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Five Factors to Consider When Buying a Used Car

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You may have heard about factors to consider when buying a new car, but what about the factors to consider when buying a used car? The pre-owned market is packed with fantastic deals for Oshkosh and Sheboygan drivers like you, but a little research can pay off in a big way when buying used. We here at Holiday Automotive are about to run through some of the most important factors to consider when buying a car such as residual value, ownership costs, features, incentives, and price. Ready? Let’s dive right in!

I) Residual Value 

One of the more major factors to consider when buying a car is residual value. While depreciation is certainly more dramatic for a new model, this is still one of the biggest things to keep in mind when buying a used car as well. Some models lose value quite quickly, which leads to much lower resale value if you sell your purchased used vehicle later. We recommend looking up the residual values for any vehicles on your short list, and consider how sale prices and dealership rebates can also cause your vehicle’s value to depreciate faster. 

II) Ownership Costs

Another one of the key factors to consider when buying a car is the cost of ownership. Once you get beyond the sticker price, what other costs can you expect from year to year? Think about insurance costs, fueling prices, maintenance costs, and more. Most financing experts agree that car expenses shouldn’t exceed 15 to 20% of your monthly budget, so weigh your options. More fuel-efficient vehicles might save you serious cash over time, and shopping around for insurance can also bring down those recurring ownership costs.

III) Features

We’ve gone through the practical stuff, but what do you really want on the road? Other West Bend and Beaver Dam area drivers have cited these as very important features in a used car:

  • Safety Features: Safety technology gets more and more advanced with every year. Features like automatic parking and backup cameras can be a huge help on the Ripon roads.
  • Interior Space: Do you need a ton of space for a growing family? Do you prefer a smaller model that can squeeze into tight parking spots? Think carefully about what body style and dimensions suit your needs.
  • Luxury Amenities: Used cars can help you enjoy luxury features on a budget, but don’t pay more for technology that you won’t use!

IV) Incentives

Incentives and trade-ins are also important factors when buying a car, because they can bring down the price significantly. Look for end-of-year clearance sales, when dealerships try to clear out the old inventory, as well as low-interest loans and other rebates. And if you have a car to trade, be sure to find your trade-in value.

V) Financing

Last but not least, the price is one of the key factors when buying a car, used or new. Not only should you shop for the most competitive prices, but also consider your own negotiating power. Do some research to see how much your car of choice costs around the area, and use that information to get a great deal. And if you’re not planning to buy in cash, check your credit score to get a better idea about your financing options. 

Find Your Next Car at Holiday Automotive

We’ve gone through the factors to consider when buying a used car, now put your skills to work at Holiday Automotive! We’d be happy to help you find just the right vehicle at just the right price, so contact us today!


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