4 Easy Ways To Get Used Cars For Less
Cars are expensive. The average price of a new car is over $34,000 — which is more than many Americans make in a year. Not all cars cost $34,000 or more, of course, but many Americans struggle to budget for their vehicle purchases. Need proof? Just look at the auto loan debt that Americans have taken out over the years. While auto loans can be perfectly healthy in the right amounts, it’s hard not to worry when you see just how fast our national auto loan debt is increasing.
But, no matter how expensive cars get, they’re going to remain a necessary expense for most of us. In many parts of the United States, there’s simply no practical way to get around without a car. Buying a car might not be easy to do on a typical American salary, but that salary would disappear for many people without a car, because a huge percentage of Americans commute to work by car.
1. Saving money on your vehicle
If the time has come for you to buy a new vehicle, you don’t need to panic. While new cars remain pricey, there are ways to save big — and perhaps the best way is to buy a used vehicle.
Used vehicles can be the best of both worlds: many are still high-performing vehicles that feel almost new, yet they also tend to cost a great deal less than their new-car counterparts. Here are a few ways to save even more on your used vehicle.
2. Learn how to negotiate
Negotiating isn’t for everyone, and those who would prefer to avoid it should check out our next couple of tips. But if you’re buying from a private party or a dealership, you should definitely consider haggling a bit.
You’ll be a better negotiator if you do your research and know how much a car is actually worth. You should also brush up on your haggling skills—know when to refused to negotiate further, when to follow up, and how to approach the discussion.
3. Shop online
Used cars cost less than new ones, but even used cars can feel pricey when you’re at the dealership. The car dealership experience is a stressful one: most dealership employees work on commission, which means they will push hard to make a sale, and dealership pricing is opaque and demands negotiation. When you see used cars on the dealership lot, you may now know where those cars have been. You’re seeing only a few options, and you’re going to pay higher prices.
Not so when you shop online. Online car sales and auction websites make it easy to look at huge numbers of options at once, and the prices are lower than what you’ll see at the dealer. Plus, you’ll have time to do your research and run vehicle history reports — without a pushy salesperson bugging you.
4. Repo auctions
When someone can’t pay their auto loan, the vehicle gets repossessed by the lender. That’s bad news for the debtor, but it could be good news for you.
See, the lender doesn’t want a car — they want cash! So lenders turn to auto auction companies and websites, which in turn run repo auctions. The vehicles are sold off to the highest bidder, often for less than they are worth. It’s well worth your time to check out repo auctions and see if you can save big on a car that is practically new! Just be sure to do your research and spend wisely.