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Is this the best time to buy a used car? Advertiser Disclosure Advertiser Disclosure We are an independent, advertising-supported comparison service. Our mission is to help you make smarter financial decisions by offering interactive tools and financial calculators, publishing original and objective content. This allows you to conduct research and analyze data for free to help you make sound financial decisions. Bankrate has partnerships with issuers such as, but not restricted to, American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi and Discover. How We Make money The products that appear on this website are provided by companies that compensate us. This compensation may impact how and when products are featured on this site, including such things as the order in which they may appear in the listing categories, except where prohibited by law. Our mortgage, home equity and other home lending products. However, this compensation will have no impact on the information we publish, or the reviews you see on this site. We do not cover the vast array of companies or financial offers that may be open to you.
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4 min read Published September 30 2022
Written by Rebecca Betterton Written by Auto Loans Reporter
Rebecca Betterton is the auto loans reporter for Bankrate. She is a specialist in helping readers to navigate the details of borrowing money to purchase an automobile.
Edited by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor
Rhys has been writing and editing for Bankrate since late 2021. They are passionate about helping readers gain the confidence to control their finances through providing clear, well-researched information that breaks down otherwise complex topics into manageable bites.
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Buying a comes with many advantages, including a lower rate of depreciation, lower cost and a lower upfront cost. The current situation of the car market is a further proof of the previous aspect — the new cars have reached record levels in the last week of summer, making this the perfect time to think about buying a used vehicle. The present situation of used vehicle market summer ended with high prices, the average used car sold for $28,219 in July and similarly at $29,061 during August according to Kelley Blue Book. However, used cars are considerably cheaper than those available on the new car dealer lot. Since the beginning of the pandemic, car market has dramatically shifted away from normalcy, and has been inching back toward normalcy, but without much success. However, it’s not all negative. Although we’re not yet at 2021’s levels of used price and availability, we are in a great spot to buy used and refurbished vehicles, says Chris Frey, Cox Automotive’s director of economic and industry research. However, the cost of financing, purchasing and operate vehicles is still at record levels. The Federal Reserve make the cost to finance your car higher and fuel prices are fluctuating as well. However, financing a used vehicle is still lower than new at $515 per month as opposed to an average of $667 during the first quarter 2022, according to . So, by choosing to buy a used, less costly car, you will save on your monthly payments. The prices of used cars are cooling, but only slightly In general, used prices are falling according to Henry Hoenig, a data journalist for Jerry, but not much. The Jerry team analyzed the top selling cars in 2022 and compared them with 2021 models that were lightly used and concluded that “As as of August, just seven of the 10 cars were worth more than the price of sticker on previously owned cars.” This indicates that used car prices remain higher than they have been previously, but are in line with the current market volatility. The used car inventory remains larger than it was, because dealers are still struggling to catch up to supply chain issues. Therefore, although prices may be higher than they have been in the past, the supply of used cars is greater than the availability of brand new vehicles. Inventory of used cars is up by 10 percent to last year, as per the third quarter of Cox Automotive’s industry analysis, a positive sign for the coming year. “Prices remain high because there’s not enough vehicles available,” Hoenig says. “It’s important to be aware that this isn’t the same as COVID-related shortages like we experienced.” While the makers of other daily products were able to pick up relatively quickly, cars are more difficult to make. It is important to remember that the used car market is driven by people who are who are selling their cars which is why when there aren’t enough people buying new cars, it could have an impact on the availability of used cars down the road. Because of these aspects, you might find yourself facing more competition and slightly higher prices for used cars However, that doesn’t mean purchasing a used car a bad option. Do I need to buy a used car? The question of buying a used car comes down to need. There is no perfect and there are various macro-environmental effects that increase costs. Because while experts predict that the inventory of new vehicles will get back to normal by spring 2023, the majority of drivers do not have the luxury to wait for prices to drop. If you’re looking to purchase a car, buying used over new could save you money. The factors that make up high demand for new vehicles and a limited inventory and interest rates above usual levels make vehicle costs more expensive in both cases, however purchasing used vehicles is significantly less expensive. Five questions you should ask when buying a secondhand car While comes with a lower price, it could also carry additional fear that comes from a car that has no history. To mitigate these feelings be sure to ask the appropriate questions to learn about the history of the new set of wheels. 1. What is the owner’s history of the car? A vehicle that has many owners isn’t always good news, but it could mean that the car was plagued by major problems that drivers were trying to avoid fixing or were unable to fix. Ask the dealer how many owners it had as well as the length of time each driver had it. A lot of owners with short spans of time should cause worry. Bankrate tip
You should think about purchasing a vehicle. The vehicle must also meet the additional specifications set by the manufacturer. The manufacturer must also guarantee against any defect in the vehicle.
2. Did the vehicle have any accidents? While it is easy to examine a car’s history of accidents on sites like Carfax or AutoCheck however, it is recommended to ask the dealer upfront. Even if the accident was not too serious, it’s important to understand what the procedure was for handling the damage and if you’ll have to face any consequences in the course of ownership. 3. Are there any maintenance documents? The majority of authorized dealerships for vehicles will have records of maintenance performed on a vehicle, but asking directly can be an excellent way to assess the vehicle’s care. It is best to avoid purchasing the vehicle that isn’t subject to regular maintenance because it could result in higher costs later on. 4. Do you have a clear car title? A clear vehicle title states that the car doesn’t have any remaining disputes with the ownership of the vehicle and also confirms that the car does not carry any limitations that prevent it from being sold. If the seller is unable to present a clear vehicle title consider this to be a red flag and walk away from the deal. 5. May I take the car out for a test drive? It’s important to get a feel for the vehicle before you sign on the dotted line, especially when it is a used car. Take your time when test driving, and make sure you assess the car’s handling and condition. of the vehicle. It is also an excellent opportunity to speak in a more relaxed environment and ask salesperson questions about the vehicle. The next step is to buy used. It’s an excellent way to get behind the wheel of a new car while saving money. Although the prices of today might be higher, buying used is still cheaper than purchasing a brand-new alternative. The key to getting the most efficient used car is making the appropriate inquiries and for the most favorable financing offer. Learn more
Written by Auto Loans Reporter
Rebecca Betterton is the auto loans reporter for Bankrate. She has a specialization in helping readers to navigate the details of using loans to buy the car they want.
Editor: Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor
Rhys has been writing and editing for Bankrate since late 2021. They are committed to helping readers gain the confidence to control their finances through providing precise, well-researched and accurate information that breaks down otherwise complex topics into manageable bites.
Auto loans editor
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