Are you looking to break your addiction to the lease cycle? Do you have champagne tastes but a beer budget? Would you like someone else to pick up the tab for your car’s depreciation?
If the answer to any of these questions is yes then you need a used car. Pre-owned vehicles come in all shapes and sizes, from the $1,500 beater to barely driven low mileage “Certified” ex-demonstrators all of them represent a significant opportunity to save money.
Buying a used car is all about risk management. The least risky pre-owned prospects are the ones that languish on dealer forecourts proudly flying the “Certified” tag. They are often ex-lease vehicles and come with full history and when purchased sensibly can represent a huge saving over new. They are expensive but represent zero risk to the buyer as they generally come with a manufacturer backed warranty and have been through a serious inspection. Certified cars are also the only ones I would buy from a dealer. For anything else the private seller is your friend.
Used cars can’t speak and a good spit and polish job can hide a multitude of sins. I’ve been buying used for many years and often help out friends when they are looking for a new vehicle. I figured it was time to share the tips and tricks I’ve picked up along the years. Over the next few posts I’ll be covering the basics of used car selection as well as delving deeper into the various components of a car and what to look out for.
I can’t guarantee that you won’t encounter lemons on your search but if you follow my advice to the letter then you should be able to avoid purchasing them.