The process of picking out a car if fraught with decisions. New or used? Dealer or sale by owner? Lease or buy? There are a number of considerations to make, each of which should be considered carefully. The most important factors on which to base your decision are cost and quality. Many are convinced that buying a used car from its previous owner is the best way to guarantee low cost and high quality. In this article, we’ll explore your options, especially in respect to purchasing from dealerships.
New or Used?
There is, obviously, a major difference in price between new and used vehicles. A car’s value depreciates a little more than 10 percent the second you drive it off the lot, and is worth only 37 percent of its original cost after five years. As a result, used cars, even if they were only used for a day, should theoretically cost at least 10 percent less than market value. The question of new vs used depends solely on the quality of the vehicle being sold. Some of the best used cars are indistinguishable from new ones, and cost significantly less. The cheapest new car in the U.S. is the Nissan Versa, one of the new Nissans for 2013, which is valued at $11,990. The average one to three year old used car in 2011 cost close to double that amount at $23,000. The key to buying a great used car is to opt for something a little newer. If it looks like its headlights are still powered by kerosene, move along.
Dealer or Owner?
It’s a good idea to consider both options, even though many assume that dealerships are unlikely to have great prices. One thing proponents of sale by owner purchases often forget is that many dealerships will subtract your cars trade in value from the price, helping you out on the price of the car you’re purchasing and getting rid of your old one in one fell swoop. They also often offer car dealership specials which can help you drive off the lot in a better vehicle than your would have originally been able to afford. Sales by owner are often cheaper, but they don’t come with warranties and aren’t protected under lemon laws, a huge consideration for those hoping to buy used.
Choosing a Make
Many dealerships work specifically with one automaker, meaning that you should narrow down which ones you’re interested in before hitting the lots. Nissan, the producer of the cheapest new car available, was the sixth largest automaker in the world in 2011 and has had its VQ engine recognized as one of Ward’s 10 Best Engines for 14 straight years. New Nissans for 2013 include the Altima, Sentra, GT R, and 370Z, and there has even been talk of a hybrid version of the GT R for 2014. The new Nissans for 2013 are popular on many Nissan lots, as are some of the older Nissans which have stood the test of time and are now available used.
Shopping for a car is a serious process that should be given time and attention. Weigh the pros and cons, examine plenty of options, and make an informed decision. Read this for more.