Overcoming the Common Disadvantages of a Used Car


When purchasing a new vehicle, one of the first choices that every driver has to make is whether they’re buying used or new. There are some obvious advantages and disadvantages to both of them, but surprisingly, the main thing that deters drivers from buying straight from the manufacturer is the cost. In order to overcome the main disadvantages of a used car, we first need to look at why buying a used car can be problematic. Then, we’ll analyse each point to give you some advice on how to overcome them.

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Unknown Quality

An annoying quality about used cars is their tendency to be questionable in quality. Buying a used car, no matter how reliable it was for the previous owner or how efficient it used to be, doesn’t guarantee that the information is true and it doesn’t mean you’re going to get a similar experience when you buy it. Cars can change over time and every time from the tires to the engines can wear out especially if the car hasn’t been used for a while. In a worst-case scenario, the vehicle might completely collapse after some brief use or it might stop working as efficiently as it used to.

The best way to prevent this happening is to look at the history of the car you are buying. For instance, when you buy from rebelford.com.au, you know the exact history of a vehicle, what its previous owner did and so on. You also know if you’re buying a used car, an ex-demo car or even a like-new vehicle. When you buy from a used car dealership, ensure they offer you as much information as possible and also consider test driving the vehicle if possible. If you’re given the chance to sample the vehicle before buying it, then always take advantage of this. The last thing you want is to drive out of the car dealership and have the vehicle break down a week later, or be disappointed at the degraded performance of your vehicle and be forced to pay maintenance and upgrade costs to restore it to its former glory.

Limited Warranty

The problem with used cars is that they come with limited warranty. Many used car dealers will offer warranties, but they aren’t as comprehensive and don’t last as long as buying a vehicle straight from a manufacturer or a new car dealership. This means you’ll need to maintain your used car properly and take better care of it as opposed to a new car.

However, this can easily be overcome by simply taking better care of your vehicle. For instance, make sure that the tires are properly maintained and that tire pressure is something you monitor on a regular basis to make driving smoother and safer for yourself. In addition, practice defensive driving so that you’re less likely to end up in and accident in the future. In short, protect your vehicle as well as yourself if you want to overcome the limited warranty periods that are offered by used car dealerships. When in doubt, remember that you still have car insurance cover to fall back on in order to save your vehicle from expensive repair costs.

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Lower Resale and Trade-In Value

Another problem with used cars is that you have a lower resale and trade-in value. As cars get older, they naturally lower in value. This means you’ll get less money when you decide to upgrade your vehicle, and it might mean that you’ll have trouble selling it if the model is too old. To give yourself a quick quote, check out this car value calculator from autotrader.com to see how much an older vehicle would actually cost if you’re selling.

Sadly, there isn’t much you can do to prevent this. Some car dealerships will deduct money from your vehicle if they notice it’s in bad condition. However, if you want to ensure it’s at the highest possible resale and trade-in value, then you should keep your car well-maintained and ensure it’s sparkling and clean when you decide to trade in. To do this, make sure you’re spotless about rubbish and junk coming into your vehicle. Keep a hand vacuum ready for when you need to clean up and remember to give your car a wash every now and then. Not only does this help it retain sale value, it also keeps your car running perfectly. You should also speak to mechanics to help you keep the vehicle running as smoothly as possible. In some cases, you might find that your vehicle’s parts are degrading and need replacements to keep it operating well. If you try to trade it in while it’s in a bad state, then money will be deducted from the final sale or trade in price. While it might not be worth fixing these issues for the sake of selling your vehicle, it’s always a good idea to ask a mechanic to inspect your vehicle and keep it well-maintained.

Outdated Safety and Technology

When buying an older vehicle, you might be given an older model with outdated technology, a lack of new electronic systems and even poor fuel economy. Much like the problem with resale value, there is very little you can do to fix these issues. As a result, you may want to consider buying a newer model of a used vehicle if possible. This only really matters if the vehicle itself is lacking something you need, such as air conditioning, built-in GPS or brake assist systems.

In order to save yourself buying a vehicle that is outdated, consider doing research on the make or model of your vehicle and try to look for better alternatives. The car dealership might stock a newer model of the vehicle, but keep in mind that it may cost more money. In some cases, updated electronics and systems can be installed in older models of a vehicle, but this requires the expertise and knowledge of a mechanic and usually isn’t something you can do yourself.

In short, buying a used car does come with some disadvantages, but they can easily be overcome and the savings you make will ultimately go a long way to make driving a viable option for everyone.


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About Sean Mackay

Sean writes about cars, golf and events going on in British Columbia, Canada. He is also the editor for The Automotive Review - an automotive publication bringing a West Coast flavour to its editorials.
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