How to Save When Buying a Used Car

Car-buying is a major financial undertaking. Besides paying the retail price, you also have to spend money on the car every now and then. The annual costs of owning a car can be substantial. According to American Transport Association statistics, the average car owner spends $9,561 each year. And this doesn’t include parking fees.

How to Save When Buying a Used Car

The amount can be higher if you buy a used car that requires a lot of maintenance. However, if you can only afford to buy a used car, there are tricks you can use to save a significant amount of money. Here are some helpful tips you can apply and save when buying a used car.

Increase the Down Payment

Paying a larger upfront amount when buying a car offers multiple benefits. It lowers your interest rate and reduces the amount you’ll need to pay every month. A larger down payment also attracts favorable rates and terms from lenders. You’re also more likely to get approved for a loan quickly if you have a low credit score. As a rule of thumb, the down payment on a used car should not go below 10% of the retail price. You can pay a larger down payment if you can afford it.

Buy a Certified Pre-Owned Vehicle

Buying a vehicle with mechanical issues is one of the greatest worries of people who buy used cars. You can avoid the stress of constant repairs and save more money if you buy a certified vehicle. All used cars for sale that are certified pre-owned are checked and tested using various parameters to ensure they are free from mechanical damage. You may also get a few extras when you buy the car-free oil exchange, complimentary roadside assistance, extra warranties, and other perks.

Buy a Certified Pre-Owned Vehicle

Buy at the Right Time

The time you buy a car greatly determines its cost. Most car sellers have sales targets to meet at the end of every quarter. Dealers are open for negotiation during the last months of each quarter. Plan to buy a car towards the end of March, June, September, and December. During such times, salespeople rush to hit their targets and earn bonuses, whereas dealers want to clear their inventory to get new stock.

However, ensure you conduct thorough research on dealerships to find out how long their used cars stay in lots before the clearance. Recent reports show that used cars stay for 34 days on average in lots. Choose a dealership with this average or lower so you can get bang for your buck.

Go for Base Models

Base models by top car brands have fewer features than their upgraded counterparts. If you’re operating on a tight budget, shop for a modest car with basic navigational features and infotainment. Upgraded models have many luxurious features, such as the Bluetooth connection and driver aids, features you can easily forego. Not getting the extra features you can do without helps you save more. You are also able to focus better on the road.

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