There are all sorts of ads in the media, from television to radio to print and even social media, that purport the notion of strictly buying a new vehicle. Their bold headlines make it seem like buying a new vehicle is the most important investment and available option for those in search of new wheels. But there is another option and more Americans are turning to it: It is the used car.
Between private-party and dealership sales, nearly 40 million used cars exchange hands each year. While the average used vehicle in America is 11 years old, more Americans are opting for a used car. According to the 2015 Used Vehicle Motor Report, there were over 38 million used-vehicle sales industry wide, which was the best annual tally in eight years.
There are some obvious reasons why used car sales may have increased. The supply of used cars never ends: the average vehicle will have likely three owners in its lifetime. Also, the proliferation of the Internet and usage of ways to figure out a reputable car and seller have increased. 80% of people use the Internet to research used cars, moving away from traditional media.
In fact, nearly 50% of people spend one to three months conducting research before buying a used car.
Of course, there are pitfalls facing those who struggle to research or inadequately shop for a used vehicle. One of those pitfalls is odometer rollback, which costs consumers as much as $4 billion per year. Another pitfall is picking a vehicle that does not have a vehicle history report. Before choosing a used vehicle to buy, it’s important to:
- Know the vehicle’s history, such as any accidents or maintenance problems.
- Find the best avenues to research terms like used cars for sale.
- Meet the owner or dealer and ascertain whether they are reputable.
Used truck dealerships also may have options that websites don’t. Used truck dealerships may have a wide array of options at different price points, so there’s the ability to “shop around,” which a website that allows users to post might not. Used truck dealerships may also have the opportunity for a detailed vehicle history.
When starting the process of purchasing a used vehicle, it’s important to consider your finances, what you can afford, what kind of vehicle you will need, and how to research the best ways to buy the vehicle you desire. Fortunately, many avenues of research allow you to see a vehicle’s history, know what kind of accidents it has been in, and communicate with the owner.