When it comes to saving money, buying a used car certainly makes sense — as long as you don’t pay too much.
“The outlook for used cars continues to be strong in 2017. There will be no shortage of quality used cars for sale again this year, but where buyers really can help themselves is by not overpaying for them,” said Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds’ executive director of industry analysis.
Car shopping can be intimidating, but good hagglers can really save.
“The first consideration for most shoppers is price, but for some, it might be warranty, because the warranty of some newer used cars (specifically certified pre-owned cars) can actually be longer than the warranty of some new cars,” said Matt Jones, Edmunds’ consumer advice editor. “Shoppers should start by browsing inventory online for the year, make and model they’ve selected. That way, they can get a good feel for prices and have a frame of reference before they get too deep into the buying process.”
Certified pre-owned cars may cost a few dollars more, but they’re “almost always the safe bet. The good news is that if buyers are financing the purchase, they may be able to save some of the money in the form of the lower interest rates that are offered on CPO cars,” Jones said.
In addition to checking the vehicle history report, car shoppers need to do their homework.
“The cost of upkeep, the mileage the car gets and the cost of repairs are some of the things that people often overlook when they buy used cars,” Jones said. “Imagine buying a used sport-luxury SUV and then finding that the tires cost $500 apiece to replace, or that each oil change will cost upwards of $300. You should know those things ahead of time.”