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HomeTipsBuying A Used Car? Here Are Your Options

Buying A Used Car? Here Are Your Options

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With fuel prices through the roof, it can be challenging to own a new car these days. But for those who consider a vehicle a necessity rather than an option, used cars are great for fulfilling this need.

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The running joke is that cars depreciate as soon as their new owners take them out of the dealership, which may be true to some extent. Common industry practice sets car depreciation by 10% to 20% per year, depending on the mileage, condition, and unit’s performance and reputation. A vehicle could lose 60% of its original value by the fifth year.

That said, getting a second-hand vehicle is a great decision, as long as you’re assured of the vehicle’s quality and performance. Additionally, you can never go wrong in buying used cars with the right loan.

Looking for a not-so-new ride may be frazzling, but you could find luck by taking the time to shop around using these options.

1. Car Dealerships

Car dealers are often the go-to for buyers because they typically offer multiple choices of second-hand vehicles. But these sellers can be classified according to their setup. For instance, some exclusively carry specific brands, while some are open to all models and makes. Find other where to go and what to expect from car dealerships by understanding how they work.

  • Franchised Car Dealers: Firms under this classification refer to car stores that carry units from top vehicle manufacturers. These shops often bear the car maker’s name or logo under their business name. This means that the carmaker recognizes these stores as dealers or direct sellers of their automobile products. If vehicle brand is important to you, consider going to these car dealerships to find what you’re looking for.

These exclusive shops sell certified pre-owned (CPO) cars, indicating that such a vehicle is in excellent condition and requires no repairs from when it was checked. CPO vehicles often carry warranties similar to buying a new car.

  • Independent Car Dealers: As the name implies, these businesses don’t carry exclusive dealership agreements with any car manufacturer. As such, they often have trade names devoid of a primary car manufacturer’s logo or name and are free to sell a vehicle regardless of the make, model, and emblem.

These car shops may be a big player, with branches in various states, or small, often family-owned and can’t expand to other locations yet. The difference between the two is that the former may have better inventory because they could have the unit of your choice sent over from another branch. Conversely, small independent car sellers have a tight list but offer quick, personalized service.

Worldwide, there’s a noted supply shortage for new vehicles and the used cars market seems to benefit from this development.

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2. Private Sellers 

A private car purchase refers to vehicles bought directly from their previous owner. It may take time and patience to snag a used vehicle this way, but it could pay off. A second-hand car could benefit both parties as the user can negotiate the price, and the seller can keep the full amount without worrying about commission fees.

Buying A Used Car

One of the downsides of buying from a private seller is the time and paperwork needed to complete the transaction. For instance, both sides must ensure that the sale is recorded and legally recognized for seamless car registration transfer. Additionally, buyers must ensure that all documents required by the motor vehicle department are in their possession to avoid future problems.

Moreover, it’s wise to have a professional mechanic thoroughly check the vehicle before buying it. Doing so ensures that the unit is in tip-top shape and there are no hidden defects that could require costly fixes. Purchasing a car from an individual seller entails fewer costs, but it can also provide less protection than buying in dealerships.

3. Online Platforms 

Buyers can also scour through some popular electronic commerce (E-commerce) platforms to shop around for the best car. These sites are often classified into different categories, and you can click on the cars or vehicle section to start your search.

However, buying through this site has accompanied risks. The cardinal rule is to never send payments through electronic means and without actually checking the car first. Ideally, choose cars within your locality or deal with sellers who can go and meet with you for a car checkup before purchase. Digital fraud is so widespread nowadays, and some unscrupulous persons use the digital realm to scam people of their hard-earned money.

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The Takeaway 

Purchasing a second-hand vehicle is a substantial expense. That said, used car buyers must take the time and study all available options before taking out a loan or paying in cash. Don’t forget to compare not only the prices but also the advantages and downsides of each choice, so you’re confident in making the wisest decision.

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