If you've received a nice return on your income taxes or you've saved up enough money for a good down payment, Spring might be the right time to buy a new car. A brand new car is often cost prohibitive, so it makes good sense to look for a vehicle that is a few years old. Not only is buying used an excellent way to get a better car than you'd be able to afford new, but other ownership expenses such as insurance and taxes will be lower. Here are a few other things to know about buying a used car.
Reliability has improved
Buying a used car comes with a lot less risk than it used to, as long as you purchase it from a reputable dealer. Engine and transmission problems, as well as, exhaust system problems in late-model vehicles, have decreased over the years, making used cars a more reliable option. When properly maintained, many cars will last well over 100,000 miles, and some up to 200,000 miles.
Avoid rapid depreciation
Within the first three years, most new cars lose about half their value. If you buy used, you can avoid a significant depreciation hit. Some used cars have low mileage and look as good as new. Take the time to search out a car that works for your lifestyle and budget.
Factor in the cost of repairs
Although more reliable than ever before, used cars may be out of warranty. This means you will have to pay for repairs and parts like tires, brakes, and batteries. As the years and miles add up, it's probably safe to expect more repairs. However, the savings of buying used will more than compensate. If possible, search out cars that are still covered by a comprehensive warranty.