What will YOU consider when making your used car purchase? Most of us will consider the following for starters and with good reason…
- First, what do I have in my budget?
- Larger down payment, smaller payments
- Don’t bite off more than you can chew
- Consider that “Full” cost of owning this car
- So many choices, what body style do I want?
- Station Wagon
- How much power do I want?
- There is an adventurous pleasure for many of us in hearing the thunder of a large engine and feeling its torque when accelerating. However, the truth is, trucks that tow and haul heavy loads are the real example of power requirement. The average car buyer doesn’t need it. Give it some real thought before going either way.
- What size car do I want?
- If big interior space is what you want and towing is a priority, buy big! The more practical approach… start small and work up. Small cars tend to have smaller price tags and consume less fuel. Larger vehicles make you feel safer but lighter cars are typically more agile and give you a better chance of steering away from a crash. They often have a shorter stopping distance, which may even keep you completely out of the mix. Some smaller cars even have about the same headroom as full size luxury automobiles.
- What do I think about hybrids and diesels?
- Either approach will extend your fuel dollar, but at a premium purchase price. You may have to drive 60,000 or 100,000 miles to recoup your costs. The type of driving you do determines whether a hybrid or a diesel makes sense for you. Hybrids tend to use less fuel around town, when low speeds and frequent braking keep them running on battery power longer. Diesel drivers will see their greatest benefits on the highway and diesel vehicles are more efficient than gasoline cars at low speeds. The fuel benefits of diesel may be attractive but can change as quickly as fuel prices
These are all great points to research and consider before pulling the trigger on your next ride. Now, what about resale? That’s right, sooner or later you’re going to sell, and getting the most for your car is just smart business! Why not consider its resale now while you’re looking and make it easier on yourself down the road? With a little used car savvy you can do just that. According to Philip Reed, senior consumer advice editor at Edmunds.com and Mark Scott, a senior manager at AutoTrader.com in Atlanta, these are a few strong reasons why someone else may want your car as much as you did thus make it easier to sell when it’s time.
- Geography. Body styles tend to be geographic. Demand for a particular car varies in different parts of the country. You should think about the popularity of certain vehicles in your area when buying new if you are going to later sell it locally. For example, there will be less demand for a used pickup in Miami than in Dallas. “A pickup won’t hold value in Miami like a convertible will,” says Scott Mark Scott, a senior manager at AutoTrader.com, in Atlanta. “But that two-seater convertible isn’t very practical and won’t retain its value in Michigan.”
- Climate. If you are going to sell a vehicle with four-wheel or all-wheel drive, it will have more value in colder areas such as the Northeast. Moreover, all-wheel drive will be more in demand in the winter than in the summer. The opposite is true of convertibles, Philip Reed, senior consumer advice editor at Edmunds.com, says.
- Color. Stick to standard colors and steer clear of fad colors. “You may see a fun, trendy color that’s hot at the moment, but five years from now it will be like, ‘What were you thinking?’” Scott says.
- Upgrades and options. Not all upgrades are created equal. Certain equipment options will add to the car’s resale value while some pricey options won’t. “Spending $500 on an upgraded stereo will mean a lot to you, but four or five years from now it won’t bring you any extra money when you sell or trade in,” Scott says. There is more demand for automatic transmissions than manual ones. Reed says that sunroofs, CD changers and leather seats have historically added value to a car. An example of an expensive option that doesn’t contribute to a car’s resale value is a navigation system, Reed says.
- Timing. Exercising some patience can pay off when trading in or selling a used car. If the used-car market is soft, wait six months until demand is higher. If fuel prices are high, wait until they cycle back down before trading in that SUV. Simply visiting a dealership on a less busy day can increase the trade-in allowance. According to Reed, dealers are more willing to negotiate on all aspects of a new car purchase, including the trade-in, at times when the dealership is less busy. Dickering over the trade-in value will usually be more successful for a consumer on a Wednesday morning rather than a Saturday afternoon.
It’s going to be much easier to enjoy AND sell your car if you’ve factored the items above into your used car search. You can also bet on regular maintenance, professional repair work, and good record keeping will impress your car’s next owner. Don’t be afraid to be involved with the maintenance and repairs when they’re needed, you may not perform the tasks yourself but knowing all the details will not only give you peace of mind but also give you confidence when it comes to pitching your car to it’s next owner!
All TM Auto automobiles have a Carfax and are professionally detailed before they reach the lot. Please check my inventory and take a few minutes to browse my website for other helpful blog articles! I’m always available to answer your questions, feel free text or call (757) 560-4252 and ask for Mike Love.