Which Car Dealer Has The Best Deals – Most financial experts will tell you that buying a cheap used car and keeping it for years is the best thing you can do to lower your car ownership costs. But a “cheap” car can mean thousands of dollars in repairs or finance bills if you choose the wrong vehicle or place to buy it.
Come 2022, however, there won’t be many “cheap” cars to speak of. We are currently facing a shortage of used cars and as a result the market value of used cars has risen to an all-time high. This makes choosing the right used car dealer all the more important because the cost of failure has never been higher. You may want to broaden your search further to find cars online or at a brick-and-mortar car dealership.
Which Car Dealer Has The Best Deals
Remember that selling a used car that is under a recall and has not yet been repaired: It is not illegal for a seller to offer such a car. Check your vehicle identification number (VIN) on NHTSA’s recall page to find out if your vehicle needs to be sent in for free recall repairs.
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Use this list as a quick guide to finding the best places to buy a used car. Each used car dealer has its pros and cons, so depending on your priorities (price? selection? warranty?), there may be more than one store that meets your needs.
Buying a Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is an easy way to find a used car, SUV or truck in great condition. CPO vehicles sold at other brand dealerships are thoroughly inspected and restored using factory parts. They also offer the best warranty. For example, General Motors offers a one-year/12,000-mile vehicle warranty and a five-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty on all CPO vehicles. You can use our certification program comparison tool to see the differences in coverage. But just because they’re under warranty doesn’t mean they’re new. Read “Certified Pre-Owned Cars: Reality Check” to find out what you can expect from a CPO car.
CPO auto insurance and convenience come at a price. CPO cars are usually the most expensive used cars. Data shows that consumers pay an average of 6-8% in premium for a 3-year CPO vehicle. One option may be to find a car that is new enough and still under warranty from a private seller.
The remaining inventory of used cars falls into this category. These cars often don’t get the same attention as CPO cars, but they still get a fair amount of scrutiny. Major issues are usually resolved before the car is sold. As the dealership accepts trade-ins every day, you can easily find these used car dealerships. Most dealership websites should include a link to a free Carfax or AutoCheck report, so be sure to take advantage of that and learn about your vehicle’s history.
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Ultimately, whether the vehicle is certified or not, you should be able to inspect it as if it were new.
The value of used cars is constantly changing. It allows you to track the value of your vehicle over time so you can decide when to sell or trade it in.
Independent dealers are not affiliated with any car manufacturer. The selection of used cars can vary greatly depending on whether you buy from a corner lot or a large dealership that offers service. Since quality varies by location, we recommend running a Google and Yelp search to see reviews for that particular dealer. The Better Business Bureau is also a great resource.
Independent dealers can be helpful if you’re looking for a really cheap used car. If you have bad credit, you have a good chance of getting a vehicle loan from these dealerships. It is worth noting that the prices of independent sellers are not as favorable as the prices of big stores.
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If you are going to such a dealership hoping to get approved for a car loan, consult a reputable dealer first. Larger franchises often work with many banks, including those that specialize in less-than-perfect credit.
Some independent used car dealers may specialize in a certain type of car, which can make the selection process easier if you consider that type. For example, one site may focus on European luxury brands, while another may focus on classic cars.
Use your own discretion and get a vehicle history report to seriously consider dealing with an independent dealer. We also recommend reading the free guide for independent used car dealers.
We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that there are also used car listings from various CPO and non-CPO dealerships. Here you can search across the country, check prices, see if it’s high or low, and see how long the car has been sitting on the dealer’s lot. To be clear, we do not sell vehicles, but we do help you find a dealer that you can contact to view the vehicle in person and get it for sale.
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CarMax is a technically independent used car dealership. However, it has more than 200 stores across the country and is the largest used car dealer in the country. You can find a variety of latest models with different body styles.
Buying from CarMax is a hassle-free, bargain-free process. All of your salespeople get a flat commission, which means they get paid the same whether they sell you a BMW or a Ford. A CarMax spokesperson said the payment system will help customers find the car that best suits their needs and price range.
Carmax also offers customers a 24-hour test drive service, perfect to see if a vehicle will fit in the garage or to check its size with the whole family. However, the price is usually higher than other used cars. CarMax takes its no-match policy very seriously, so prices remain firm. But if you don’t want to negotiate, this policy can be an advantage.
If there is a trade-in, CarMax will also offer a fixed offer for this. All CarMax vehicles are covered by a 90-day, 4,000-mile limited warranty (whichever comes first). The company also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee if you change your mind about the vehicle you’ve selected. There are many cars to choose from and you can find information on the internet. There are some exceptions, but generally, if you find a car you like at another branch, you can arrange to have it shipped to a nearby location (perhaps for an additional fee).
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Buying a car at a private beach market offers variety and the opportunity to get the best price, but you sacrifice the convenience of viewing a large number of cars side-by-side like you would at a dealership. Negotiating with a private salesperson is often easier than dealing with the dealership’s sales force, as many car owners lack formal sales training. There are many ways to find a private party vehicle. Some of the more popular online sites include Autotrader, Craigslist, CarGurus and eBay Motors.
Remember, you are buying the car “as is” if it is not yet under warranty. This is a riskier move for you as a buyer, but having a mechanic or inspection of the car before purchase can help mitigate that risk. At private sales, you’ll find low prices everywhere. According to our price analysts’ calculations, used cars typically sell for about 12% more at a dealership than at a private sale. You’ll need to pay cash or already have auto loan collateral to close the deal, so do it early.
Classified ads on Craigslist cost $5 and ads on Facebook Marketplace are free, so the barrier to entry for anyone selling a vehicle on those sites is very low. You’ll find a mix of car dealers and private sellers selling their wares.
These sites may have good candidates for used cars, but you’ll have to sift through tons of listings to find one. You’ll find the lowest prices here, but car condition can vary widely. Most of the car photos you see are pretty bad. Some listings have no photos at all. There is often limited information on the car, and you may need to contact the seller for the VIN needed to run a vehicle history report. It is not uncommon to come across cars with the designation “Scrap”, which means they may have been in serious accidents. Sometimes you come across fake unlicensed car dealers
Used Car Prices Are Starting To Rise Again. Blame Inventory
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