You won’t get far in Pennsylvania without a car but, given that cars are more expensive than ever, you may not get far trying to buy a new vehicle, either. Fortunately, that’s not your only option. There are plenty of great used cars for sale in Pennsylvania (as well as neighboring states like New Jersey, New York, and Ohio), and one of them could be the perfect fit for you.
With that said, there are a few things that you should consider before you head off to drop a bunch of your hard-earned money on a used vehicle. Here’s your guide to used vehicles in Pennsylvania.
Remember the complete cost
Buying a car is expensive, but so is owning a car. And, if you’re shopping for a used car as a way to save money, you need to be cognisant of the costs that may come your way further on down the line.
In particular, be wary of very cheap, heavily used vehicles. These cars may be easy to acquire, but they can be very expensive to maintain. On top of being less reliable, a vehicle like this could very well cost you more in mechanic’s bills than you saved in purchasing costs.
Stick to your budget
You can get some pretty cool cars for reasonable prices when you shop the used market. You could even grab an older model year of luxury car and pay a very non-luxury price for it. Be careful, though, because these enticing buys might tempt you to go over your budget and you should never do that.
Calculate how much car you can afford. get pre-approved for a loan, and then refuse to budge on your price limits. If you’re going to keep your car purchase from threatening your finances, you need to know when to walk away.
Watch out for dealbreakers
Used cars can be a great deal. Buying a used car could allow you to land a really reliable vehicle at a much lower price than you might otherwise pay. It’s also important to remember that some used cars will have aged much better than others. This is particularly true in states like ours, where weather and road salt can take a toll on vehicles and it’s especially important to check for deal-breakers like advanced body rust.
These sorts of deal-breakers, by the way, are going to be much more common among cars being sold on Craigslist and other forums by their original owners. Dealerships will be much less likely to offer you any lousy options.
Rely on a mechanic
If you are considering buying a car from a private party, you shouldn’t take a used car at face value. You never know what might be going on under the hood, or what belts and other essentials might need to be replaced soon (effectively adding to the price you’re paying for your car). So, turn to a trusted mechanic and have him or her check out the vehicle before you buy. An honest seller won’t mind this step, which will help you avoid buying a lemon.
Consider dealership guarantees
You don’t have to buy a used car from a dealership in Pennsylvania, but it’s probably a good idea. That’s because car dealerships can offer you all sorts of reassurances and protections that individual sellers just can’t (or won’t).
Pennsylvania used car dealerships offer dealer- and even manufacturer-certified used vehicles, in many cases. They also offer guarantees and warranties on some used vehicles, explain the experts who run reputable used car dealerships in Reading PA.
These kinds of protections are valuable. Pennsylvanians should strongly consider shopping at dealerships and avoiding less reliable options like Craigslist.