Why Used Cars are Becoming the “New” New Cars
The used car market has come a long way from the stereotyped images of an unscrupulous salesman in an ill-fitting plaid jacket just waiting to sell an unreliable car to an unsuspecting buyer.
Modern day used cars are, for the most part, a very far cry from the lemons that characterized so much of the second hand car market a few years ago. Today’s used cars are the new cars of three and four years ago. And those cars were made well. The overall durability and quality of cars has increased dramatically as U.S. manufacturers work hard to catch up with imported vehicles.
Used car superstores – with their huge online inventories – are also making it easier than ever before to buy a three or four-year-old vehicle for as much as 40% less than the price of a new one.
These “new” used cars offer the best value for money. Not only are they cheaper, they have already taken the biggest depreciation hit – new cars typically lose about 47% of their value in the first three years, but only a further 24% over the next three.
There’s also less “mental depreciation” – you’re not worrying about incurring the first parking lot door ding, or paint chip from a stone kicked up by the car in front, because the previous owners have more than likely taken care of that for you!
In addition, today’s used cars are simply more reliable than in the past. A Consumer Report’s survey found that a 5-year-old car in 2007 (ie. made in 2002) had 33% more problems than a 5-year-old car in 2012 (made in 2007).
Rust and problems with exhaust systems are rare on cars less than five years old, and there has been a noticeable decrease in engine and transmission problems.
Maintained properly, today’s vehicles should easily clock up 100,000 miles before needing a major overhaul – many could even reach as much as 200,000 miles.
If you’re looking to browse a good selection of used cars in San Jose, that has literally hundreds of used cars for you to choose from. Just make sure you find the right balance of value and risk.