When you’re buying a car, the first question to ask yourself is: New or Used? You’ll be happy to know that now is a good time to buy either. So, your decision may just come down to budget, in which case, buying a used car would be the better option.
With gas prices skyrocketing to unprecedented heights, automakers are putting an added emphasis on fuel efficiency. Companies like Nissan and Toyota have helped to usher in the era of electric and hybrid vehicles with the LEAF and the Prius, while Ford and Mazda have worked to create EcoBoost® engines and Skyactiv® technology. Something we often forget, however, is that there are several fuel-efficient options already on the market—and there have been for years.
There are a number of reasons why buying a Used car makes sense:
• Depreciation – New cars depreciate a lot. Buying a two or three year old car can save anywhere from 20% to 35% off the price of a comparable new one.
• Warranties – New cars often come with transferable warranties. Buying a used car that’s still under its new car warranty can often mean saving money on an extended service contract if it’s purchased from a franchised new car dealer.
• Certified Used Cars – Most manufacturers offer certified used cars that, while more expensive, come with extended service contracts that offer peace of mind and can be worth the cost difference.
• Quality – Today’s used cars offer the highest quality in history.
With that being said, here are some tips on what to look for:
Pricing. Prices on most used cars have leveled off and even dropped recently from historic high prices. Visit third-party pricing sites to get retail book values and use their shopping tools to adjust those values based on their condition.
Certified Pre-Owned (CPO). Certified used cars are the closest thing to new at higher used car prices. Most manufacturer programs, such as Honda, GM and Toyota include a Vehicle History Report (from AutoCheck or Carfax) and thorough mechanical inspection.
Cars sold online. Sites like AutoTrader.com and Cars.com let you compare vehicles to give you a better idea of what a fair selling price might be.
Paperwork. Review as much documentation as possible including title documents and service records and receipts.
Open recalls. According to Carfax, estimates are that 30% of all recalled cars go unfixed. Franchised new car dealers for that brand will fix any open recalls for free.
Odometer issues. Digital odometer tampering is often difficult to detect. Be sure the interior and exterior wear and tear correspond to what the odometer displays.
Flood damage. Check for any odors, corrosion, mud and dirt – especially in those hard to clean areas. Also be sure all warning lights and electrical components are working properly.
Curbstoners. Illegal dealers posing as private sellers peddle cars on the internet, along roadsides and through classified ads. These cars often have hidden problems and the seller typically cannot be found after the sale.
Professional inspection. Not something to look for but what you should have performed by both a certified master mechanic and a body and frame specialist prior to signing any sale documents.
At Mama’s Used Cars in Charleston, South Carolina, customers are treated like family and shown why buying used is often the best decision a shopper can make. There are several different perks to making the savvy decision and purchasing used over new.
Immediately after a new car is driven off the lot, it loses a great portion of its value. By buying used, many users can save thousands of dollars for a car that is essentially the same for only a few thousand more miles on the odometer. Many consumers also never think of the idea that by purchasing a car used, you can often purchase a car that is a higher level of luxury for nearly the same cost as an average new car. Continue reading
A local attorney appeared on the “Lowcountry Live!” segment of the local channel 4 news. David Aylor gives tips on how not to be scammed when buying a used car. He speaks about the “as is” and lemon laws, and provides steps to take to make sure you are purchasing a quality car.
To watch the video click here.
Here is the release from WCIV:
CHARLESTON, SC (WCIV)—This week on Trial Tuesday, Charleston attorney David Aylor gave us the low down on used cars and how you can be an informed consumer when it comes to purchasing a used vehicle.
It would seem common sense, but first things first. Make sure that you are purchasing the car from a reputable source. If you are planning to buy it from a friend or family member, its your job to make sure the regular maintenance has been performed on the car. Maybe take it for a test drive and be sure there are no weird noises; that it drives ok, and that all the major parts inside the vehicle work. He says that you also want to make sure that you understand the “as is” laws as they are stated in South Carolina. Understanding the law when it comes to purchasing used cars is your defense when it comes to getting your money back if something shady were to occur.
For more legal advice on how to protect yourself when it comes to used car sales, watch the complete David Aylor interview at the top of the Lowcountry Live page.
One of the main worries of used car shoppers is how dependable the vehicle is. Understandable, considering cars are one of the most important purchases people will ever encounter. Everyone wants to get the most out of this major purchase and a car that has already been used can be intimidating. JD Power lists the dependability of car brands since the 2008 model year.
Being in the market for a used car can be intimidating. Here are some ideas to consider when looking for a used car. They could help ease the process. Research your purchase Research websites that offer professional reviews and post … Continue reading
Every year, Edmunds.com creates the Used Car Best Bet Awards. These awards are based on safety, reliability, and availability. These 16 vehicles are the winners of their respective categories. Here are the 2011 winners and vehicle overviews according to Edmunds.com.
