With the house market failing, higher gas prices, and the economy falling to dangerous levels, things have changed in the world of used cars making it the perfect time to buy one. People are spending less in general and automakers and banks are changing the way they finance and provide vehicles to the public. This means the smart shopper can save thousands of dollars more than they could a few short years ago.
If you are hoping to pick up a small hybrid vehicle in an effort to survive the high gas prices, you had better be prepared to pay. Out of all the vehicles available, these are hard to find and it will certainly cost you when you find one. Those searching for a vehicle who do not plan on using it extensively may want to consider larger trucks and SUVs or foreign luxury cars. These types of vehicles are difficult to get rid of so the dealer will be more likely to drop the already lower price. Because foreign luxury cars are difficult to sell now, manufacturers are offering big incentives.
Manufacturer’s incentives sound great, but the fine print doesn’t always mean it is a good deal. Many of these plans require high down payments or have catches requiring you to finance with them at a higher interest. By the time all the dollars and cents are added in, they aren’t a whole lot cheaper than they were before. It’s not that there aren’t any great programs out there, it just means you need to be cautious.
‘New’ Used Cars
Several models that have come out in the last few years were poor sellers. Now that they are making their way back into used car lots, they are selling significantly lower than their MSRP. You can pick one up that is only a few years old with extremely low mileage for half to three-quarters their invoice price.
The big automakers like Chrysler are doing away with their lease programs or remodeling them to make them more expensive. This means getting a lease buy-back for an affordable price will be next to impossible in the coming years. The cost of next-to-new vehicles will be considerably higher.
The economic slowdown means that many people have less money to spend on a vehicle. Instead of stretching out their financing to buy a more expensive vehicle, they are searching for older vehicles in good condition. Older vehicles are selling for slightly higher prices as a result, so those looking to upgrade an older car will get a better price and have more money to play with when it comes to finding a replacement.
Finance companies have stiffened their rules making it harder for people to spend beyond their means. This particularly holds true for new vehicles. In these situations, a good used car is the only option available.
While the current economic situation has been devastating for the stock market and housing, it has seen the used car market to flourish. Vehicles that are barely broke in are returning to the lot giving those who need a vehicle the opportunity to purchase an almost new vehicle at amazing prices. In the end, the days of roads filled with new vehicles are ending and the older models are appearing in American driveways to take their place.