Unless less you live in a major city, then chances are pretty good that you will need a car. But how can you get the best deal on a car and be frugal about your purchase? Keep reading.
New versus used
I am a big believer in buying items used, especially big ticket items, such as cars. They usually depreciate in value quickly, making the price drop while they are almost new. So it might surprise you to know that when it came time to buy a larger car to safely fit our family of three children with those wide car seats, we opted for a new car.
Why did we do this? Well simply because after doing all of the research we discovered that the car we wanted kept a high percentage of its value, making the difference between a used and a new version very small. Furthermore, financing on a new vehicle was better than on a used, thus closing the gap. The insurance rates on the new car were also less than on the used. It would actually have cost us more to buy a used car.
So my advice is to do extensive research before you make any decision.
But this is usually an exception. I have a long history of buying used cars. The secret is to choose a car that depreciates well and has a low maintenance record.
Right now, car dealers are practically giving cars away, as long as you have good credit or can pay in cash. This goes for both new cars and used cars. This is probably one of the few times that you may have the upper hand when haggling.
Tips for buying used
Understand that even within a certain manufacturer, models can vary on quality and performance. So while the Ford minivans have had a ton of maintenance trouble, for example, the Ford Flex is a great car.
Buying a certified used car through a dealer rather than private sale is the best way to be assured of the history of a vehicle.
Yes, you can offer a trade in when buying a used vehicle. First negotiate the price and then mention the trade in. While Kelly Blue Book may offer a guide to what a car is worth, the actual market has more influence on what someone is willing to pay or offer for sale.