Is it time to upgrade your Lawrenceville commute with a new ride? Then you may be wondering whether to buy a new car or a used one. While buying a new vehicle can be simple, a used car can be much more cost-effective, though it requires some extra research. How do you choose?
If you’re leaning more towards a used or certified pre-owned model to help you meet your financial goals, Rick Hendrick Chevrolet Duluth can help. In our Used Car Buyer’s Guide, our team goes over everything you need to know, from whether it’s better to buy a new or used car to what’s considered good mileage for a used car, to simplify the entire process. Get all the information you need to shop for a pre-owned model with confidence with Rick Hendrick Chevrolet Duluth!
Is it Better to Buy a New or Used Car?
Before jumping into what to look for when buying a used car, it’s important to make sure a used car is right for you. Compare the pros and cons of new vs. used cars to learn which will best suit your Suwanee travels:
New Car Benefits
- Modern Technology: A brand-new vehicle will come equipped with all the latest in-vehicle technology, performance, and safety features for a more connected and convenient drive.
- Better Fuel Efficiency: With hybrids and EVs entering the market, today’s new vehicles compete for fuel efficiency, many working to squeeze as many miles out of your gas tank as possible! Even brand-new trucks and SUVs will offer better fuel economy than their earlier model years.
- Full Warranty Coverage: When you buy or lease a new vehicle, you’re protected by the manufacturer’s new vehicle warranty. These new warranties typically come with bumper-to-bumper and powertrain protection for a set number of years or miles.
New Car Disadvantages
- More Expensive: New cars have plenty of benefits but are higher-priced than used cars, even before factoring in sales tax and insurance.
Used Car Benefits
- More Cost-Effective: Used cars have the advantage of reduced sticker prices, as well as savings on insurance, registration, and taxes, allowing them to fit into a wider variety of Johns Creek driver’s budgets.
- Slower Depreciation: Regardless of make or model, new vehicles steeply depreciate the moment they’re purchased and driven off the dealership lot. Much of the depreciation occurs within the first few years, which puts used-car drivers at an advantage. Buying used means your vehicle will depreciate at a much slower rate, allowing you to maintain the value of your car for longer.
- Less Chance for Negative Equity: Thanks to the reduced depreciation and cost of used vehicles, financing a pre-owned model is a safer bet as you’re at less risk of becoming “upside-down” on the loan.
Used Car Disadvantages
- Higher Interest Rates: Lenders tend to charge higher interest rates on loans used for pre-owned vehicles, leading to higher monthly payments for the duration of the loan. Still, the loan term will be much shorter, and the total loan amount will be much lower than if you were to buy a new vehicle, meaning you can still find significant savings.
What to Look for When Buying a Used Car
If you’ve weighed all the pros and cons of new vs. used cars and decided a used model makes the most sense for your financial situation, it’s time to take the next steps! Discover what to look for when buying a used car and how the purchasing process works by following the steps below:
- Set Your Budget: When budgeting for the cost of your next used car, most personal finance experts recommend your monthly expenses shouldn’t exceed 10% of your monthly income. That’s not just the sticker price, either– factor in the cost of future repairs, new tires, service, and interest as well.
- Find the Right Used Car: With so many used vehicles on the market, it’s important to narrow your search to models that will match your lifestyle and the budget you’ve set. Use reputable websites like Car and Driver, Kelley Blue Book, and Edmunds to look up reviews and reliability ratings.
- Test Drive & Inspect Models: Once you’ve found a few models you’re interested in, browse Rick Hendrick Chevrolet Duluth’s used inventory for your favorite used car! You can come to our Duluth location, inspect the vehicle on the lot, and take it for a test drive to get a feel for its performance.
- Explore Used Car Financing & Warranty Options: If you’re ready to commit, talk to our finance team. Our experts will walk you through all your financing options, available warranty coverages, and potential incentives or tax breaks you may be eligible for.
