When it comes to buying cars, I’m a gently used car kind of gal. I’ve gone various routes – leasing, buying brand new and buying used and buying used is really the way to go. With leasing, you never own the car and often times have to pay a fee when you turn it in. I’ve found that buying a used car (about two to three years old) means that you can get the car for 20 – 30 percent less than when it was new. So, why not let someone else take the depreciation hit?
Used Car Research
Once you decide on a new or used car, then you can narrow down your focus on make and model to suit your needs and your price range. I love doing lots of research when it comes to making any purchase, whether that be dining out, traveling and especially a major purchase such as a car.
I have found that Cars.com is a great resource to learning about your potential purchase. Their website has a huge selection of information that will provide you with everything you need to make an informed purchase. They provide extensive reviews and essential information about a wide variety of different cars. They don’t sugar coat or hide the bad reviews of cars. If something is poorly rated, hasn’t performed well or not a good purchase, they aren’t afraid to let you know.
When you hone in on the car you’d be interested in purchasing, it is always a good idea to run a Carfax to see the car’s history and / or take it to a trusted mechanic who can give you their expert opinion.
Financing for used cars
Obviously, the best way to pay for a car is with cash. If you know it will soon be time to buy a car you can begin saving up, so that you are not paying interest. However, if you have decent credit, you won’t have a hard time finding a lender.
Used Car Registration and Ad Valorem
Another thing to consider when purchasing a used car is ad valorem. Each state adds this tax differently. Some make you pay it all in one lump sum, while others prorate it over the life span you own the car. The rate is based on the cost of a car, so the more expensive the car, the higher the ad valorem tax and this must be paid in full before you can take ownership.
For example in Georgia, ad valorem is about 7 percent of the cost of the car. So, if you are purchasing a used car that costs $20,000, you’ll need to pay an additional $1400 when you go to register the car.
Now that you know these tips on used car research and financing, you are much better equipped to find a a car that suits your needs.