Buying a used vehicle is a viable alternative to buying new, especially when purchased at a dealership. Private sellers of used cars could potentially try to pass off a bad car, a “lemon”, to an unsuspecting buyer, but you won’t get that with a certified dealership, which is monitored by the automakers it represents and the public via online reviews.
So, what benefits are there to buying used at a dealership? The immediate benefits, of course, are cost-related. Used cars cost less than their new car counterparts, meaning you’ll need a smaller down payment and can make lower monthly payments — and you’ll likely experience reduced registration fees. Buying used also means you won’t take a depreciation hit when purchasing your car, and you can likely earn lower monthly insurance payments as well. Finally, buying a used car might be more feasible for someone with bad credit, who may not be able to get a loan for a new model.
Buying used also opens you up to a wide range of years, makes, and models. You can spend time researching your favorite model and then hunt for that specific model until you’ve found it. Buying used even makes it easier for you to purchase a luxury vehicle that you might not otherwise be able to afford.
With the rate that vehicle innovation has been progressing, even the more recent used models boast incredible safety and entertainment technology. You can find used models today with infotainment systems and safety features like Forward Collision Warning and Lane Keep Assist. On top of that, you can easily access a vehicle history report and take a potential used car to a mechanic for an inspection to obtain the same peace of mind that comes with buying new.
Carl Hogan prides itself on its quality used cars, but we also encourage our customers to do a thorough inspection of any used car — be it here, another dealership, or during a private sale — before making a final decision.
When you inspect a used car at a dealership, pay attention to a few things:
Tires: What condition are the tires in? If the tread is worn down, be aware that you will soon have to shell out an additional $500 for tires very soon.
Mileage: Higher mileage vehicles tend to have more problems. Read reviews for the models you’re interested in to determine how long they tend to last in terms of mileage, and determine a mileage range with which you are comfortable.
Exterior: Inspect the exterior for signs of rust or a previous collision that might not have been properly repaired.
Interior: The state of the interior can be a good indicator of how well the vehicle was cared for previously. You’ll also want to look for signs of flood damage to make sure you are not buying a salvaged vehicle.
Carl Hogan recommends buyers take the used car on a test drive to a trusted mechanic to get more information on the state of the engine, transmission, and other crucial components. You should also purchase the vehicle history report for any used car you are seriously considering purchasing to understand the car’s full history.