Purchasing a car can often feel like an overwhelming task. Along with the excitement of owning a new vehicle comes the importance of making an informed decision about which type of car to buy, where to buy it, and what to watch out for. Fortunately, the time and energy you put into doing your research is sure to pay off. Buying a used car is a smart financial decision for 5 key reasons:

1. Used cars depreciate more slowly

It’s been said that new cars depreciate 20% the instant they are driven off the lot. During the first year of car ownership, most cars depreciate 30%. After a year, depreciation slows dramatically, making used cars a better investment.

2. More bang for your buck

Because new cars depreciate so quickly, those looking to purchase used will be able to buy more car for the money. By buying a car that is two to three years old, you may still be able to afford the current model of a luxury vehicle you couldn’t afford when it was new.

3. Reduced registration fees

Many states’ registration fees vary based on the purchase price of the car. The higher the transaction price, the higher the registration fee. Purchasing a car used is a great way to reduce this cost.

4. Lower insurance costs

One of the main factors that determines the cost of your insurance is the value of your car. Purchasing a used car with a lower value will help keep your insurance fees down and save you money.

5. Less risk of hidden problems

One main argument against purchasing a car used is that they come with the risk of hidden problems. However, thanks to vehicle history reports, used car buyers can get detailed information about the car upfront, including mileage verification and accident history.

Because of the guaranteed financial savings and decreased risk involved with purchasing a pre-owned car, buying used is a no brainer. However, before you dive into making a purchase, it is best to do plenty of research. There are many resources about used car shopping available the internet, so take your time, get all the facts, and don’t be too hasty! Keep reading for tips on how to research cars online.

Select A Make/Model

Choosing the make and model of your next car is more than simply deciding which car you like the look of. While the aesthetics of the car should play a role in your decision making, there are many more things to consider.

First of all, it’s important to determine a budget. As a rule, your car payment shouldn’t exceed 20% of your income after taxes. Also keep in mind that it’s important to have funds set aside for maintenance and repairs.

Once you have a determined budget, begin researching different makes and models. Personal blogs and online forums will be an excellent resource. Keep an open mind while creating a list of three cars that meet your needs and your budget.

Research Dealerships

Just as personal blogs and forums were helpful when determining a few car makes and models, these resources can also be used to find a reputable dealership.

Whether you prefer to use an online or local dealership, there are plenty of people online who can steer you in the right direction. With a little research, you will find dealership reviews, reports of firsthand experiences, and even the dealership’s inventory. Spend a little extra time to ensure you find a dealership you can trust.

Look Up Expert Advice

Even if you select the perfect car and perfect dealership, it’s still important to do research on the ins and outs of purchasing a used car. Being informed on the used car buying process will keep you from incurring additional fees or purchasing a car with a history of issues.

When conducting your research, make sure you are aware of any costly add-ons and understand your financing options so you are clear on the expenses incurred with your used car purchase. For more expert advice related to purchasing a used car, surf the internet for tips and tricks. Many blogs and forums have everything you’ll need to know while making this important decision. You can even look into which cars have the most loyal owners to help solidify your decision.

Read Reviews

This goes for both your car and dealership. Before you move forward with a purchase, go online and read as many reviews as possible. It’s best to make the most educated decisions when it comes to purchasing your used car in order to avoid any headaches in the future. Thorough research will guarantee you choose the right type of car and the exact vehicle that is best for you.