If your goal is saving money, buying a used car rather than a new one can save you big bucks in several ways. Car makers no longer redesign their models every year, so buying used doesn’t carry the same stigma it once did. Buying something that is two years old can land you a late model beauty that looks identical to a new car making you look like a baller and saving you thousands. If you buy “the right car” you can even use it a few years and sell it for near what you paid for it or just drive it until you can’t drive it anymore which is the most cost-effective way to own a car.
If you shy away from buying used you can now buy a certified pre-owned car. Certified pre-owned programs vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, but in essence, certified pre-owned cars are vehicles that meet a manufacturer’s established standards and carry some form of guarantee against defects similar to a new-car warranty.
Every year, about 40 million used cars are sold in the United States. Unfortunately, a considerable number of used car buyers fall victim to car buying scams.
Companies such as Carfax and AutoCheck produce vehicle history reports. Based on the car’s vehicle identification number, or VIN, these reports provide an array of valuable information including verification of the mileage and whether the vehicle was ever declared a total loss by an insurance company.