What to Ask When Buying a Used Car
Regardless of what vehicle you’re interested in, you’ll want to get as much information about the car you’re interested in before completing your purchase. Ask these questions while test driving or inspecting the vehicle for a more comprehensive idea of its condition:
- Are there any current recalls on the vehicle?
- What is the ownership history?
- Do you have the title in hand?
- Is the vehicle history report available?
- Is there a history of maintenance?
- What is the vehicle’s mileage?
- Do the amenities and features work like they’re supposed to?
- Is the car as is, or is it under warranty?
- Can I take the car to a mechanic for an inspection?
- How was the vehicle priced?
- Does this vehicle affect your insurance premiums?
What Is Good Mileage for a Used Car?
When deciding what to look for when buying a used car, many drivers prioritize mileage. After all, the mileage reading on an odometer can be an indication of a vehicle’s condition, right? Well, not exactly. Mileage is only one of several factors that can determine a pre-owned vehicle’s condition. While a vehicle with 100,000 miles may seem like a risk, it could actually be a great deal depending on its previous usage, location, maintenance history, and age! Find out how all of these factors interact with mileage below:
- Usage: Find out how the previous owner drove the vehicle. A used car driven 60,000 miles in stop-and-go traffic will have more wear and tear than one driven 60,000 miles on the highway.
- Location: Used models stored and driven in warm, dry climates undergo less strain than vehicles kept in cold or wet climates.
- Maintenance: Ask for a complete maintenance history. Even a vehicle with extensive mileage can be kept in good condition with regular service and repair. A car with no maintenance history, or a spotty one, can be a red flag.
- Age: No matter how well a vehicle is maintained, age can eventually catch up with the parts. Have a certified mechanic check for signs of rusting or degradation in key components for older models.
So, what is good mileage for a used car? There is no concrete answer. Mileage must be considered alongside all the other factors mentioned above for a more holistic idea of the vehicle’s condition. For example, a pre-owned car with 80,000 miles, a thorough maintenance history, and driven in a warm climate may be a better deal than a used model with 20,000 miles and no maintenance history that is ten years old. Always get as much information about the vehicle’s history as possible to ensure you’re making an informed purchase for your next Norcross commuter vehicle.
Take These Steps After Buying a Used Car
After you’ve found a vehicle that meets all your needs, you’re ready to sign on the dotted line! But, before you drive home, there are a few additional steps after buying a used car to keep in mind:
- Get Insurance: Driving without insurance on the Buford roads is illegal! Don’t drive home without having some sort of insurance coverage.
- Transfer the Title & Register the Car: When you buy a used or CPO vehicle at Rick Hendrick Chevrolet Duluth, our team will take care of this step for you. If you purchase a used car from a private seller, you’ll need to gather the title and registration and take a trip to your local DMV to have all the paperwork transferred to your name.
- Check for Recalls: If you didn’t think of this during the test drive or inspection, check for any recalls on your vehicle.
- Choose a Mechanic You Trust & Schedule Service: Your new-to-you vehicle may need a few parts replaced or minor repairs. Trust the service team at Rick Hendrick Chevrolet Duluth to refresh and tune up your used car, truck, or SUV so you can commute with confidence! Schedule an appointment online and get your pre-owned model in tip-top shape.
- Review the Owner’s Manual: Read your owner’s manual and familiarize yourself with your vehicle. Inside you’ll find important information like recommended maintenance schedules and part recommendations, as well as unique features you can take advantage of on your daily drives.
Explore the Used Car Inventory at Rick Hendrick Chevrolet Duluth!
Now that you know more about what’s considered good mileage for a used car and what steps to take after purchasing, you’re ready to start your search at Rick Hendrick Chevrolet Duluth! Whether you’re looking for a gently-used luxury model or a pre-owned vehicle with low mileage, Rick Hendrick Chevrolet Duluth has the inventory to help you find what you need. Contact us today to set up a test drive in Duluth of your favorite used car for sale, and our team will be waiting to put you behind the wheel.