As I sit here at Goodyear, I can’t help but start thinking about my blog. I had to sit there for about 3 hours after all. What began as a simple oil change, turned into a tune-up session for the car. It’s been a good little vehicle so far, but honestly, sometimes I feel like I’ve spent way more on this thing than I care to. Thinking through all these random thoughts, I realized that there are a ton of things to consider when buying your car. Let’s take a look at a few of them, and hopefully, you’ll find them helpful.
We’ll start off by looking at buying a used car, and at a later date, we’ll see the pros and cons of buying a new vehicle. Buying a used car is a popular choice for the average teenager and college-aged adult, but really, people of all ages will often times choose to buy used. I will admit, I have seen some really…interesting…used cars; but I have also seen some really nice ones. So is a used car right for you?
Cost: Yes, the cost is probably one of the biggest draws to owning a used vehicle. Buying a new car can cost anywhere from $20-40,000, on average. Obviously there are a few models that cost less than this, and there are a lot of vehicles that cost way more than this. But the average price can be somewhere around in this price range. While $20,000 is not a bad price for a car (it’s actually pretty cheap by today’s standards), it may be way more than you can afford, even with you paying the minimum on the monthly payments.
On the flipside of that, a used vehicle can be purchased for about $2-10,000. The make, model, and condition of the vehicle are all important factors in determining the value. If you are purchasing the vehicle through financing, your monthly payment can be quite low, making it much easier to afford every month, or better yet, pay it off sooner.
Selection: Due to the constant stream of car owners selling/trading in their vehicles, you will have a good selection to pick from. If you are buying a vehicle that is only a few years old, the value may still be higher than you want to pay, forcing you to get a vehicle several years old. However, if you wait for a good deal, sometimes you can find an older car in great condition, for a low price.
Down Payment: Another great thing about buying a used vehicle is that you may not have to pay a down payment. Often times, with a new vehicle, a down payment will be necessary. With a used vehicle, you should have an easier time getting financed without having to put that money up front.
Financing Options: If you decide to purchase a used vehicle, you may find you have more financing options. For instance, my car was bought from the seller. As a result, I was able to go through my own bank, which was really convenient. When buying a used vehicle, you may find that you have more options as well as have an easier time getting a deal worth your time and money.
Up-keep: Some of you saw this point coming. If you managed to buy a relatively new vehicle in good condition, you may have avoided some of the expenses…for now. One of the difficulties of owning a used vehicle is keeping up with the costs. While you may be saving money every month on the payments, if you even have a payment, you may be making up for it with the repairs. Yes, every vehicle will eventually need repairs and tune-ups, but an older vehicle may hit you with the big price tags sooner, or all at once. Belts, spark plugs, and tires are all items that will have to be replaced much sooner. If you are young and you bought a used vehicle to save money, you may not be able to handle a $1,000 mechanic bill. Even with all the inspections and precautions, sometimes there is an unforeseen problem with the car.
Warranty: If you have any experience with car manufacturers, you will know that they offer a variety of warranties on new cars. There are some dealerships that will even offer warranties for a short time on used vehicles; however, those aren’t quite as helpful. The warranty is usually valid for a shorter period of time and may be more limited on its coverage. For a new vehicle, a warranty will typically last for a few years, which can be very helpful in the event that it’s needed. Although it may be less likely that you will use it on a new vehicle, having a warranty is a good safeguard that is great to have.
For instance, my car has a malfunctioning headlight. Whether it’s like that due to a malfunction with the car itself, or if the previous owner had a small accident, I am not sure. Even after having the dealership replace it, the problem has come back. For these types of situations, a warranty would be a very good thing to have.
Mileage: I can remember looking everywhere for a decent used car. Time after time I was looking at vehicles that had close to (if not over) 100,000 miles on it. Once you have reached that point in a vehicle’s life, you can be sure to spend large amounts of money to pay for more extensive repairs. If you find yourself needing to purchase a used vehicle, do yourself a favor and look for low mileage. Have a little patience and you should be able to find something at a decent price in better condition.
These are just a few of the pros and cons of buying a used vehicle. While the list could easily be more extensive, these are some of the more common points that I wanted to discuss. If you have any points you think should be in this list, share in the comments below!