Research and Preparation for Arlington Used Car Shopping

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Like with any other high-value item you’re considering purchasing in the near or distant future, doing some quality research before buying a used car is important. No one in their right mind wants to toss around thousands of dollars without knowing exactly what they’ll be getting in return, and given all the different features and qualities a used car will present, and how these vary between makes and models, preparing yourself ahead of time is particularly important in this realm.

At Adonis Auto Group, we’re here to offer not only a robust selection of used cars, which we offer to a variety of Arlington clients, including those with no or bad credit, but also assistance with the important details that go into this process. What are some of the key areas of research you should be performing before buying any used car, plus some general tips for your approach and who you should be working with? Here are several recommendations we often make to assist our clients and ensure they have all the right information to make their decision.

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The Value of Used Car Buying

First and foremost, one of the big decisions many buyers will have to make is whether to purchase new or used. Both these sides of the coin have their advantages, but developments over the last decade or two have definitely pushed some customers who might have been on the fence toward the used car end of things.

There are two key reasons for this: The fast-rising prices of new cars on the market, for one, and the simple reality of new car depreciation. Average new car prices are well over $35,000 today, which is no small figure – some people can’t afford this, even with loans or financing. In addition, as many are well aware, a new car loses at least 10% of its value the second you drive it off the lot, and usually even more than this. Total depreciation during the first year can be over 20% on new cars, and this process will continue. When you purchase used, however, it’s the previous owner who took the brunt of the depreciation hit, and you won’t deal with the same concerns – and of course, you’ll be paying a lower price to begin with.

Importance of a Quality Dealer

Historically, there’s one paramount reason that stands out above all others for why some people have been reticent to purchase used: Fear of being taken advantage of. Especially among those who aren’t car experts, there’s always that thought in the back of your mind that someone might be trying to pull the wool over your eyes, either by pricing the car for far more than it’s worth or by concealing major problems with the vehicle.

This is where working with a reputable, quality dealer like ours at Adonis Auto Group is so important. A quality dealer removes virtually all of the risks we went over above, with programs like certified pre-owned vehicles that require high-quality inspection and reporting of vehicle quality. Dealerships offer not only competitive prices, but also features like warranties, rebates and others that allow you to receive a great vehicle that’s backed up in several ways. 

Drawbacks to Owner Sales

The above is in stark contrast to purchasing a vehicle used through a private seller, which has several potential pitfalls. One of these is simple, and holds over the entire situation: A private seller has no reputation to uphold. They won’t be coming back into work the next morning and continuing to sell used cars – if this were the case, they’d have to be a lot more responsible to the people they sell to. But without this kind of accountability, private sellers are free to misrepresent information and otherwise attempt to fool you if they so desire.

This results in a few different potential issues, most or all of which simply aren’t present with a quality dealer. Not only do you have to be very sure you can confirm the quality of the vehicle and ensure there aren’t hidden problems, you may also deal with price haggling – something that’s been eliminated from the dealership experience entirely in recent years, to the joy of many clients who hated the process. Simply put, there are several reasons to avoid the private seller and go with a reputable dealership.

Reading a Vehicle History Report

No matter which route you go for your purchase, it’s important to be aware of and at least somewhat familiar with vehicle history reports. Offered by third parties like CARFAX and others, these are detailed reports that will give you important information about the history of the vehicle. You should be aware of exactly what’s in these reports for any vehicle you’re considering, but you should also know that they’re sometimes incomplete – they cannot be the single document you rely on for a private sale, for instance. Yet again, this is a good reason why going through a dealership is the way to go.

Online Vs. In-Person

The rise of online resources has improved the used car purchasing experience in several ways. You have the ability to browse our entire used car inventory online, narrowing down your choices to only the very best options.

Whenever possible, however, we do recommend combining the online browsing experience with in-person shopping. Once you’ve narrowed your list down to a few of the best cars, it’s ideal to give these a test drive and perhaps a more detailed in-person look-over. You want to be sure you’re comfortable in the vehicle, plus that it has the proper space and features to meet your day-to-day needs.

For more on used car shopping research, or to learn about any of our used car lots in Arlington or other areas, speak to the staff at Adonis Auto Group today.

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