5 Benefits of Buying a Used Car

When some people picture a used car, they think of a yellow clunker sitting in the corner of an auto lot with rusted rims, chipped paint, and a “for sale: $2,000” sign on the front windshield. They may imagine a caricature of a car salesman with a plaid suit, hat, and mustache standing in the car lot, attempting to sell naive customers crappy cars at high prices.

This image, however, is for the most part inaccurate. Sure, there are lemons out there, but many used car lots are filled with certified vehicles, and cars that look like new. If you go the used car route, as opposed to buying new, you can actually reap a variety of benefits. Check out our list of some of these used car pros.

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

Better Price

It’s nice to ride in a car that no one has ever owned before, with that new car smell and feel. But, that scent, brand new upholstery without a single flaw, and single digit mileage doesn’t come cheap. The price gap between new and used vehicles was around $20,000 as of earlier this year, according to Cars.com.

The interest rates on new cars do tend to be slightly lower than they are on used cars, however. Bankrate reports the average 48-month rates on new cars at 4%, while used car rates are slightly higher — at 4.99%. In spite of the higher rates, in most cases, you still end up with a much smaller total bill when you opt for a used vehicle.