Looking to save some bucks on your next car? Feeling stressed about having to make that big decision about what car is best for you? Consider buying used. We all know that buying used costs less than buying new; after all, new-car values drop the minute you drive off the lot in your shiny, latest-edition. So, we want to make sure that you aren’t just settling on any used car, but that you feel good about it too! CarMax, a company that buys and sells used cars across the country, shares some tips in the 12 Great Ways to Save Money on Your Next Used Car infographic to help make your used-car shopping experience much easier.
You’ve got choices.
When you start your search, put aside any assumptions about buying used and research, research, research. Got a favorite car in mind? Is that particular Infiniti QX50 out of your budget? You can shop for like models, for example, comparing all SUVs and even vehicles with similar functions within a certain size and price range. And be sure to read the reviews. For example, like the QX50, the Subaru Outback, even though it qualifies as a wagon, also has 4WD, cargo space, and a trim package with leather seats and Bluetooth®. You may even find another car has features you’d prefer over your original choice.
Also, consider looking back a few years. Not only is this a great way to attain that favored drive, but you can often get more luxury for less. You can save even more money if you are willing to drive a car with less of the latest tech.
Mileage is often a concern when driving older vehicles. You can often find a range of cars with low mileage regardless of age because not all drivers have the same daily-drive needs. And even with a few more miles under their belts, a well-maintained car with a verifiable online vehicle history can take some of that worry and wonder away. Buying from a retailer often ensures that the car has been inspected, and some, like CarMax, not only inspect, but recondition the vehicle prior to putting it on the lot.
Another good tip: don’t be afraid of discontinued models. For example, the Honda Crosstour has not been in production since late 2015, but has quite a following of committed drivers who would encourage you to check them out. Many of these cars have similar models on the roads today, which means getting your car serviced is less of a hassel than you might think.
Check the numbers.
Play with finance calculators online to see what your monthly payments could be. You can reduce that amount with a larger down payment or you can stretch out the number of years you plan to pay. But remember that your finance rate can vary according to your credit history.
Dollars count in more than just monthly payments. Evaluate service costs, fuel prices, and even charging fees for plug-in vehicles.
Shop around, test drive your top choices, and compare key features to determine what’s most cost-effective. Check out the infographic below for tips and examples on how to best stretch that dollar before you commit to the driver’s seat of your new-to-you used car.