Perhaps your car has seen better days, having been with you through thick and thin. Now, you are thinking of retiring it. Perhaps your current vehicle no longer fulfills the need of your growing family. Maybe you want a car that can take you to your weekly getaways better.
You know one thing is sure: It’s time to buy a car.
Making a case for pre-owned cars
Now, you find yourself in a bind – should you get a brand new car or a pre-owned one? Although a brand new car has its pros and cons, you shouldn’t dismiss the prospect of getting a pre-owned vehicle outright.
Here are a few advantages of opting for a certified pre-owned car.
- Price and value
Simply put, a pre-owned car is more affordable compared to a brand new one. Imagine what you can do with the savings you get!
Plus, you do not have to worry about depreciation that is typically associated with new vehicles. Indeed, a pre-owned car will still depreciate, but at a much slower pace.
- More models to choose from
With used vehicles, you won’t be confined to a limited number of models to choose from. Whether you are more concerned with your budget or meeting a specific need, you will surely be spoilt for choice.
- Lower insurance rates
Apart from the lower cost of a used car, another critical area where you can expect a substantial amount of savings is in the insurance. Most insurance companies offer lower rates for older models. Apart from that, registration fees and taxes for used cars are lower compared to that of their newer counterparts.
When you have the option to choose pre-owned cars, you can pick up a model which fits your specific requirements.
Consider a CPO car
Convinced that a used car is the better option? Why not consider a certified pre-owned (CPO) car? Here are the advantages you can expect:
- Only the best
Not all used cars qualify for a CPO program but only vehicles that have low mileage and those that have not figured in accidents are accepted. That simply means that you are buying a quality vehicle that gives you the best value for your money.
- Thorough inspection
Apart from ensuring that only the best vehicles qualify for the CPO program, dealers conduct a thorough check on each car and replace parts before these are put up for sale.
In order to remain competitive, many dealers offer extended warranty protection for their CPO offerings, sometimes longer than the warranties for new vehicles.
- Lower interest
Although CPO cars cost more than those that are sold in the local market, dealers typically offer lower finance rates. Often, these rates are equivalent to the value of a loan for a new car. This lower interest rate translates to lower monthly payments.
In order to entice more buyers, dealers often include a free maintenance perk for their CPO programs. These maintenance perks usually include oil changes, inspections, and rotations.
What to do after buying a pre-owned car
Now that you have purchased a quality pre-owned car, perhaps you are excited to go on a road trip and give your new ride a quick spin. Before you do that, there are a few tasks that you need to accomplish first:
1. Update the car’s license, registration, and insurance
Before anything else, make sure that your license, registration, and insurance have been updated before you venture out for a trip to avoid associated hassles with traffic officials.
2. Check the owner’s manual
Whether you are driving a new or pre-owned vehicle, it is imperative that you read its manual. This will give you a better understanding of how to properly operate your car. Plus, the manual will provide you with valuable information on maintenance.
3. Check the brakes and tires
Checking the brakes and tires should be a habit that all drivers must learn. Even with pre-owned vehicles, you must make sure that the brakes and tires are roadworthy to avoid accidents.
4. Change parts
Unless you purchased the car from a CPO program, it is highly advisable for you to change the filters (oil, transmission, fuel, and air), the fluids, and the tires. You might also want to send the car to a mechanic if you have noticed a few issues that need professional attention.
5. Clean the car
One final thing that you need to do before taking your new vehicle for a drive is to clean it inside and out. Pay special attention to the interiors and look for things, including trash, that the previous owner may have left behind.
Of course, with a CPO car, you can skip this step.
A car, whether pre-owned or brand new, is a critical investment that can affect your finances over the short and long term. As such, you should weigh all your available options before making a final choice.