The single easiest way to save money when you buy a car is to buy a used car instead of a new car. Think about it.  When you buy a new car, it literally depreciates thousands of dollars the moment you drive off the lot. From a financial standpoint, since it will be your fastest depreciating asset, it really makes sense to buy a used car.

We highly recommend buying a certified pre-owned vehicle from a dealership. That comes at a higher price, but at least some of the maintenance will be covered for free under a manufacturer’s warranty. Try to not buy a car from a secondhand lot, as you never know for sure what you’re getting and will be on the hook for 100% of repairs.

Considerations When You Buy a Car

Make a list of the things that are important to you, like the mileage on the car. Obviously the most desirable cars have the lowest mileage. What’s important to me are things like:

  • Safety ratings
  • Reliability 
  • Leather seats (for the doggies)

Everybody should make their own lists and then stick to it. Don’t settle!

When you’re researching cars, please note that they make changes to the designs every year, so the safety ratings can differ vastly from one year to another. Make sure you’re cognizant of the year when researching cars.  The two resources I love are Consumer Reports and US News and World Report — I combine all that information to make decisions.

Due to the pandemic, rental car companies have been reducing their fleets and people are just driving less in general.  Now is a great time to buy a used car. Currently there are a lot of used cars available, which is creating an enviable position for consumers.

Whether or not you are financing, Judith Heft & Associates can help you keep track of everything related to your new wheels — from creating a depreciation schedule to deciphering the fine print of a warranty. Contact us to learn more.