Most financial experts will tell you that buying a used inexpensive car and keeping it for years is one of the best things you can do to minimize your car ownership cost. But, if you choose the wrong car or place to buy it, this “cheap” car could cost you thousands of dollars in repairs.
Based on your priorities (warranty, price, selection, etc.), different outlets may fit your needs. Use this guide to find the right place to buy a used car for you:
Certified Pre-Owned at A Dealership
Buying a CPO (certified pre-owned) car is a good way to find a used car in excellent condition. Sold from dealerships of the same brand, CPO vehicles go through extensive inspections and are reconditioned using factory parts. They are also known to come with the best warranties.
For instance, General Motors offers a five year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty and a one year/12,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty on all of its CPO cars. However, remember that although they come with warranties, they are not exactly like new cars.
The convenience and coverage of a COP car come at a price. From all the used-car options, buying a CPO car is typically the most expensive.
Non-Certified at A Dealership
The rest of the used-car inventory falls under this category. While these cars don’t get the same attention as a CPO vehicle, they are still given respectable inspection (usually by the dealership). Before the car is put up for sale, any major issues are typically fixed. It’ll be easy to find these used cars at a dealer since dealerships accept trade-ins on a daily basis.
An independent dealership is not associated with any fixed automaker. Depending on whether you’re shopping at a full-size dealership with a service department or a corner lot, the used car selection will vary. It is recommended to check online what kind of reviews the dealer has, as the quality could also vary from place to place.
If you’re looking for a very inexpensive used car, independent dealerships are useful. You’ll also have a good chance of getting a car financed at these dealerships even if you have poor credit.