Used car prices plummeted in April, making the option of buying a used vehicle more attractive than ever, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the right choice for you.
Certainly, buying a second-hand car can save you a lot of money. You may also be able to purchase a more luxurious make and model used for the same price as a newer, less prestigious brand.
But before you run out and buy a used vehicle, you do need to keep some of the downsides in mind as well. Here are five things to keep in mind when buying used cars.
1. You May Never Know Its Complete History
When you buy a used car it’s important to research its accident history—Carfax or any number of VIN (vehicle identification number) history sites can do this for you. But even knowing this information, it’s impossible to know how aggressively driven the car was by its previous owner or owners. Wear and tear can lead to repair work or replacement parts later on down the road.
2. It May Have Reliability Issues
One of the biggest risks of buying a used vehicle is that the older it is, the more likely things will start breaking down on it. Some car brands are also less reliable than others the older they get.
You can minimize this risk by choosing a used car make and model that has a good reliability record. Consumer Reports, Kelly Blue Book, and Edmunds are all great sources of automotive reliability records.
Another option is to purchase a pre-certified used vehicle. These cars have been thoroughly inspected by the manufacturer to be in good working condition and may be a safer buy.
3. Your Warranty Options May Be Limited
New cars usually come with standard bumper-to-bumper factory warranties with no additional cost. You will also have the option to buy an extended warranty.
Used cars usually have limited warranty options because their age means they’re at greater risk of needing more maintenance and repairs. Although you may save money when buying a car used, be prepared to fork over additional money for an extended warranty.
4. It May Be Lacking the Latest Safety and Technology Features
Automobile manufacturers are constantly improving features which means the newest year model has the most advanced technology. Used cars don’t have the most up-to-date safety and convenience features and technology.
5. No Customization Options
When you’re buying a used vehicle, especially from a used car dealer, you’re unable to customize it with accessories to your liking. You also can’t pre-order one in the color and trim level you want. You may have to be less picky when shopping for a used car in general, as it may be hard to find one in the make and model with the color and precise features you desire.
Remember These Disadvantages of Buying Used Cars
So, is buying a used vehicle right for you? You should actually weigh your options and take everything into consideration. Although there are clear disadvantages to buying used cars, the right pick can also make you happy in the long run.
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