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Why Some Best Used Car Deals Can Outweigh the New

Small sacrifices can lead to big savings with used cars.

April 24, 2018 · Nathan Archibald

Is it time for you to get a new car? Well then, you might want to make expand your car search to what’s new to you. And once you’re ready to buy your latest new car from one of your local dealerships, it’s important to keep in mind that sometimes it’s better to consider a used car as money-saving substitute. Allow us to explain.

According to a recent study conducted by Reuters, there’s been a steady increase of slightly used and certified pre-own cars popping up at local used car dealerships all around the country. And the trend is only going to continue as the current economic climate continues to steady and flourish.

So, what are some of the best used car deals you can get right now?

It varies by the location of course. But there’s a glut of previously leased cars being turned in everywhere, and most are recent models, have minimal wear and tear, and shockingly low miles – all at a price significantly cheaper than buying or leasing a new car. And that’s usually enough of an incentive for buyers just like you to have a look around.

But when it comes right down to it, the real question you should be asking yourself when shopping for new or used cars at your local car dealership is:

Are you willing to make some small sacrifices for significant savings?

The best car deals now on current leases or cashback offers on shiny new cars can be quite tempting, especially because even slightly older cars often don’t provide you with extravagant upgrades the new ones can. So if you can’t do without elegant options packages, superior trim levels, or independent upgrades, buying even a faintly used car may not be for you.

The truth is, automotive manufacturers come out with new cars each year for a reason. And that reason is to attract customers with the allure of all the innovative and inventive – and oftentimes standard – whistles and bells.

However, those looking for reliability at a marginal cost, perusing local used dealerships is often the wisest course of action a potential buyer can take.

Sure, there may not be a convenient back-up camera or cozy heated seats on that used, older model Volkswagen Jetta you’re currently looking at, but if it’s the right color and has limited miles on the odometer, you are in a positon to save thousands upon thousands of dollars for merely forgoing just a few lavish luxuries. It’s a classic give and take scenario, and one that requires you to decide what is most important to you when buying your next car well ahead of time.

For example, recently spoke with one customer about his latest experience – and while the numbers were not necessarily surprising, they were no less astounding once you take the time to think about the actual math of the purchase.

According to one Ft. Lauderdale man who was recently shopping for a new Audi A4, he quickly discovered the latest model was considerably beyond what he knew he could afford. Knowing that he could certainly live without many of the opulent amenities and that his parents had success with a personal policy of only purchasing pre-owned cars, he immediately understood why.

He was able to secure an excellent condition, 2015 Audi A4 with only 46,000 miles on it from a nearby local car dealership for a mere $23,000. By contrast, a 2018 Audi Quattro can range upwards of $45,000 - $50,000+, depending on the options package you choose.

You don’t have to be a math wizard to figure out that he ended up paying about half of what he would for a brand new car. And all he had to do, was forego a few of the excessive (to him) creature comforts that the new car provided.

Now all this is not to say that going the certified, pre-owned route is for everyone. Certainly if you have the means to purchase or lease a new car, the stable security, fancy options, and extended longevity can be well worth the price and the potential resell value down the road.

But there is always a happy medium. A great illustration of this method would be to conduct your own research on sites that feature local car dealership searches. One quick exploration found an Audi dealer in Ft. Lauderdale selling a 2018 Audi A4 with only about 9,000 miles for around $30,000, which is obviously considerably closer to the price for the 2015 A4 that the previously mentioned car buyer ultimately paid.

And while this car has basic first-class options like alloy wheels, leather seats, and a sunroof, it would be considerably more attractive to potential car buyers if he choose to resell it or trade it into a car dealership for a brand new one a couple of years later.

The lesson? There are always going to be plenty of better car deals out there. You just have to know where to look. The importance of conducting your due diligence will not only keep you knowledgeable and prepared, but also provide you with the necessary clarity of whether it is best for you and your wallet to go with a new or used car – right now.

Going in, it important to know and accept what your “must-haves” are. Compare and contrast. And always be willing to compromise and make a few concessions to get the best price along the way. Whether that means immediate savings by buying a used car or making a substantial investment on a new car that will reward you sometime in the future, well, that’s for you decide.

Always take the necessary time to think about it wisely, throw your weight around at as many local car dealerships as you can, and then make the most informed decision possible. In the end, purchasing a slightly used car with a little more miles on it just might outweigh buying a new one in the long run.