It seems like finding a new vehicle at a reasonable price is nearly impossible. Because car manufacturers are catering to a full luxury market, new autos are downright expensive! Now’s a good time to consider the used car market, where prices are falling consistently from pandemic highs. Kelley Blue Book reports that the average price of used cars sold market-wide fell to $26,510 in January 2023, down $633 from December 2022.*
Buying used is a great way to get behind the wheel of a vehicle without the steep cost of the current year’s models. But some consumers worry that buying a used vehicle means that they are buying someone else’s problems. Here are 5 tips to protect against those concerns.
Used Auto Buying Tips
- Have a realistic budget – If you already have an affordable car loan, try to stick within that range. Otherwise, experts recommend you spend 25% or less of your budget on car-related expenses. Consider both the monthly loan payment and additional vehicle costs such as gas, insurance, and regular maintenance.
Take advantage of an auto loan calculator before starting your vehicle search so you have a firm understanding of your budget, the interest rate and loan terms you can afford.
- Shop online – The marketplace for purchasing a vehicle has shifted dramatically over the past few years, and buying used is a great time to take advantage of buying a car online. Start with trustworthy online sources like our Members Trust Auto Shopping Tool.
- Consider a certified pre-owned vehicle – Typically found at dealerships and rental companies, these vehicles are inspected and approved by the manufacturer. In general, buying CPO means that your car will have good parts, low mileage, and proper maintenance. CPO vehicles are typically properly cared for and accident-free. These vehicles can also come with an additional vehicle warranty for long-term quality assurance. Members Trust recently partnered with Enterprise Car Sales to provide our members access to quality used vehicles to fit their budget. Each vehicle is rigorously inspected by an ASE-Certified Technician and comes with:
- 12-Month/12,000 Mile Limited Powertrain Warranty
- Enterprise Certified™
- 12-Month Roadside Assistance
- Free Carfax® Reports
- 7-Day Buyback
- Conduct a detailed inspection – To be sure you are buying a quality used auto, request a vehicle history report. Along with an initial test drive, it’s smart to get an independent mechanical inspection to check for any hard-to-find issues.
- Consider an extended warranty – Protect your investment with an extended warranty which will help defray any additional maintenance expenses. Typically, we can save you money over the dealer’s extended warranty and we can finance the cost with your loan.
Talk to us about your used, new and auto refinance needs. We’ll help point you in the right direction to make sure you get a good deal with affordable financing.