There’s a plethora of used car buying advice on the internet. However, as a mechanic shop we may be able to give a clearer picture in terms of ongoing maintenance for that new car your looking at. We’ll also summarize the other critical factors need to be considers before making your choice and purchase.
Many people like to purchase a car new from the dealership, or manufacturer. It’s great because you can choose your options, color, etc. But as most of us know, the minute you drive that vehicle off the dealership lot, you’re taking a massive hit in value. Why? Mainly because the car is now officially a used vehicle. The person who will buy the car from you, regardless of mileage or age, will now be the second owner. On the other hand, this means that 2nd owners can usually save big, even on new cars.
Ongoing maintenance on a used car
- Is the car still under manufacture warranty? If so, great! Most new vehicles carry decent warranties. These warranties usually apply regardless of whether or not the vehicle has been resold. The only downside is that vehicles that are still under warranty usually demand a much higher price.
- Have you researched the reviews and tests on your vehicle? There are many makes and models that are simply bad cars. Even between years of the same car. To research the specific car your looking at, start at Consumer Reports and Edmunds. These resources will help paint an accurate picture of the reliability you can expect with your car.
- What will the expected cost of ongoing maintenance be? On consumer reports, you can even price out the expected maintenance costs. This is perhaps one of the most useful tools we have come across, and that you can use, when buying a used car.
Other factors to consider when buying a used car
- First and foremost, get a Carfax report. Most used cars have clean titles (no previous wrecks, flooding, theft, etc). However, many car lots will sell cars that do not have clean titles. This matters because cars without clean titles fetch a much lower resale value. It’s best to stay away from any vehicle that does not have a clean title.
- Most buyers are fully able to visually inspect a car. However, it’s also important to take it to a certified mechanic for a mechanical inspection as well. This alone could save you thousands of dollars in costly repairs down the road.
Do your research. Do your due diligence by taking your possible new car to a certified mechanic before purchasing. And most of all, enjoy your new car!