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4 min read Published September 30 2022

Written by Rebecca Betterton Written by Auto Loans Reporter

Rebecca Betterton is the auto loans reporter for Bankrate. She has a specialization in helping readers to navigate the details of borrowing money to purchase the car they want.

Editor: Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor

Rhys has been writing and editing for Bankrate since late 2021. They are passionate about helping readers gain confidence to control their finances by providing precise, well-studied information that break down complex topics into digestible chunks.

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They ensure that what we write is objective, accurate and trustworthy. Our loans editors and reporters focus on the things that consumers care about most — the different types of lending options and the most competitive rates, the best lenders, how to pay off debt and much more. So you’ll be able to feel secure when making a decision about your money.

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A used vehicle comes with a variety of advantages, such as a slower depreciation, lower cost and a cheaper upfront price. The current state of the new car market is a further proof of the previous point — new vehicles have reached record levels in the last week of summer, making this a good time to consider buying a used vehicle. The present situation of the used car market The summer ended with record costs, with the average vehicle sold for $28,219 in July, and a similar figure of $28,061 in August, according to Kelley Blue Book. But used vehicles are still significantly less expensive than what is available on the new car dealer lot. Since the start of the epidemic, the automobile market has been a dramatic shift away from normalcy, and is slowly creeping back towards normalcy without much progress. However, it’s not all negative. Although we’re not yet at 2021’s levels of used price and availability however, it is a great place to purchase used vehicles and refurbished vehicles, says Chris Frey, Cox Automotive’s senior manager for economic and industry insights. The cost to finance, own and maintain vehicles is at record levels. The Federal Reserve make the cost to finance your vehicle more expensive , and gasoline prices are also fluctuating. But financing a used car is still less than for new at $515 per month, compared to 667 for the 2nd quarter in 2022, according to . So, by choosing to a less expensive, used vehicle you can save money on your monthly payment. The prices of used cars are cooling, but only slightly In general, used prices are falling as per Henry Hoenig, a data journalist at Jerry, but not much. The Jerry team analyzed the top selling vehicles in 2022 and compared them with 2021 models that were lightly used and discovered that « As of August, only seven of the 10 cars were worth more than used than the cost of the pre-owned cars. » This implies that used car prices remain more expensive than they were in the past, but they are on par with the current market volatility. The available used vehicle inventory also remains much larger than it was, because dealers remain in a state of catching in the supply chain. While prices might be more expensive than they’ve always been before, supply of used cars is above those of new cars. Inventory of used cars is up 10 percent compared to last year, as per Cox Automotive’s 3rd quarter industry insights and is a good indication for the coming year. « Prices remain high because there still aren’t enough vehicles, » Hoenig says. « It’s crucial to keep in mind that this isn’t like COVID-related shortages like we experienced. » While manufacturers of other items used daily were able to pick back up quickly, cars are much more difficult to produce. It’s important to be aware that the market for used cars is based on drivers getting rid of their vehicles, so if there aren’t so many people who are buying new vehicles, there can be an impact on used car availability later on. Due to these combined elements, you could encounter increased competition and slightly higher prices for used cars, but that doesn’t make purchasing a used car an unwise choice. Should I buy a used vehicle? The issue of purchasing a used car comes down to need. There’s no ideal solution and there are various macro-environmental effects that increase costs. Because while experts predict that new vehicle inventory should be back to normal by the spring of 2023, the majority of motorists don’t have the luxury to wait for prices to decline. If you are looking to purchase a car, buying used over new could save you money. The combined factors of high demand for new cars and the low inventory with higher interest rates than usual can make the cost of a vehicle more expensive either way, but buying used is dramatically more affordable. Five questions you should ask when buying a used car . Although it is lower , it can carry an additional skepticism that is associated from a car that has no history. To mitigate these feelings be sure to ask the appropriate questions to understand the history of the new vehicle. 1. What is the history of ownership of the car? A vehicle with many owners is not necessarily negative, but it could indicate that the car had major problems that drivers were trying to avoid fixing or were unable to fix. Find out from the dealer how many owners it had as well as the length of time each owner was in it. A lot of owners with short spans of time should cause anxiety. Bankrate tip

You should think about purchasing a vehicle. They must also meet other requirements created by the manufacturer. The manufacturer must also guarantee against any defects in the vehicle.

2. Has the car been in any accidents? While you can easily check a vehicle’s accident history on sites like Carfax or AutoCheck but it is better to ask the dealer upfront. Even if the incident was minor it is important to know how the damage was handled and if you’ll have to deal with any repercussions in the course of ownership. 3. Can I look at the maintenance records? The majority of authorized dealerships for vehicles will have records of maintenance performed on a vehicle, but having a conversation with the dealership directly is a good way to gauge the vehicle’s care. You should avoid buying the vehicle that isn’t subject to regular maintenance as it could cause higher expenses later on. 4. Do you have a clear car title? A clear title for a vehicle indicates that the car does not have any outstanding disputes with regard to its ownership as well as confirming that the vehicle has no restrictions that hinder it from being sold. If the seller cannot present an unambiguous title to the vehicle consider this to be a red flag and walk off the deal. 5. Do I have the opportunity to take the car for a drive? It’s important to feel the vehicle before you sign on the dotted line, especially when it comes to a used vehicle. Take your time when test driving and try to be aware of the car’s handling and condition. of the car. This is also a good opportunity to speak in a more relaxed environment and ask the salesperson questions about the vehicle. Following steps: Buying used is an excellent way to get behind the wheel of a fairly new vehicle while still saving money. Although prices may be higher today, buying used is still cheaper than a brand new alternative. The secret to finding the best used car comes down to answering the correct questions and for the best financing deal. Find out more

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Authored by Auto Loans Reporter

Rebecca Betterton is the auto loans reporter for Bankrate. She specializes in assisting readers with the ways and pitfalls of borrowing money to purchase the car they want.

Edited by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor

Rhys has been editing and writing for Bankrate since late 2021. They are committed to helping readers gain the confidence to manage their finances by providing concise, well-studied information that breaks down otherwise complicated topics into bite-sized pieces.

Auto loans editor

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