Finding A Bargain On A Late Model Car


Here on SayCampusLife, we’ve been regularly featuring several low-cost new car models we think students might likeheadlights and can possibly afford. Granted, a new car isn’t for everyone, especially considering the thousands of dollars spent each semester on tuition, books, room and board, etc. Add in insurance, gas and upkeep and car ownership while in school can be prohibitive.

Your Late Model Find

For those students still needing or wanting a car, a late model used car is an option worth considering. For example, a three year old car has seen a significant chunk of its early depreciation fall off while still offering what should be a solid and affordable driving option.

To that end, we’re offering to you some tips on how to consider, find and buy your new wheels:

Do Your Research — which car should you buy and which one should you avoid? My favorite place to go for this information is Consumer Reports, an independent product-rating organization (and magazine) which grades all of the cars. Every year, in its April issue, the organization tells which used cars it likes and which ones you should avoid. View the free copy of this issue at your local library.

Shop Around — You can purchase a car from a private seller and find these people hawking their cars through newspaper ads and online sites. Craigslist and eBay Motors are popular places to shop, but always take care when buying a car online especially if the deal isn’t local.

Consider Certified Used Cars — Many of the automotive manufacturers are selling late model used cars and certifying them for sale after completing an exhaustive inspection process. The best offers are where the manufacturer offers a guarantee or warranty on the car, sometimes for as long as 100,000 miles.

Weigh Your Financing — If you don’t have the cash to pay for the car and still need one, then financing your wheels is an option. Although the best financing deals on new cars seems to be with the financing arms of the manufacturers, shopping around can reveal some low rates through your credit union, online marketer, and elsewhere.

Of course, if you spring for a used car have a mechanic check it out first before sealing the deal. Any car, no matter how well rated, can be abused extensively in just one or two years of driving. A trustworthy mechanic can give you a clear picture of just how well a car has been maintained.


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Categories: Campus Cars