, each one goes through an inspection to ensure that it is in good working condition. The biggest benefit for many is the warranty. Toyota, for example, offers a seven year 100k mile warranty on certified used cars. This kind of peace of mind is crucial when buying a used vehicle.
What do you think? Is buying a slightly used car something you are willing to consider?