Used Cars: Best Price Doesn’t Always Mean Best Deal

Shopping for used cars can sometimes seem overwhelming, with so many makes, models, and let’s not forget trim levels, to choose from, the landscape is an expanse of options. For those who have a good idea of what they really want in a vehicle though, from color, to seat materials, to powertrain, the price ranges start to come into view. As you start keeping track of said vehicles and comparing them, the natural inclination is to be drawn to the lowest price and thus, “best deal,” but before you put pen to paper, be sure to do your due diligence to see just how good it is.

Maintenance History

Checking out the vehicle’s CarFax is nice, helping ensure it wasn’t recently found at the bottom of a lake or there’s no good reason to suspect it drives at a 45 degree angle, but your detective work shouldn’t end there. How much of the car’s history is there in regards to regular maintenance? CarFax doesn’t always include this information, are there service records that can be shown? Cars are more reliable than ever, but every car has manufacturer recommended maintenance intervals, so keep internal wear and tear in mind should you find a better price on a lower mile version of your dream car, because not all miles are created equal. 

Accident History

Looping back around to CarFax, many equate this report to accident repair reporting. It’s good to know this, even for simple bumps and bruises, as there could be a bent frame involved or something seemingly smaller like damaged suspension, which then creates knock-on effects to performance, creating extra wear on connected parts and on down the line. A quality dealership will be keenly aware of these situations, but when buying from a private seller it’s especially important to have a mechanic look over the work if you don’t feel comfortable doing so. If the vehicle has a salvage title, then you definitely want to know details before purchasing.  

Where You Buy

Finally, whether you’re comparing dealerships versus each other, or dealers versus private sellers, trust your judgement with who seems like they’ll take care of you after the sale. Briggs has made our name and success with repeat business through great customer service. We invite you to check out our expansive inventory and give us a try today.

Car Buying: New vs. Used

Whether to buy new or used cars is a long-standing conundrum for many. There are certainly people with their heals dug into both ends of the spectrum, and plenty of regular folks in the middle just trying to get a deal. We’re here to discuss the pro’s and con’s to both in an effort to help guide you into being an informed buyer. 

Typically, buying a used car is cheaper than buying a new car. You can usually get a car that is three to four years older than the newest version and have it be almost half the price. When you purchase a used car the price depreciates, especially within the first two years. This depreciation of cost means that the price of ownership diminishes per year. You may have heard that insuring a new car is more expensive than a used car, but that’s not always the case. It’s true that more expensive cars generally cost more to insure, and new cars tend to be more expensive than older ones. But new cars also have several things going for them that can make their insurance rates lower, such as:

  • Newer and improved safety features: A car with modern safety features is seen as cheaper to insure, as they can not only be safer in an accident, but also potentially less likely to get in an accident in the case of driver-assist technology. Saying that, many late model used vehicles have great safety features too, so be sure to read the spec sheet.
  • Likelihood of theft: A new car isn’t usually the most appealing target for thieves, as anti-theft technology continues to progress. They’re more likely to go for a popular model with parts that have remained unchanged for years, because it’s easy to strip down and part out. Again though, be sure to check the spec’s on both new and used, as there can be a vehicle by vehicle difference. 

A common misconception about used cars is that they are less reliable, but this is simply not true. Cars have never been more dependable than they are today. With proper maintenance the hundred-thousand-mile mark isn’t the big deal it was in yesteryear. Interestingly enough, the cost of renewing your registration is also cheaper on a used car.

Luckily for you, whether you want to get a new car or a used car, Briggs is the right place for you. The Supercenter has a wide selection of top quality used vehicles, but our family of stores also has plenty of new as well. Contact us today and let us help find the one that’s right for you!

Why to Buy Your Next Used Car From a Dealer

When shopping for a new-to-you used car there’s a lot to consider, from your own wants and needs, up to the current state of, and history of the vehicle you’re looking at. Price is often cited as the largest factor in a vehicle purchase, but do not forget when looking at the sticker to also include the long-term “price” of this vehicle. Private sellers can sometimes offer seemingly great deals, but when is it too good to be true?