Compact Sedan: 2004-2009 Hyundai Elantra
A complete redesign in 2001 earned the Hyundai Elantra our respect, which was bolstered further by a tough tour of duty in our long-term fleet. In addition to peppy performance and a smooth ride, the Elantra offers solid build quality, reliability and operating economy. The GT version came in a useful hatchback body style that provided added cargo capacity in addition to standard leather seating, a moonroof and a sport-tuned suspension that improved the car’s handling. Impressive crash test scores are another feather in the Elantra’s cap. For 2007 the Elantra was again redesigned. It was initially offered only as a sedan and boasted more interior room and higher fuel efficiency.
Midsize Sedan: 2004-2009 Nissan Altima
With the introduction of the 2002 Nissan Altima, this larger, livelier Altima gave family sedan shoppers a viable choice if a fun-to-drive personality was a requirement. Since then, the Altima has established itself as an accommodating midsize car with strong performance (especially if equipped with the potent V6) and athletic handling. A redesign for 2007 brought handsome Infiniti-like styling, a nicer interior with more soft-touch materials, and a CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) that delivered on a promise of ultra-smooth operation and increased fuel efficiency. That year also marked the debut of a hybrid version, though it was only available in eight states.
Large Sedan: 2006-2009 Hyundai Azera
Offering an upscale look inside and out and a number of unexpected luxury features for short money, the Azera also boasts the solid build quality and steadfast reliability that Hyundai is becoming known for. Beneath the skin, it has the bones of a Hyundai Sonata, but it is set apart from the Sonata by a premium mix of comfort and convenience features, plus a more upscale appearance. Strong crash test scores, smooth and refined performance and a quiet ride round out the Azera’s impressive credentials, while its status as an overlooked nameplate guarantees bargain pricing, since few people appreciate the value built into this upscale effort from Hyundai.
Coupe: 2004-2009 BMW 3 Series
The BMW 3 Series embodies everything a coupe should be: sporty, stylish and yet practical. The 3 Series coupe has a proper sports car personality, but it’s more like a sedan than a dedicated sports car. Even if you go with the entry-level 325/328 models (which have the smaller engines), there’s still plenty of performance to be had from the smooth inline-6. Communicative steering coupled to an athletic chassis provides a very satisfying drive and validates why these cars remain highly popular with enthusiasts. The 2007 redesign brought more power (230 hp for the 328i, 300 hp for the 335) and the availability of all-wheel drive, while the convertible got a retractable hardtop in place of the traditional soft top.
Convertible: 2004-2009 Mazda Miata
Anyone who wonders how car enthusiasts can be so passionate about driving need only take a spin in a Miata. With its communicative steering, ultra-responsive handling, an exuberant engine and a manual transmission with short, precise throws, Mazda’s little two-seater wins over even those drivers who don’t know a camshaft from a half shaft. Nothing within the average Joe’s means represents affordable all-around automotive athleticism better than a Miata. Factor in great reliability, frugal fuel usage and plenty of aftermarket accessories and it’s easy to see why so many Miata owners love their car as much as their significant other (and perhaps even more).
Wagon: 2004-2009 Pontiac Vibe
With more than a touch of style, impressive space-efficiency, compact dimensions and a smooth, reliable powertrain courtesy of Toyota, the Vibe makes for a very practical choice. Although it shares its mechanical package with the Toyota Matrix, the Vibe is arguably more attractive. In addition, it will likely be a better value, as chances are you can get this Pontiac for less money than a comparable Matrix due to the somewhat higher resale prices the Toyota name typically commands, not to mention the departure of the Pontiac brand from new-car showrooms. A redesign for 2009 brought new styling, a torquey 2.4-liter inline-4 as an option, plus improved fit and finish within the cabin.
Compact SUV/Crossover: 2004-2009 Honda CR-V
Space-efficient, fuel-efficient and easy to own, the Honda CR-V does almost everything well. With as much passenger and cargo space as some larger SUVs, the CR-V is usually more than enough for most consumers’ needs. Though no V6 engine is available, the CR-V’s inline-4 is sufficient for real-world driving and returns respectable fuel mileage. A comfortable ride, an excellent reliability record and strong crash test scores underscore why the CR-V is a top pick among our staff and consumers alike. A redesign in 2007 brought slightly controversial styling and the option of a navigation system, but no mechanical changes of note.
Midsize SUV/Crossover: 2004-2009 Ford Explorer
With a roomy interior, plenty of family-friendly features, and a nice balance between a comfortable ride and rugged utility, the Ford Explorer has a lot to offer anyone needing a versatile family vehicle. As a truck-based SUV with a burly V8 engine available as an option, the Explorer provides greater towing capability than car-platform-based (“crossover”) SUVs, so it suits the recreational needs of a typical American family. Yet by virtue of some clever engineering that provides a spacious footwell out back, it boasts an adult-friendly third-row seat, so long family trips aren’t as torturous as the ones you remember from your own childhood.
Large SUV/Crossover: 2004-2009 Chevy Tahoe
Strong performance, a comfortable ride and attractive styling are a few of the Tahoe‘s assets. Others include a roomy cabin that can seat up to nine and fairly nimble handling for such a bulky vehicle. A Tahoe equipped with the torque-rich 5.3-liter V8 is a good choice for towing duty. A complete redesign for 2007 brought greatly improved interior, which addressed the biggest gripe we had with this versatile hauler and gave the cabin in the top trim levels a truly luxurious ambiance you wouldn’t expect from a traditional truck-based SUV.
