Used cars have more than a few stigmas attached to them, not least the old ‘used car salesman’ stereotype which makes you feel a bit dirty.
And everyone has a friend who’s had an unpleasant experience at a used car dealership or ended up with a lemon buying from a private seller. There are negatives surrounding used vehicle buying, some of them justified but many unfounded. Here are 5 myths about buying a used car from a dealership that can be laid to rest.
1. You get a better deal by paying cash
Many potential buyers believe if they pay cash for the entire cost of the car upfront or put a large cash amount down, it will sweeten the deal. This is not the case, as dealerships make more money when you finance the car and so are less likely to offer incentives for a buyer who offers to pay cash. Unlike other industries, car dealers do not offer cash-only incentives.
2. Something has to be wrong with the car, right?
People trade in their cars all the time for a myriad of reasons that have little bearing on the vehicle’s reliability. They may want to upgrade to a newer model, buy a bigger car to accommodate a growing family, or maybe they want a more compact car. It’s easy to check out a vehicle’s past with a vehicle history report, where you can find out details such as if it’s been in an accident, or if there’s any flood damage.
3. You won’t get a warranty
Of course, if you buy a car from a private seller there will be no warranty and no recourse, so you’re pretty much on your own. However many dealerships offer certified pre-owned cars which means it has a warranty backed by the carmaker. Always check with the dealership before purchasing and make sure you understand the terms of a warranty if one is offered.
4.Used cars lack safety features
Cars built in the last decade or so have all the safety features you need. Unless you’re planning on buying a vintage car –from the ’60s, 70’s and 80’s -you won’t have to worry about important safety features such as antilock brake systems and side airbags.
5. Used vehicles will always cost more in terms of maintenance
The chance of you buying a lemon from a reputable car dealership these days is quite slim. As well as the desire to keep a good reputation and you as a repeat customer, the used cars speak for themselves. Vehicles manufactured in the last twelve years are far better made than their predecessors and are built to operate more reliably than ever before. They’re also likely to run longer, the average age for a car in the U.S. reached 12 years in 2019.
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