How to Save More on Your Next Used Car

Buying a used car can save buyers not hundreds of dollars, but thousands. But you can only save if you know what to choose, how to choose it, and why to choose it. And it’s this topic that we explore in today’s blog – as we look at the top 8 tips for buying a used car. 

So when you arrive at the local used car dealership in Las Vegas, what do you look for? Do you just arrive on-the-spot, hoping to get behind the wheel of any old vehicle? If this sounds familiar, it means you’re doing something wrong. Buyers need to be smart. This means knowing how used car dealerships work, and how buyers can exploit that environment to their advantage.

So let’s begin. 

Top 8 Tips for Buying a Used Car

How much you spend buying a used car depends on what car you choose. But one thing’s for sure – used car dealerships are cheaper…much cheaper. Cars depreciate, on average, around 25 percent after the first year, and decrease again – on average – by another 12.5% in the second year. So buyers know, at the outset, they’re in the right place. But what should buyers look out for before arriving at the dealership? Let’s take a look.

  • Large engines tend to burn more fuel than small engines. Buying a car with a smaller engine is, therefore, cheaper in both the short and long-term.
  • Used cars that use petrol are cheaper than cars that use diesel. 
  • Automatic cars tend to be more expensive than manual cars.
  • Thinking about insurance? Small cars are cheaper to insure than large cars.

These four tips alone for buying a used car could easily save buyers hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. 

But there is more to think about…such as when to buy a used car.

  • That’s right. Buyers should choose the optimum time to buy their next used car. For example, weekends are packed with budding buyers – hardly the best time to negotiate a bargain. During the week is, instead, much quieter. Plus, dealers need to meet quotas every third month – so the end of March, June, September, and December are likely to be the times when deals are on the table.

So we’ve considered structural features of used cars, and when buyers should purchase their next vehicle. Next on the agenda is buyer’s individual circumstances. What car is best for the buyer? Buyers shouldn’t choose a car that doesn’t meet their needs. Instead, buyers should focus on what the car can do for them – and not get blindsided by cost, style, or the persuasiveness of a given dealer.

  • Buyers should ask themselves questions: What are my requirements? Do I need a small car for commute, or a vehicle large enough for family? What about the cars environmental impact? Is the car used for short journeys or long journeys? 

By answering these questions, it significantly narrows down the range of available vehicles. Choosing the wrong car can cost buyers more in the long-term. Always think about functionality. Buyers also need to be prudent, bringing us onto our next point.

What upfront costs come with this used car? Can I afford them? What about repayments…think about interest accrued on the loan. What about tax and car insurance? All of these financial factors need to be considered.

When all of these factors are considered, there’s just one more thing left to do – and that’s haggle. First-time buyers are often poor at haggling, or don’t bother taking the risk. But the risk is worth taking. 

  • Inspect the vehicle thoroughly. Even the tiniest dent can help buyers negotiate down the price (plus, test-drive the vehicle for the same reason). Also, try to avoid filling a silence. Often, dealers put buyers under pressure to buy a vehicle on-the-spot. Don’t act impulsively. Instead, ask the seller if they can do anything on the price and, if not, ask them to get back to you later. This puts pressure back onto the dealer to make an extra effort to flog the used car. If you’ve received an offer from a competing dealership, be sure to bring that up, too. Be firm, but fair – and remain friendly. 

That’s it for our top 8 tips for buying a used car – covering just about everything buyers need to know. By diligently applying these tips, buyers can be sure to save thousands of dollars on their next used car purchase – and all it took was a little bit of effort. 

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