A number of factors have all come together to make now an excellent time to be shopping for a car in Calgary. People across the province are looking to cut costs and minimize expenses, and some people are swapping out larger and more costly vehicles for smaller, more economic models, while others are selling off unnecessary second cars and trucks. New car sales are down, and a large number of used cars are available. The market favours buyers!
If you’re going to be making a foray into the used car market, put yourself in position to get the best possible deal by taking the time to review proven buyers’ tips and best practices for buying a vehicle. There are many advantages to purchasing a used car, and you’ll make the most of them by educating yourself.
The Advantages of Buying Used
Being a used car buyer gives you a market edge in many respects. Here are a few of the key advantages of purchasing a previously owned vehicle:
- The car’s original owner took the biggest vehicle depreciation hit, allowing you to recoup a higher percentage of your original investment through the resale price
- Auto insurance rates tend to be lower for older cars and trucks than they are for new ones
- Buying a used vehicle makes it easier to judge a particular make and model’s reliability; cars and trucks that are a few years old but still look great and run well are better investments
- There’s no way to tell how well a new car will “age”
- Used cars are more affordable, giving you enhanced financial flexibility
Doing your due diligence is the key to enjoying these advantages. With that in mind, let’s move on to explore helpful tips and best practices for used vehicle shoppers.
A Step-by-Step Guide to Making a Good Used Car Buy
Being thorough from the very beginning of the process is the best way to make a smart used vehicle purchase.
- Do your research. Check consumer reports, buyers’ guides and other resources for market-specific tips and current trends in the Alberta used car market.
- Establish your price range. What is the maximum amount of money you can comfortably spend on your vehicle purchase? Set your upper limit before you start shopping, and stick to it.
- Find a source. By and large, you’ll find better deals when you purchase used vehicles directly from the current owner. Dealerships tend to inflate their prices, and some will not provide quality guarantees.
- Look into the particular make and model you’re considering. When you’ve identified a particular vehicle you’re interested in, check into specifics for that make and model year. Learn about common problems and how well you can expect that vehicle to perform both now and a few years from now.
- Perform a thorough check. Inspect every corner of the vehicle, inside and out. Make sure all signals, lights, instrumentation, climate controls and entertainment devices are working properly.
- Take it for a test drive. Experts recommend running the car through its entire range of gears, and test driving at both city and highway speeds. Watch and listen carefully for any rattling, grinding, squeaking or rumbling sounds, particularly when cornering, accelerating and/or braking.
- Negotiate a price. The key to successful negotiating is being prepared to walk away. If the seller isn’t willing to meet what you consider a fair price, continue your search elsewhere.
It’s also recommended that you have any car or truck you’re thinking of buying inspected by a licensed mechanic. A professional eye can catch problems that might otherwise have eluded you.
Car Insurance Considerations for Your Newly Acquired Vehicle
You should also think about insurance before, not after, you make the purchase. Many buyers have fallen into the trap of finding out too late that it’s a lot more expensive to get coverage for a particular vehicle than they originally anticipated.
Factors that can influence insurance rates include:
- Whether or not a particular vehicle is a hot target for thieves
- How fuel-efficient or eco-friendly the vehicle is
It’s always a good idea to contact an insurance provider to get a ballpark figure for the make, model and year you’re considering. There are plenty of discounts available for safe drivers. Get a fast, free quote from Lane’s for car insurance in Calgary as part of your research.
Why Choose a Broker for Your Car Insurance in Calgary?
When you work with the brokers at Lane’s Insurance, you’re securing the assistance of a specially trained insurance professional who always acts with your best interests in mind. Brokers provide an important buffer between insurance providers and consumers, and getting one on your side is always a wise decision.