If you’re shopping for a used car, you’re one of the 40 million other Americans who will also shop pre-owned this year. In fact, used cars are sold more than new cars at a 3:1 ratio, and with today’s economy, that’s no surprise. Price, however, should not be your only requirement when buying a used car—sure, we all love to see that price tag with less zeros than are on the price tag of a brand spankin’ new model, but there’s a lot more to consider. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you’re purchasing a used car:
- Dependability: As mechanical problems decrease each year in the automotive world, finding a reliable used car is becoming easier and easier. Still, it is a very important consideration: according to J.D. Power and Associates research, 59 percent of used car buyers rank reliability as their number one consideration, as they should. After all, you don’t want to get behind the wheel of a car that’s going to break down on the way to work the very next day, do you?
- Maintenance Costs: You’re paying a discount price already for a used car, so chances are, you’re not going to want to pay heaping sums of cash ten times a month to your nearest service department. That’s why you’ll want to research the fuel efficiency and common maintenance required for the used car you’re thinking of buying before you buy it.
- Performance: You’re buying a car for a specific purpose. Whether it’s to haul a trailer, travel long distances, or just cart the kids to school, you’re going to want to make sure the car is able to perform to your specifications.
- Appearance: A car, whether new or used, is an investment that says something about its owner. Driving a car with a coffee-stained interior and a beat up exterior does nothing positive for your image. Be sure the car looks as beautiful as it runs (and it had better run beautifully!).
- Safety: Always consult crash test ratings for the specific year you are buying, not the ratings for the current car on the market. There’s no sense in putting your life in danger just to save a couple extra hundred bucks.
And remember: if possible, always buy a certified pre-owned vehicle from your local dealership. These are always the safer bet when buying used.
Brought to you by Premier Toyota South Coast in Fall River, MA