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Why Buying Used Beats Buying New

Essay by   •  July 7, 2011  •  Essay  •  1,431 Words (6 Pages)  •  2,102 Views

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Why Buying Used Beats Buying New

Every year, many embark on a pilgrimage to purchase a new vehicle. A lot of encouragement stems directly from ad campaigns designed to tantalize and titillate our senses. Automakers couple this with annual conventions allowing the public to examine their latest creations. Local newspapers teem with full color ads and radio stations keep catchy car sale jingles in heavy rotation. As sure as the sun rises, you can count on this carefully orchestrated circus to debut every year without fail. Watch closely, and you'll see it become even more intense during the holiday seasons!

I admit that I too have been an active participant in this phenomenon. I've purchased four cars in the last decade. But contrary to most buyers, I've never purchased a car born of the current year. Every purchase was of a model at least three years old. Buying my cars "gently used" has saved me thousands of dollars over patrons who chose to buy new. This has also allowed me to own luxury models typically reserved for those in higher tax brackets. There are some key advantages in buying used over new. Buying a used car is buying smart.

I don't regard cars as sacrosanct as underwear; there is no sanitary threat to me as a second owner. Plus, automakers have begun to consistently equip their fleets with similar features and options. It would take real effort to find a vehicle sans air conditioning, automatic windows and FM radio. Lately, the only major difference on most models from year to year is body color. But reasons for buying used reach far beyond the idea of getting that in dash disc player.

Potential buyers find they are no longer limited to the boundaries of their budget. Finance houses stand at the ready, offering terms for both the credit worthy and credit inept. Once financed, the issue of insurance is sure to arise. Insurance for used cars is significantly less than that of a new car. With gas prices on a never ending roller coaster, why not lock in guaranteed savings with cheaper insurance costs? Young drivers and terrible drivers alike are still entitled to premiums 15-25% less than new car rates!

Most people feel that buying used means you inherit someone else's problems. It's no secret that dealerships aren't obligated to stock "problem free" used car inventory. A valid fear most consumers have is that a used car will operate for a few months, and permanently die soon after. While this may have been a trend of years past, it is now close to being eradicated. Used car shoppers can significantly reduce their chance of this happening by doing a few simple things. None of which include buying the "extended warranty". Shoppers can avoid lemons by perusing the "pre-leased" and "certified vehicle" inventory.

Leasing has always been a popular alternative for driving new vehicles. Although leasing terms have lengthened, the reality is that these vehicles will resurface at the dealership. These pre-leased vehicles have been regularly serviced and will have relatively low mileage. Most lease agreements require scheduled servicing that is documented by the dealership. Some contracts even penalize lessees if they do not adhere to the maintenance and service schedules. Any recall or factory mandated adjustments are also handled during the lease term. When pre-leased vehicles return to their lot of origin, they are in fact, pampered, maintained automobiles ready for a permanent owner. Dealerships are often flexible in negotiating sale prices on these units. They want and sometimes need to get rid of this surplus inventory.

If pre-leased vehicles are in short supply, check out the "certified" vehicles. These are vehicles that were most likely trade-ins or buy backs. These vehicles have been thoroughly inspected and evaluated to determine reliability and overall fitness. The stamp of "certified vehicle" is not loosely given. Most automakers require a 100-point inspection and any problems uncovered, are addressed and fixed. Sometimes, the OEM dealership will also warranty these vehicles as well.

The ultimate failsafe for consumers looking at either pre-leased or certified vehicles lay in independent vehicle review reports like Car Fax. If you're overly paranoid that a dealership



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