You pay less for the automobile and avoid the depreciation that new-car buyers face the moment the vehicle rolls off the dealer's lot. Buying used has a number of other advantages as well. You will pay less for registration and insurance. Also, the margin for a discount may be greater when you buy a pre-owned automobile.
And if you purchase the vehicle from a private party, you will likely get an even better price than you would at a dealership.
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Edmunds has an in-depth step guide to buying a used car , but this article streamlines the process into five essentials for people on the go. You also can print out this article or save it on your smartphone and use it as a checklist as you're shopping. The used-car market is like a huge haystack, and while it may seem tough to find that needle, a bit of online research cuts the legwork and speeds up the process considerably.
The good news is that you're already on the right page to start. From here, you can either input the car you want or scroll to the "Select a Make" section and click on an automaker you're interested in. You'll then get a list of cars to choose from.
And on the left side of the inventory page, you'll find several ways to filter the choices. The next thing to do is get an idea of maintenance costs on any car you're considering. Proper maintenance is especially important on a used car since it may not have a warranty to protect it if anything breaks down.
People buy used vehicles as a way to save money but often overlook the cost of maintenance, which might end up pushing them beyond the limits of their budget. The car's owner's manual, which is often available online, will tell you what you need to know about maintenance services and intervals.
A phone call to a dealership service department or a trusted independent repair shop will get you pricing information. You also can check resources such as RepairPal. Once you find the car you want, you'll want to move fast so it isn't sold out from under you. So it's a good idea to get your financing set up before you begin searching for your car.
If you're paying cash, there is little to do except make sure you have the funds available to withdraw cash or get a cashier's check when it's time to do the deal. If you're paying all cash for a used car from a private party, consider doing the deal in a public place. If you are financing the vehicle, it is a good idea to get preapproved for a loan. This way you'll know your purchasing budget and the interest rate for which you qualify.
Some lenders won't offer a loan if the vehicle is passed a certain age or if it has too many miles. The limitations will vary by lender. In this case, your next move might be to apply for a personal loan. Just be aware that those interest rates are typically higher than for auto loans. There are a number of places to purchase a used auto.
Find the right car for you
Here's a quick rundown: CarMax offers no-haggle pricing and cars that are in good condition, but its prices are a bit higher than you'll find elsewhere. Private-party sellers have lower prices and can be negotiated with more easily, but the burden is on the buyer to get the car inspected. Major dealerships sell certified pre-owned cars that are in excellent condition and backed by factory warranties.
This option will appeal to buyers who want to minimize the risks of buying used and are willing to pay extra for it. Independent used-car lots are another alternative but can vary wildly on price and the condition level of their cars. On Edmunds, it is easy to check your area for local vehicle listings. At the top of this page, simply type in your ZIP code and hit "Go. Once you've narrowed the field down to a couple of candidates, it's very important to thoroughly check out their condition and take them for a test drive. A thorough vehicle inspection can shed light on potential problems or tell you whether the car has been in an accident.
Don't hesitate to bring your mechanic to see the car or to request a mobile inspection. Take the car for a spin to listen for any unusual noises and to see if you like the way it drives. If you are an audiophile, now is also the time to test-drive the audio system. A vehicle history report from services such as AutoCheck, Carfax or the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System is worth the money and could help tip the scales in favor of one car over another.
Don't stress out over a little bit of haggling. If you've done your homework on the car, you will have the information you need to negotiate. Make sure you input the correct miles and choose the applicable options. Edmunds' TMV tool will show you what you can expect to pay for the vehicle, depending on whether the seller is a private party or a dealership. You'll also get the car's estimated trade-in value. Consider printing a copy of the TMV and bringing it with you to help wrap up the deal.
Keep in mind that TMV is an average. Consumer Review. Fast, decently reliable car. I've owned the prefacelift and post facelift contour and the post wins in every aspect.
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It ain't perfect but it usually gets you where you need to go. It has the 2. I have replaced something's but it's an old car so whatever. See all 19 photos. Speedway Motors -. A really fun ride for an old-schooler like me. It really feels like a rear wheel drive I hate the feel of FWD. The rear end plants firmly in a curve, but on acceleration through the curve, there is no wash out of the front understeer.
It almost feels like it's rotating through the turn. I was looking for an 02, 03, or 04 because they have the viscus coupling that proportions torque, front to rear. It is said to drive like a RWD and it does.
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I wasn't disappointed by the performance of the 3. The interior won't accommodate a very tall person but very comfortable for average stature. Ride is somewhat firm and a bit noisy which is, I'm sure, a trade off for handling. I've only had it for a few months so reliability is yet to be determined.
I am optimistic because of the Ford Mondeo platform on which the X Type is based. Contrary to popular belief, I find that to be a plus for the X Type. See all 22 photos.
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OC Auto Exchange -. Good experience. We' re really happy with the service Christian gave us. He was clear with the information and very helpful. We will defenitley recomend this dealer to my family and friends. Very reliable vehicle. This vehicle is very spacious, comfortable and reliable. It performs well on the roads and is a satisfying ride.
I love how the trunk space is very large and this is a great vehicle for long trips given the amount of space there is in this vehicle. See all 30 photos.
Sierra Honda -. Easiest car buying experience ever! I felt that the entire transaction was as pleasurable as having dinner with good friends. No games! No gimmicks! Just straight forward honesty and integrity. It is what buying a car should feel like! I will recommend Jeff Stevens and Frank Gray to anyone who wants a fair priced and a feel-good experience when they purchase a new car.
I couldn't be happier. What I expected. There was nothing new to this leaf. I've researched them a lot and test drove one other one. My mine focus was on the drive range depletion while driving. I drove 20 miles but only lost 15 miles in drive range thanks to the braking regeneration.
See all 56 photos. Auto Republic Fullerton -. So Far, No Regrets! Searched diligently over a month.