A red 2016 Cadillac ATS is parked in a road with a yellow sun set behind it.

Your Complete Used Car Buyer and Owner’s Guide

“Why buy used?” This is a question that used car salesmen and women probably get a lot. Buying a used car can feel a lot like an uphill battle as you combat with regular wear and tear, and deal with the dings and scrapes put in by previous owners. There is also the added stress of still paying for a car that may not necessarily be brand new. While a used car can seem better for your wallet, it is hard to not compare your used vehicle to the flashy new cars rolling out of a dealership. However, buying used doesn’t have to be this big stigma, especially if you’re looking for a luxury vehicle like a pre owned Cadillac. Buying a pre-owned luxury vehicle can give you a chance to take home a real status symbol without paying the sky-high prices that dealers ask for newer models. You can also find greater satisfaction from the used car buying experience if you know what to do and what to look out for when you go into it.

The Different Ways of Buying Used

Visit almost any car dealership, and you’ll find three different options, new, used, and Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) models. While the used and CPO options may seem similar, they are very different and can mean a completely different ownership experience. When you purchase a vehicle that is used, you’ll likely be buying a car straight from the owner or from a dealership that purchased it from the previous owner. These cars are sometimes sold as-is, although some dealerships may inspect and refurbish their used collection; it all depends on the vehicle itself and the dealership.

When you purchase a used vehicle, it can feel more like a gamble, especially if the dealer in question doesn’t provide a car history report. That said, when you purchase a used car, you’re banking on the fact that the price will be far lower than that of a new or even CPO vehicle. Used cars are often far cheaper than the alternatives, and unless the vehicle needs a lot of repairs right off the bat, you can save a whole lot more money when buying a car used.

Certified Pre-Owned Cadillacs

A laptop is shown with warranty coverage on it.

As you may expect, a CPO vehicle is going to set you back a bit more than a used vehicle. That said, the reward is well worth the initial cost.

A CPO vehicle is a model that has had only one previous owner, is under a certain mileage, and has warranties that cover it as if it was a brand new model.

The CPO Cadillac’s undergo a 172-point inspection, are put through multiple tests, routine maintenance is performed, and come with several warranties. They come with the original warranty, a bumper to bumper warranty, and get up to 6 years of coverage.

Deciding Between Used and Certified Pre-Owned

Before you decide on buying pre-owned, we recommend you reflect on what kind of car ownership experience you’re looking for. If you don’t mind having a car that you can work on and would like to save some cash, buying used may be the better option. Although, if you don’t want to pay the costs imposed by a lease or a brand new car, and like the idea of driving something almost as good as new, you may want to consider a CPO model. That said, no matter what option you go for, it is always wise to get a full understanding of your budget and to ask yourself what kind of car is going to satisfy your needs best. By doing so, you can avoid being blindsided or overwhelmed when you walk into a used car dealership.

Used and Certified Pre-Owned are two very different paths to purchasing a used car; however, the end result can seem quite similar. You’ll have saved money by buying used. Although it goes without mentioning that the affordability benefit of buying a used car can be limited depending on the vehicle’s mileage, age, condition, and how you care for your vehicle.

Maintaining a Used Vehicle for the Long-Term

All vehicles wear down over a period of time. After so many hundreds and thousands of miles, all of the parts of your engine eventually wear out. Putting money into the maintenance of your vehicle is inevitable, no matter whether the car you purchased was brand new or Certified Pre-Owned. That said, you can avoid how much you spend by staying on top of your regular automotive maintenance. A lot goes into keeping an engine running smoothly, and it can range from things as simple as tire replacements to mechanisms as complicated and expensive to repair as your transmission.

That said, of all the various forms of automotive maintenance out there, motor oil changes take the cake as one of the most influential. Your engine is one big hot moving machine, and it requires plenty of motor oil to stay that way. Motor oil lubricates all of the intricate components in your engine and reduces the friction experienced between them, which in turn reduces the total output of heat. Both friction and heat can kill any engine, and reduce overall performance, and unfortunately, motor oil can only prevent friction and heat for so long.

A licensed Cadillac mechanic is working in the engine bay of a pre owned Cadillac.

You can prevent the breaking down of your engine by receiving regular oil changes. By changing your oil once every 5,000 miles (more or less depending on your engine and the oil you use), you can keep your engine relatively cool, and all of your engine’s parts in working order. Whether you drive a Certified Pre-Owned Cadillac Escalade or a brand new Cadillac XT5, motor oil replacements can greatly prolong the life of your engine.

While motor oil is incredibly important, your transmission, your tires, and your cooling system can all play a part in the long-term performance of your vehicle. While you may be able to disregard the regular maintenance of these components for a stretch of time, neglecting your engine can catch up with you fast. If you’re truly hoping to extend the life of your car, we recommend having an auto care professional by your side, helping you make all the right maintenance decisions. Car care is complicated, and while you may be able to teach yourself some things, it is always worthwhile to have a professional auto technician guiding you through the process.

Why Buying Used is a Great Option

Don’t believe what some dealerships tell you; there is more than one way to have a truly rewarding car ownership experience. Used and Certified Pre-Owned cars serve as great options to purchase something great and not spend a lot of money doing it. Buying new can certainly be rewarding in its own right; however, the price can be a real game-changer for a lot of potential drivers. So, if you’re on the fence about purchasing a new car, and are more excited by the idea of having something affordable and used, we highly recommend that you visit your local used dealership today to see the benefits of this path to car ownership in person.