About once a week I come across an article that claims to give “car buying hacks,” or purports to tell “secrets the dealer doesn’t want you to know.” While some of this advice is helpful, other tips are just blanket statements that maybe won’t result in you getting the best deal. Here are some “rules” that get tossed around quite often, but aren’t always helpful. Never Buy New I’ve covered this topic before, but the maxim persists. The concept is based on the fact that cars depreciate as soon as they drive off the lot and therefore a used car will be cheaper than a new one. The reality is that the potential savings are dependent upon the car and the market. Often I’ll get customers who aren’t really in the market for a used car and intend on buying new, but then they say “If I can save a few grand by getting 1 or 2-year-old version, with low miles I’ll do that.” Typically, lightly used luxury cars that are only one or two years old will save you thousands of dollars due to the fact that their depreciation curve is much steeper, but mainstream brands that have a reputation for reliability may not offer the value you are expecting. Pre-owned cars over three years old will yield more savings when compared to the brand new model. When comparing used and new prices, realize that the market for lightly used cars usually does not have a lot of markup…. [Read full story]
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