How to Buy a Car in Difficult Times
Certified Pre-Owned Cars are an important consideration when choosing to purchase a vehicle

By the time May and June rolled around in 2021, the average price of a vehicle had jumped an astonishing 5.5% increase to around $40,000. By December of that same year prices had surged an additional $7,000 due to inflationary and manufacturing conditions brought on by pandemic circumstances. New cars are even worse. These factors had even surpassed the previous highs of the early 1980’s and show no sign of slowing.

A shortage of new and used vehicles on car lots and a willing surge in buyers spelled an end to the markdowns and sales tools usually reserved for normally competitive markets. Adding insult to injury, automobile makers had discontinued manufacturing the top 10 cheapest cars which made them competitive for both frugal buyers and the economy minded. What’s a car buyer to do?

Rising prices make getting a car more difficult but not impossible. Although prices may be higher there are factors working in your favour, the buyer. Your trade-in is worth considerably more in this market and is reflecting higher values in comparison with elevated market values. Your trade even more so if it falls into the late model low mileage highly valued segment. This is often the most sought after and premium segment for used vehicles. You may even sell your trade-in to your car dealer outright if the conditions are in your favour. The second situation to your benefit is brand new cars have a standard depreciation percentage. While the prices have increased across the board, the depreciation percentage has pretty well remained constant. After all, it is not influenced by external events like manufacturing and social stress. Used cars still offer considerable value compared to spanking brand new cars. One ace in the hole for those with a little more financial juice is luxury cars have not increased at the same capacity as other lines which now puts them in closer competition price wise with incremental surges in the consumer offerings.

Certified Pre-Owned Cars are an important consideration when choosing to purchase a vehicle. It's not just an empty title but a provision that maintains that the used cars or trucks that carries this title are low mileage, thoroughly inspected, no significant damage, passed operational and performance testing, and comes with either warranty from the factory, selling dealership or a combination of both. This results in getting a dependable vehicle at a suitable price.

Buying a vehicle in today's market one must do their homework and be flexible in both price and options. If a preferred vehicle is difficult to find research similar models and accessories in the same class and look at other manufactures you might not have considered. Many buyers have been pleasantly surprised to find some vehicle biases were founded on nothing but hearsay and enjoyed a cheaper and more efficient vehicle purchased outside their own past preconceptions. Make sure you research repair records as well as usability and fuel meterage. If you plan on keeping your car for 8 to 10 years that will certainly factor into the equation. Looking elsewhere for your dream car might come as a pleasant surprise when you try a car you might not have considered before our current shortage. J.D. Power reports that at the end of 2021, the average vehicle was in a dealership's possession for only 17 days before it was sold, compared to roughly 70 days before the pandemic. Be prepared to jump when you see the apple of your eye.

The bottom line is you can still buy cars, trucks, crossovers, etc. at competitive prices if you do your homework. Take into account alternate choices you might consider if you can't find exactly what you want, or if it is long gone by the time you get there. Choose a dealer you know and have worked with before. You can use your relationship to your advantage over walking in cold. Dealers are more apt to work with longtime customers on price and accessories as they know they can depend not only on your business, but your long term relationship. Also, be prepared to buy if you find what you want. Have your ducks in a row when it comes to where your financing fits and you'll be able to buy without waiting and won't lose the vehicle to someone else ready to buy straight away. Most modern dealers have financing quotes and comparison online. Use them to your advantage to even test drive and hold a vehicle you know that just may be what you've been looking for.