Trust
A dealership has a reputation to uphold, dealers build clientele and success in an area through repeat business both with sales and service. If you’re unhappy with your purchase, then you’re also highly unlikely to return for even simple maintenance. Long-term trust is not a concern for a private seller. There’s nothing to compel them to disclose known issues that may be difficult to find during a basic walkaround or are otherwise benefitting from a short-term patch that won’t be discovered until literally down the road. Dealerships inspect vehicles added to their inventory and repair major issues when found before you ever get to see them. If you’re looking at a certified pre-owned vehicle, then that’s an even more stringent inspection, but for the sake of this article, we’ll stick with standard used cars.

Selection and Warranty
Dealerships have first pick at vehicles coming off of factory leases, and they get a steady stream of trade-ins from new car buyers, meaning a hand-picked selection for you to shop. This often means lightly used cars, and can also mean potential remaining warranties. Depending on your choice of vehicle and dealer, an extended warranty is an option only found at a dealership as well. Peace of mind should be a consideration in your purchase.

Financing and Taxes
The ability to finance your purchase and include your sales tax provides the opportunity to lighten the monthly financial load and build credit. Dealerships have relationships with multiple lenders, so can help you with creating finance options that work for you, as well as creating a competitive environment for said lenders as they compete for your business.

Regardless of whether you buy from a dealer or private seller, just do not be afraid to ask questions and do your research on the model and model year of the vehicle of which you’re considering. Ask yourself how long you expect the car to last, and remember that what you pay that day isn’t necessarily the final price.

What are the Cheapest Cars to Insure?

When shopping for used cars you are looking for a good deal, and the price of car insurance is a big consideration in that. There are many factors that go into the price of insuring a car, such as age, gender, geographical location, and years of driving experience to name a few. Though many of those things are out of your control, you can control which car you purchase, and that is a huge influencer of the price of insurance. We want you to know what goes into this so you can make an educated guess yourself during the shopping process.

 

Car insurance is determined based on the risk determined that the driver and the vehicle present. Probably unsurprisingly, when you add more features to your vehicle, the price of insuring said vehicle rises. An obvious example is if you decided to purchase an engine with more horsepower, your insurance is likely to rise because the insurer believes you’re at a greater risk for speeding and getting in an accident. Also, more high-end features means more money to repair, which causes car insurance prices to rise as a consequence. 

 

If you want cheaper insurance, a good rule of thumb is to avoid these types of cars:

  • Sports cars – typically more expensive to insure because of the higher speed potential of the vehicle, and if you’re a young person and driving a sports car, the insurance companies will think you are at a higher risk of having an accident.
  • Luxury vehicles – luxury vehicles have more expensive parts, and if the vehicle is totaled, it costs more to replace.
  • Electric vehicles – Electric vehicles can be more expensive to insure based on their higher price to purchase, and replacing an EV battery costs thousands of dollars.
  • Vehicles targeted by thieves Comprehensive insurance pays out if your car is stolen; it also covers damage from vandalism, fire, floods, and other problems.

 

If you want cheaper insurance, you should try and purchase a vehicle that has a higher safety rating, and a vehicle that is larger. Owning a vehicle with a high safety rating means there is a lower chance of needing to pay for your or your passengers’ medical bills, which means your rate will be lower. The safety rating is based on several factors, including the likelihood of the car’s owner getting into an accident, and also how likely a passenger is to be injured in an accident. Safety features such as airbags, automatic seat belts, and traction control help make your car safer, which makes you less likely to get in an accident in the first place, as well as making it less dangerous for passengers in worst-case scenarios. Larger cars are generally, but not always, safer than smaller cars in an accident, therefore, many larger cars with good safety ratings have lower premiums than smaller cars with otherwise similar ratings. However, cars with larger engines relative to body size tend to have higher rates – for instance, insuring a sports car with a V8 engine costs much more than a small car with a four-cylinder engine. 

 

These are all simply guidelines, as there are always outliers, but the price of insurance varies from person to person even when buying the same vehicle. To know what your exact rate is going to be, it’s always best to reach out to your insurance agent and consult with them.