No doubt that the main reasons you would look for a used car to buy are financial ones. A used vehicle will be cheaper to purchase, thus making it possible to purchase it without a financing plan and owning it right away. The second big advantage of choosing a used car over a new one is that it has already taken most of it’s depreciation hit, for example on average a year-old model would cost 25% less than a new one, so you would have a significant upfront payment cut while still getting an almost new car. After its first year, the depreciation tends to slow down. Certain brands hold their value better over time so these won’t see a dramatic price reduction for used cars for sale.
Ideally, the best financial decision would be to buy the car with a cash payment, after it has taken most of its depreciation (1-3 years) and use it for a long period of time, closer to 10 years. You will also have the freedom of being able to sell it at any time.
If you still decide to use a financing service to buy a used car, keep in mind the difference between a loan and a lease. With a loan, you own the car after the last payment, with a lease, you rent it, and at the end of the lease period you can buy the car at a set price.
Other financial aspects to consider when purchasing a used car are warranty and insurance. When buying a car from a private individual instead of a dealer, you usually buy it “as is” , or if the car is still covered by the manufacturer’s warranty or a service contract, you need to make sure it is transferable.
The cheapest used cars for sale, to purchase or to run, are those with smaller engines, usually petrol, with manual gear rather than automatic. CO2 emissions are a factor when establishing running costs, as it affects the taxes you’ll pay. So a used hybrid car, although more costly to buy upfront, will cost you close to nothing in terms of taxes. Smaller cares are also less costly to insure, so make sure you check the insurance category of the cars you are potentially interested in.
If you never heard of this, you should know there are certain times when it’s best to buy a used car. This depends whether you by from a dealer or individual. Dealers tend to usually offer better packages and offers at the end of the quarter in order to move the inventory and get those bonuses. Individuals on the other hand may have less interested customers during holidays so they might be willing to ask for a lower price. Also a good period to look for great deals is between Oct and Jan.
Also, the time of year affects the price based on the type of car you want to buy. For instance, try buying a convertible in winter or an off-roader in summer.
One more thing, after all these financial matters, don’t forget to test-drive the car you are interested in!