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Used Cars: Better Choice than New?

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When shopping for a car, choosing between new or used means considering a lot of different factors. New cars are under warranty, while with some used cars, you have to worry about the vehicle’s maintenance history and hope there are no problems. On the other hand, used cars tend to be more affordable than new cars, and you can often get more car for your money. Now there are a couple more reasons to give used cars another look: Used car prices have been declining and carmakers are offering deals on their certified pre-owned models.

CNBC reports that wholesale prices (the price dealerships pay for a vehicle at an auction) in September have fallen across the board for cars, trucks and SUVs, anywhere from $187 to $469 compared with a year ago. CNBC attributes this decline to consumers replacing their older vehicles with a new one, an increase in financing approvals for new car shoppers with lower credit scores and attractive new car prices, which may sway some shoppers to choose new versus a slightly used model.

The Detroit Free Press points out that new car buyers are helping lower used car prices. “A sustained rise in new-car sales has boosted the supply of late-model used cars. Why? Because now there is a fresh, new supply of traded-in vehicles. More supply means prices can drop.”

If you’re considering a used or certified pre-owned vehicle, you’re likely to find more incentives across more brands. BMW recently announced its “first ever” certified pre-owned sales event. BMW is offering used car buyers either 0.9 percent financing or up to a $1,500 payment credit. Other luxury brands are offering similar used car deals on their CPO vehicles. Mercedes-Benz has 1.99 percent financing on select CPO models. Audi is promoting interest rates as low as 0.9 percent on all its certified pre-owned vehicles. Certified pre-owned Land Rovers can be purchased with 0.9, 1.9 or 2.9 percent financing, depending on the model and loan length.

Luxury automotive brands aren’t the only ones offering purchase deals on their used vehicles. Toyota, Volkswagen, Mazda and Subaru all have certified pre-owned deals right now. Subaru’s 0.99 percent financing is good on all 2007 to 2012 model-year CPO vehicles. Toyota is offering buyers 1.9 percent financing for up to five years on most of its certified pre-owned models through early January. VW’s 1.99 percent CPO deal is good for up to four years on all certified pre-owned vehicles. Mazda is offering financing rates as low as 0.9 percent for select CPO models.

With extended warranties, purchase deals and lower prices, certified pre-owned and used cars might be a better choice than new cars right now. Research both to make sure you get the best deal.   

Shopping for a used vehicle? Check out our Used Car Rankings, where you can compare used cars by class, model year and budget. Then, look for a great deal on a used car by checking out this month’s best used car deals. Also, be sure to follow us on TwitterFacebook and Pinterest.

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