A new car comes with that amazing new car smell and the knowledge that you are the first person to make it your own. But the bloom falls off the rose pretty quickly in terms of value, with your mechanical baby losing 10% of its value the very second you drive off the lot.
It will depreciate another 20% within the first year of ownership, and by three years old, that vehicle is only worth approximately 60% of what it was new.
This is a bummer for the original owner, but in truth that car still has a lot of useful life in it. Buying a used car can represent an awesome deal for the second owner. Yes, it is a stressful and confusing process. There is a lot of research to be done and then a pressure-filled purchase to make.
But done right, buying that new-to-you car will make you feel like a million bucks
Choose a make & model
It’s never wise to buy a car without first having done your research and devised a short list of makes and models. There is a lot to know about each car, including its gas mileage, average longevity, and expected repair frequency. If you aren’t armed with this info when you hit the lot, it’s much easier to be taken in by the look of a vehicle rather than its performance.
And, scoring a great deal really comes down to being prepared. For starters, you need to know the general price range for the make, model, and year of vehicle you choose. This can be invaluable when it comes to negotiating. It allows you to spark competition between dealers, too. You might be able to get one dealer to honor a lower price on a comparable vehicle from a different lot.