A white 2020 GMC Acadia AT4 is show kicking up dust.

Advantages of Buying a Used Car

Have you been searching through cars for sale only to come up empty-handed? We get it; whether you’re buying new or pre-owned, searching for a vehicle can feel overwhelming at times. Even when you narrow down your search by automaker, it can feel mentally exhausting if you’re not sure what makes one model a better investment than another.

But you can relax now because you’re in the right place, and we’re here to help. How? Simple! As any experienced car buyer will tell you, it’s smart to buy used.

The advantages of buying a pre-owned model are numerous, from saving time to saving money. If you want to get into a great vehicle, buying used is a fast way to do it. In fact, many drivers will only buy used; this is because of the savings you get when you buy a model that’s been only lightly used and is only a few years old. The possibility of saving thousands is too enticing to pass up.

Of course, buying a used vehicle can come with its breed of worries; one is the idea of being stuck with a lemon or saddled with unexpected issues that can be expensive or time-consuming to address. Some drivers religiously avoid buying pre-owned vehicles because of this fear. However, if you take the time to do your research, you’ll find that buying from a reputable dealer, looking at the car’s history report, and taking it for a test drive are all simple ways to ensure you’re getting a great car.

Sometimes a pre-owned vehicle’s price might feel too good to be true. That’s why it’s always important to do your homework and ensure you’re getting exactly what you’re paying for. A little research into dealers and models can go a long way and save you heap-loads when buying pre-owned.

On the fence about buying a pre-owned model? Don’t be! Read more to learn about why a pre-owned car makes sense for drivers who’re looking to go farther and spend less without compromise.

More for Your Money

One of the biggest things to draw drivers to the idea of buying a pre-owned model is the promise of getting a great deal. Buying used has the potential to take your dollar further and get you a lot of great features for less.

Buying a car that is lightly used and only a few years old still means you get plenty of updated tech and safety features without having to pay full price. While it seems like technology is changing at a rapid pace, systems like Apple CarPlay or Android Auto are relatively straightforward and don’t “improve” over time; like Bluetooth, they’re just connectivity tools. They make it easy to sync your phone to your car’s interface for a personalized driving experience, even if the onboard system is two or three years old.

What about wireless? It’s true that things like wireless syncing or wireless charging are quickly becoming the standard. But when you buy a used vehicle, you can still access these features—especially at some of the high-trim options. This brings us to our next point: high-end trim options and special editions.

No matter the brand, automakers offer various trim levels for their models, ranging from entry-level to high-end ones brimming with things like heated leather seating, surround sound, and large touch screens. If you were buying a high-end trim brand new, it could easily break your budget. However, looking at a used vehicle stocked with luxury detailing, creature comforts, and extra tech and driver assist features might fall well into your budget. Buying a top-of-the-line trim model three or four years old could save you thousands of dollars, increasing the fun and excitement of your daily drive.

The same goes for special editions. Brand-new special editions are often expensive or might even sell out immediately, making them rare. This means, when you find a pre-owned one, it has the potential to be a great opportunity for you to scoop it up at a bargain price.

silver 2022 Acura MDX is shown form the side after looking as cars for sale.

Better Investment

Depending on the model, when you buy a brand-new car, it can depreciate in value instantly; the moment you drive off the lot, expect its value to drop by 9% to 11%. After a year of regular driving, you lose even more, and your car is worth about 20% less than what you originally bought it for. This makes buying a brand-new car not very smart as far as investments go.

But when you choose to buy used, you spend less and save more. A used model will depreciate less than a new car, meaning you lose less of your overall investment. Not only that, but a used vehicle depreciates at a slower rate than new vehicles. So you lose less and lose it slower. Sounds great, doesn’t it?

Peace of Mind

Buying a used car isn’t what it once was. These days, traditional dealers take the time to thoroughly inspect pre-owned models to ensure they’re safe and roadworthy. Not only that, but some might even offer extended or lifetime warranties to give you extra peace of mind.

Then there are CARFAX history reports. Often, dealers will provide you with a vehicle history report to show where your car has been and if it was ever involved in a major accident. You can see its mileage, ownership details, and more.

In case that isn’t enough to set your mind at ease, buying used means that, in all likelihood, any mechanical issues that would need to be recalled by the manufacturer have already happened—so there are no surprises for you. Often when you buy new, you never know what you’re getting.

This is especially true if you buy a model at the start of a generation; in the first few years of a new generation, we often see recalls for things that range from mechanical to electrical. While these are usually minor issues, they can still be irritating if you spend a lot on a brand-new car. Buying a pre-owned model means these recalls have been addressed already, or the dealer will take care of them before putting the model up for sale to ensure it meets their high standards.

A red 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E is shown parked near palm trees.

Buying Used Is Buying Smart

Above, we highlighted some of the biggest reasons why buying a pre-owned model for your next vehicle is a great choice. It helps you save in multiple ways—not just on the overall price, but you get more value since the model will depreciate slower than a new model. You also get perks like lower insurance rates and maybe even lower dealership fees when you choose to invest in a pre-owned model.

And if you want more, no problem! Buying a used vehicle allows many drivers to get behind the wheel of a special edition or high-market trim that might otherwise be way out of their budget. How nice does it feel to enjoy ventilated and heated seats? Wireless charging? A suite of additional driver assist features? All without paying thousands of dollars extra? Buying used, you pay less and get more.

Drivers in the market for their next ride should slow down and take a good long look at the pre-owned car market. Even buying a gently used vehicle that is only a year or two old can shave thousands of dollars off the price.

Enjoy a lot and save a lot when you shop used for your next vehicle.