If you are thinking about buying a used car, there is a good chance you’ve heard that you are also buying the previous owner’s problems. People assume that purchasing a new vehicle is the best way to get a new set of wheels, but that just isn’t true. New cars come with a lot of financial baggage – frequently, they are marked up, come with expensive warranties that don’t cover much, and depreciate as soon as you drive off the lot.
The truth is, a well kept and maintained Certified Pre-Owned vehicle can be just like a brand new car. Most of the time, you are unable to tell there was even a prior owner.
Let’s “debunk” some of the most common myths and misconceptions about buying a used car.
5 Myths About Buying A Used Car
1. Something is Wrong with the Car
Often, people believe that the vehicle must have something wrong with it because the previous owner didn’t want it. But that has nothing to do with the reliability of the car or its condition.
People trade-in vehicles for a variety of reasons.
- Upgrading to accommodate an expanding family
- Downsizing to a small vehicle
- Change the model to fit a lifestyle change
- Lower costs
If you are concerned about the vehicle’s history, you can use the NCIB database to search the vehicle’s VIN and read about any damages or incidents to the car.
2. Used Cars Don’t Have Important Safety Features
Unless you are purposefully buying an antique or historic car that is decades old, used cars for sale will typically have all the modern safety features like side airbags and anti-lock braking systems.
Used car dealerships are mindful of this when deciding what cars to sell and know they won’t sell unsafe vehicles. To learn about the exact safety features of the vehicle you want to purchase, you can research the vehicle’s crash-worthiness, crash avoidance, and how it rates against other cars. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s website lets you check ratings and vehicle safety by entering the make and model.
3. A Used Car is Unreliable
The fact that a vehicle is pre-owned has very little to do with its reliability. People often trade-in vehicles because of a lifestyle change, not because the car had something wrong with it. Thanks to advancements in technologies and innovative designs, cars are built to last. Vehicles frequently surpass the 150,000-mile mark when well-maintained and serviced on schedule. If you are concerned about the vehicle’s overall reliability, have a trusted mechanic inspect it. Most dealerships have a licensed inspector on hand, but you may also bring your own.
4. Used Car Sales Require Cash Offers
Purchasing any vehicle, new or used, in cash will certainly save you in interest payments, but it won’t get you a better deal. When it comes to financing a vehicle, buying a used car isn’t that different from a new car – your credit score and down payment will determine interest rates and monthly payments.
Used dealerships don’t always demand cash upfront and are typically willing to help you get the vehicle you want. With new car buys, banks and finance companies need credit history and follow strict guidelines to determine if you are the right candidate for an auto loan. Used car dealerships provide their own finance options, and they are usually based on their own guidelines. Chances are, they will offer a more attractive alternative to help you get your dream car than a manufacturer or new car dealership. If you don’t have a great credit score, have bankruptcy filings, or foreclosures, pre-owned car dealerships are more equipped to help you navigate financing options and select a vehicle that best suits you.
5. No Warranty Included
Again, this isn’t true. If you buy from an individual or private sale, you don’t get a warranty. However, most used dealerships provide a warranty of some kind. New vehicles usually come with a 3-year warranty, and if the owner decides to sell in that time, there is a leftover warranty on used vehicle inventory. On top of that, many dealerships provide a warranty of their own. Before purchasing a used vehicle, check with the dealership regarding any offers or warranty programs they offer.
Once you realize that most beliefs about used cars are myths and misconceptions, you’ll see endless possibilities.