Used Car Buying: Getting the Timing Right



 Want to get the best bang for your buck when looking for a used car deal? It comes down to three factors: What you buy when you buy, and where you buy it.

What you buy will have the greatest impact on the used car deal that you get, and if you make your purchase at the right time you can save big.

It’s an interesting time to buy used, with the average retail used car price reaching a new record high in the first quarter of the year across the broad market, but with low prices in some segments and an increasing number of lease returns set to drive prices down across the board. According to automotive researcher Edmunds.com, the rate of three-year leasing grew 27.1 percent between 2012 and 2013. Those cars leased in 2013 are now flooding the used car market.

In many ways the record high transaction price is more of an indication of the type and age of vehicles coming into the used market, rather than the trend for any single model. SUVs and high-trim pickups make up a growing portion of the lease segment, and their return into the used car market is one factor skewing the average used car market price upward.

Most cars and trucks coming off lease are only 3 years old, and they’re being returned in great shape to avoid excessive wear charges, and they have low miles to avoid excess mileage charges. Those attributes also contribute to their higher prices in the used car market. In short, used cars today are newer than they have been and therefore more expensive.

What to Buy

To find the best deals, look where the new car market is heading and go the opposite way. Sales of compact SUVs are hot right now, and many of those buyers are moving to them from sub compact, compact, and midsize cars. Low fuel prices and the steadily improving economy have increased the demand for truck and SUVs, while sales of smaller cars have languished.

“Interestingly, some of the less popular segments in today’s market were the most popular leased vehicles in 2013: mid-size cars, compact cars and entry luxury cars,” said Edmunds analyst Ivan Drury in a recent press release.

That means it’s a great time to be looking for cars like the Honda Civic, Hyundai Sonata, Mini Cooper, Acura ILX, or Cadillac ATS. Those smaller cars and midsize sedans are being returned in excellent condition with low miles when their leases end, but the supply is outpacing the demand, creating opportunities for buyers.

More opportunities come from owned compact and midsize vehicles that are being traded in as down payments on SUVs and crossovers, though they’re likely to be older with higher mileage.

When to Buy a Used Car

Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. Inc.

Seasonal trends can also create chances to get a great used car deal. Typically, used car prices are at their lowest in the early winter, with dealers looking to reduce inventory just before the end of the year. Prices then typically climb through the spring and summer months before starting to decline through the late fall.

If you’re looking for a specific vehicle, you can learn from some annual trends. As summer approaches, demand for convertibles naturally rises. When winter nears, prices for all-wheel drive vehicles, crossovers, and SUVs climb. Buy a convertible in the late fall or an SUV in the spring, and you can save some money.

Fuel prices also have a great impact on buying behavior and used car prices. The current surge in SUV and pickup buying is being driven in a large part by cheap gas prices. That has also reduced the demand for small vehicles and alternative-fuel cars and trucks. With cheap gas and a redesigned Toyota Prius recently arriving on the market, it would seem to be an excellent time to buy a three-year-old Prius or any of the other hybrid models available.

When fuel prices start to rise – and they certainly will at some point – many trucks and large SUV owners will start to see their total cost of ownership dramatically rise. Those thirsty cars and trucks will begin to flood the used market.

Pickup trucks are an interesting segment of the market. There are two typical buying groups, including those who buy their trucks for work, use them hard, and keep them forever. The pickup lease customer, on the other hand, often has a higher trim level truck with more high-tech features. The fancier trucks typically depreciate at a much faster rate, even though very few ever leave the pavement or do much hard work. The technology that was expensive when the lease was signed isn’t state of the art three years later when the lease expires, and used car buyers don’t put as much value on the extras as new car buyers do. The premium trucks can offer excellent value when purchased on the used market and are durable enough to have long lives with their second owners.

Where to Buy

Where you buy is usually a reflection of your risk tolerance. Many buyers find it more reassuring to buy a used car from a franchised new car dealer rather than an independently used car outlet or a private party. While you can potentially get a better price from the latter two, many buyers don’t have the confidence or knowledge to take that leap.

Franchised new car dealers, on the other hand, have the greater overhead that you will help pay for with a higher price on your used car purchase. Many also offer certified pre-owned cars that come with a certain level of inspection, refurbishment, and often a warranty and special financing opportunities, along with a higher price tag.

U.S. News & World Report’s used car site offers a number of tools for shoppers including rankings and pricing tools, plus a search system that can find cars and trucks in your area. Find out how much car you can afford using our calculator, and be sure to have your own financing lined up before you step foot in a car dealership.

Is your car still where you parked it?

According to FBI reports, in 2015 in the US alone, a motor vehicle was stolen every 45 seconds.

We spend only a fraction of our time in our cars that we spend a lot of money on, so it’s good to know what goes on with our cars when we’re not around to watch them.

We can’t scare the thieves away or arrest them, but you’ll get a notification to your phone every time someone tries to compromise your car or tamper with the device – even when someone just hits your car while it’s parked, and tries to get away with it. The notification you receive from We will allow you to catch thieves or reckless drivers.

Even if you’re too late to catch the perpetrators on spot, We allows you to monitor the movement of your vehicle and report the location of your car to the authorities so they can retrieve it and return it to the safety of your garage.

With we car tracking feature you can even park your car wherever you like while you run your errands, without ever worrying if your car is safe or if you can remember where you parked it. We provides you peace of mind while your car is parked.

Don’t let just anyone install your auto security & car alarms!

Installing auto security and car alarms requires an expert. You can’t just let anyone have access to your prized possession. After all, your vehicle costs a lot of money. You value it. You should value it enough to entrust it to a reputable company that has been in business for many years and has vast experience.

Car Alarm types:

 

  • Standard Car Alarm
  • Car Alarm with 2-Way Paging
  • Car Alarm with Remote Start
  • Car Alarms with 2-Way Paging and Remote Start

I remember when I started out installing car alarms over 18 years ago. As I look back, I think of how things have changed. In a big city like Miami, FL, as you might expect, there is a big problem with auto theft. So auto security has always been important. But today, auto security is more important than ever because as time went by, the one-man carjackings of the “old days” have been replaced by high tech groups. Also remember to purchase the best quality car alarms and auto security products you can. This can make the difference between whether your car or truck gets stolen or not! If a car alarm fails to work or is easily jammed – well, you know what will happen.

Rim & Tires

We have a big selection of tires and rims in stock. We offer quality installation. We even have a mobile service that “comes to you” in Miami. Ask me a question about car accessories, tires, rims or car alarms. You can email me at pablo@autotechmiami.com.

Windows Film

At Autotech, we offer the best quality on Automotive Window Films for your vehicle. Here you can choose a from a complete selection of films that vary in color, shades, construction, and warranties. Our windows films block 99% of harmful UV rays, reduce heat and glare, and gives privacy to your car interior. Autotech assures that no matter what you drive, our automotive Window films can give your car a custom look that's right for you.

  • Radar Laser Detectors are legal to own and operate in passenger vehicles in the state of Florida.Currently, the only state that it is illegal to operate a radar detector is Virginia and Washington D.C. If you are in the market for a high-quality radar detector we have a great selection from the industry leading brands. Click here for our selection

  • Car Alarms. In today’s world, it is necessary to defend our automobiles against the threats of being stolen, vandalized or broken into. Most insurance agencies offer their customer with savings when given proof of an alarm system. At Autotech we are authorized dealers of the top brands in the industry, let us help add another layer of protection to your car.