Buying a car right now is brutal.
Between the sharp rise in demand and low inventory due to supply-chain shortages, the already challenging car shopping experience has become harder than ever—and more expensive.
Kelley Blue Book cites the average cost for a used car is $25,000. This is a $4,000 increase from pre-pandemic prices, the highest it’s ever been. New cars are also selling for an all-time high of nearly $43,000. That figure is up from $37,000 in 2019.
According to Consumer Reports, new car loan payments are up roughly 24 percent compared to 10 years ago. American auto loan debt has now surpassed $1.4 trillion—more than the GDP of entire countries, like Australia—and jaw-dropping prices on new and used cars are further contributing to this growing debt.
The usual discounts and promotions have disappeared, making it easy to overpay. To avoid overpaying, consider these tips and advice:
Make a budget and stick to it
The simplest method to avoid overspending is to make a budget. Figure out what you’re comfortable spending, and don’t go over that dollar amount.
In today’s market, it might be worth considering a loan, but don’t be tempted to borrow more than you can afford. Take out a small loan, if necessary, or wait a few months and save some more money.
Buy a certified used car
Certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles are some of the best used cars you can get. They tend to have fewer miles and little signs of wear and tear.
These cars tend to be owned by rental agencies, government employees, or big businesses in the private sector. They also come with a manufacturer-backed warranty and go through a thorough inspection process, so they’re less likely to have unexpected issues down the road.
Check the car facts
Every used car has a history. Some might be more checkered than others and have a higher number of accidents or owners.
It’s worth investing in vehicle history reports before you purchase a used car.
They can tell you everything from the last oil change to any major repairs. Even if you find a car that looks clean and scratch-free on the outside, check the history.
Set aside an emergency fund
Used cars tend to require a little more TLC. Not all car owners stay on top of their maintenance. Putting a little extra money aside each month gives you a cushion in case you need to pay for an unexpected expense. This is especially important if you’re buying a non-CPO vehicle or car with no warranty.
Check out your local new and used car dealership
Local dealers are likely to have a variety of makes and models to choose from.
At Bryant Motors, all of our pre-owned vehicles are evaluated by certified ASE technicians before they ever hit the lot. Plus, we’ve got a wide range of brand new vehicles to fit your needs, including Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram.