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The Most Urgent Questions You Need to Ask Before Buying a Used Car

Is there any feeling better than finding a great deal on a used car? The automobile market has been experiencing abnormally high prices in recent years, but there are signs that car prices may finally be decreasing as the market gets back to normal and most manufacturers deal with their inventory issues.

If you’ve been holding off on getting a new vehicle until the market normalizes, 2024 may finally be your chance.

Before you start your search for used cars for sale, you need to come prepared. These are some of the most frequently asked questions about buying a used car. Make sure you’ve done your homework if you expect to get the best deals around.

When Is the Best Time to Buy a Used Car?

Timing the purchase of a used car can impact the price, depending on the seller and the rest of the market. When it was practically impossible to find anything road-worthy due to the inventory crunch, there wasn’t really much point in waiting.

Now that the market is getting back to normal, there are several time periods in which you’re more likely to save a few dollars:

  • Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve are some of the best times to buy a vehicle from a dealership.
  • The fall months are also a time when dealerships provide discounts on new vehicles as new models come in. This can cause a general price decline across the used market as new cars become more competitive.
  • The beginning of the week (Monday or Tuesday) can be a great time to get a small discount from a dealership, as there’s typically reduced foot traffic.

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Can You Find Better Deals on Used Cars for Sale Online?

You can find everything online these days, and while the auto sector was slow to follow, inevitability caught up to it. But is shopping for a car online actually cheaper than checking out dealerships and trying your hand at negotiating?

Online shopping has one advantage that going in-person never will: options. It gives you the time to explore all the available makes and models at local dealerships and private dealers. If you live in a high-cost city where you pay a premium for everything, you can even search dealerships and private sellers further out in cheaper areas.

It’s a great way to explore all of your options and find the perfect vehicle at the right price.

Should You Buy from a Dealership or Private Seller?

There are advantages to buying from either a dealership or a private seller (i.e., an individual who is selling their car privately, made easier than ever by online listings).

When you buy from a dealership, you can usually expect to pay more. Dealerships will tend to send the used cars they buy to their service departments to make sure that everything is in order (though you do have to trust their reputation). They also make the process easier, handling registration, sales tax, and other details.

Buying from a private seller is usually the best way to get a great deal. You skip the costs of having a middleman, but you will have to do things like register the vehicle and pay the sales taxes.

Shop smart for your next used car. You can get a great deal on your next used car if you know where to look.

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