Top 5 Myths About Buying Used Cars

Buying a used vehicle isn’t rocket science, and shouldn’t feel like it.  However, with so many misconceptions and myths there are about buying used cars, it can seem like a very stressful process.  We hear a lot of the same myths over and over, and there is rarely any truth behind them. Let’s take a look.

Top 5 Myths About Buying Used Cars: BUSTED!

Myth 1: Used Cars Aren’t Reliable

Nowadays, cars are built to last.  It isn’t uncommon to see a vehicle reach upwards to 200,000 miles before it finally bites the dust. Modern technology and advances in machinery are keeping vehicles on the road for longer.

Keeping on top of regular maintenance (oil changes, tire rotations, daily upkeep) will help any vehicle run smoothly for as long as possible. If you are looking for a vehicle and want to know the general reliability, check a trusted source like NADA or U.S. News and World Report.  They’ve used customer surveys, satisfaction reports, and buyer behavior to give every vehicle a reliability score.

Myth 2: Used Cars Don’t Have Any Resale Value

When cars are properly maintained, vehicles will hold onto their value a lot longer. Regularly scheduled maintenance will help a vehicle maintain its integrity and things like safety, fuel economy, appearance, and reliability.  

After a few years, if you have kept your car well-maintained and decide to sell, there is a better chance you will be able to trade it in or sell it for a good amount of money. Since you purchased it as a used car, you won’t need to sell it for as much in order to make a profit.  

Myth 3: There’s No Way to Tell if You Are Buying a Quality Used Car

This myth is simply not true. Any certified mechanic will be able to tell if the car has been properly maintained during its lifespan.  When the previous owner ignores dashboard warning lights, skips oil changes, or doesn’t take the care in for routine maintenance, there are clear signs that any trained and experienced mechanic can see.  

Used cars all have a history report that outlines their accident history, any damage that was given.

Myth 4: A Lower Payment is Better

When purchasing a car, it’s smart to think about your budget and what kind of payment you are comfortably able to make each month. So when you are presented with finance options and you see a low monthly payment, it may look very appealing.  But beware. Auto loans are typically front-loaded on interest payments, so it you are paying a lower monthly payment for a longer loan term, there is a good chance you are paying more than the vehicle is worth in interest alone.

Before signing anything, make sure you know the bottom line and you are aware of how much you will be paying for the car in the long run.


Myth 5: Never Finance at the Dealer

Like all myths, they should be taken with a grain of salt. There is a hint of truth here, especially if your credit score is bad.  However, if you are interested in a 0% downpayment, you won’t be able to find that at a local bank – because they won’t make any money off that deal. If you are looking for the best interest rates, explore your options at the dealership.

Most dealerships have a wide variety of banking institutions and credit unions that they work with in order to get the best rates for their customers.  Dealerships can offer those coveted 0% loans because they will still make a profit off the sale of the vehicle. Even if you choose to go with your own financing option, you may be able get a few points off of what you already thought was an excellent deal.

At the end of the day, the car-buying process is simple – research vehicles, get attractive financing options, and negotiate a price. These myths make it more complicated than it needs to be, and that why we are busting these myths wide open.