It’s no secret that when you purchase a brand-new vehicle, its value can plummet up to 20 percent the moment you sign the paperwork and drive that new whip off the lot. You wouldn’t buy shares of stock or make any other investment with a guarantee that its value could drop 20 percent, yet each year, millions of people make the decision to buy a new car when they could find a better deal on a used vehicle.
Perhaps many of us have an image of a sleazy used-car salesman burned into our minds, or we believe that we are subject to being tricked into driving home in a lemon that is deceivingly good-looking. But buying a used car has changed a lot in recent years.
To keep you up to date, here are five used-car trends to make your car-buying experience much easier.
If the main thing preventing you from buying a used car is the number of miles on the odometer, ask your dealer about purchasing a dealer-owned car. These are different than certified pre-owned cars, which have to pass a rigorous inspection to make it on the lot. Dealer-owned cars were driven by employees at the dealership. In general, these vehicles have minimal miles, have been exceptionally cared for and can be yours at a great price.
If the thought of bouncing from dealership to dealership makes you ill, you can now spend the afternoon shopping for cars without ever leaving your desk. Sites like CarMax and Autotrader lead the industry, but people have also found great deals on Craigslist. However, whenever you’re buying from someone you don’t know, or you’re considering a car found on a classified ad, you need to be very careful and ask plenty of questions. Educating yourself before making a large purchase is the best thing you can do to ensure you are getting the best bang for your buck.
Vehicle History Reports
Because we live in the era of big data, it’s now possible to check on the driving and repair history of the car you plan to buy. This is especially important if you’re looking to buy from an online source. Services like CarFax have a vast database that allows you to see just what happened to the car you’re thinking of buying.
Buying a Leased Car
As more people are leasing cars, more leased cars are showing up in the used-car market. These automobiles tend to be around two to three years old and have relatively low mileage, making them “newish” rather than used. This is a great financial opportunity for anyone looking for an affordable and reliable used car.
As the industry continues to distance itself from the image of the high-pressure salesman in a rayon tie, some dealerships now offer fixed pricing. The price on the window is the price you will pay. This means the price tag isn’t inflated to give the dealer room to negotiate. With a fixed price, you won’t drive away wondering if you could have talked the price down more or if you paid too much. In many ways, this takes much of the unpleasantness out of buying a used car.
What these trends tell us is that by and large, the industry is moving in a direction that will make it easier to purchase better used cars at better prices. If you’ve been reluctant to buy a used car, now might be the time to stop waiting and start shopping.
Start your search at Copart.com, where we have more than 125,000 vehicles up for auction every day! Copart has something for everyone: dismantlers, body shops, salvage buyers, dealers and individual consumers, and as a global online vehicle auction company, Copart puts the power to bid and win into your hands.