Buying a gently used car instead of a brand new one is a great way to save money and keep your insurance rates low. If you’re unsure of where to find reliable used cars for sale, here are some different approaches and their inherent advantages and disadvantages.
You can find private owners who have used cars for sale through online sites, ads in the newspaper, or simply word of mouth. This approach can land you with some great deals. If you try going to estate sales or exploring your neighborhood for vehicles with “For Sale” signs on them, there’s always a chance you’ll strike gold by finding a low-priced car with low mileage. Some private owners are trying to get rid of their automobiles quickly because they have to move or they need fast cash. Others haven’t done the research to find out how much their car is actually worth. Others simply don’t care and just want the vehicle off their property. No matter what the circumstances, their loss is your gain.
However, buying from a private owner does come with some distinct disadvantages. You’ll find that some people are attached to their cars and unwilling to part with the memory of them, so they make negotiations more difficult than they have to be. In addition, you don’t have any consumer protections when you buy from a private owner, as most state warranty laws don’t extend to private sales. So if you buy a car from a private owner and you discover that it has serious mechanical problems when you drive it home, you’ll have to suffer the repercussions, whether the old owner knew his car had issues or not.
On the other hand, if you’re able to find used cars for sale from a trusted dealership, you’ll enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing you do have certain protections as a consumer. You’ll likely be protected by your state’s implied warranties or warrants of merchantability laws. In addition, buying a car through a certified pre-owned program could provide you with the extra security you need. Cars that are certified pre-owned are subjected to extensive mechanical and cosmetic inspection before they’re put up for sale, and they’re often covered by warranties that provide helpful added features, such as roadside assistance.
The negotiation process often goes much more smoothly with dealers. After all, they’re selling products, not their prized possessions. They’ll sometimes throw in free extra services to seal the deal.
If you don’t have all the cash on hand for your new vehicle, a dealership can provide you with financing services. When you buy from a private owner, you’ll either have to pay the entire sum upfront or get a loan from a bank.