Minivan/Van: 2004-2009 Honda Odyssey
Before 1999, the Odyssey couldn’t compete with the more powerful V6-powered minivans from Dodge and Toyota. A four-cylinder engine, no matter how refined, isn’t going to cut it when the van is loaded up with seven passengers and their belongings. That all changed when Honda brought out the completely revamped Odyssey in 1999, a real minivan in place of the station wagon package that had come before. Boasting the most powerful V6 in the segment, along with a huge interior, hide-away third-row seat, top safety scores and Honda’s solid reputation for quality and reliability, the Odyssey quickly jumped to the head of the class. You’ll probably have to lay out a few more greenbacks for one of these vans, even in the used market, but consider it money well spent.
Compact Truck: 2004-2009 Toyota Tacoma
In addition to the well-known strengths of impressive overall quality and a rock-solid reliability record, the Tacoma offers a pickup for most any need or personality. There’s even the PreRunner edition which offers the suspension, ride height and aggressive tires of a 4WD truck without the added complexity and fuel appetite. Whether you’re looking for a sporty street truck, an aggressive off-roader or a crew-cab family truck, we’re willing to bet that the Tacoma lineup has something with your name on it. The difference here is really the array of different cab configurations and the level of refinement that’s possible depending on trim level.
Large Truck: 2004-2009 Ford F-150
There must be a very good reason that the Ford F-150 has been the top-selling vehicle in America for the last two decades. We can think of many: a huge variety of cab styles and trim levels, a comfortable interior with sound ergonomics, a compliant ride, communicative and precise steering, smooth power plants and best-in-class brakes.The amazing popularity of the F-150 means finding one that suits you perfectly should be fairly easy. Even more so than most pickup trucks, there are an almost bewildering number of different cab styles, powertrain choices and trim levels, so it’s easy to find the truck you need.
Luxury: 2004-2009 Infiniti G35/G37
With rear-wheel drive, a ripping V6 and sporty suspension tuning, the G35 and later G37 is Infiniti’s answer to the BMW 3 Series. As compared to that German benchmark, the G’s much roomier cabin and lower acquisition and maintenance costs make the Infiniti a smart choice for savvy enthusiasts. While the sedan will make the most sense for most folks, the rakish coupe offers Nissan Z-car (the G’s platform mate) intenders more practicality with virtually identical performance. Overall the G delivers BMW 3 Series goodness with a measure of comfort and convenience that Americans prefer along with a significantly lower entry fee.
Hybrid: 2004-2009 Toyota Prius
After testing the hybrid waters with the cramped first-generation Prius sedan, Toyota pulled out all the stops with this, the second-generation version. The Prius’ snub-nosed hatchback design devotes most of the car’s body to passenger and cargo space. The result is a large cabin that provides midsize sedan room within a relatively small body, making the Prius a snap to park in tight spaces. Of course it gets excellent fuel economy, but not at the expense of respectable performance, as there is more than adequate power on tap for dealing with city traffic as well as passing and merging on the freeway.
Sport Compact: 2004-2009 Subaru Impreza WRX
Subaru’s Impreza WRX has long been a favorite of enthusiasts on a budget thanks to its spirited performance and fun-loving personality. Yet the WRX packs a few practical strengths that also make it a good choice as an everyday vehicle. A compliant suspension means it won’t beat you up during the daily grind over broken pavement, while standard all-wheel drive allows it to handle foul-weather driving with sure-footed confidence. Throw a set of dedicated snow tires on it and the WRX can handle most anything a tough winter season could throw at it. A 2009 redesign brought firmer suspension calibrations as well as a substantial 41-horsepower boost in power.
The essential question for car consumers is whether or not to buy new or used. Certainly, there are obvious pro’s and cons to both. Here are five reasons you should consider buying a used car according to the Used Car Dealers Association.
New cars drop value as soon as they are driven off the lot. Studies have shown that three- to five-year-old vehicles have already experienced the greatest percentage of their depreciation. With the current economy, used vehicles offer consumers the chance to save thousands of dollars or even affordably upgrade to a better class of vehicle.
A properly maintained used vehicle with service records is helpful, because any defects that might go unnoticed in a new car will have already revealed themselves and been corrected in a used car.
It’s an undisputed fact that today’s vehicles are truly built to last, unlike vehicles of 25 years ago. It’s quite reasonable to expect, with proper maintenance, a vehicle to serve reliably after 180,000 miles or more.
People like used cars because they can see them, sit in them, try the options and drive them, which you can’t do when ordering a new car from a photo or option description. People like to see and touch what they are buying.
Perhaps a more costly aspect than maintenance for some vehicles is the cost to insure them for the road. Used vehicles can be less expensive to insure.
It is important to carefully and extensively research used cars. Ask the dealer for a vehicle history report. Also, It can be beneficial to have your own mechanic inspect the car before buying.
In search for a used truck, it is difficult to look over the impressive line of the ’04-’08 line of Ford F-150. They are high-performing pick-ups that are also stylish and highly reliable. Here is a very informative review of the truck.