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Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

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Tips For Buying Used Cars in Colorado

It took much longer than it should have, but there is no longer the same stigma attached to buying a used car that there once was. Modern consumers have finally realized that there are tons of great reasons to buy a used car, often far outweighing the reasons to purchase a brand new one. When it comes to used cars, Colorado is just as ripe a marketplace as anywhere else in the country. What with the new found influx of dollars into our rapidly growing economy, people are finding many of these reasons to splurge on a second vehicle or an updated version of an older car.

Sure, new car sales are still good and new cars will always be available. And, the more new cars hit the road in the next few years, the more those cars will become used and pre-owned vehicles for the next wave of car buyers. So, if you are in the Colorado used cars market, you have no shortage of options to choose from.

Used Cars – Where to Start?

Perhaps first and foremost among used car buyers is the price tag. A brand new vehicle, even on the low end can still run close to $20,000. If you decide to really go all out, you could legitimately be looking at six figures for a fully loaded heavy-duty full-size pickup truck (looking at you, Ford F-450). And that is without even getting into higher end sports cars and uber luxurious rides.

A used car, on the other hand, can be had for a fraction of the MSRP of a brand new vehicle. And, depending on the make, model and year, you might just be getting pretty much the same thing as you would with a fresh off the lot vehicle. As different makes and models evolve, they go through a progression of generations. Some automakers do not release a new generation but once a decade. Even though each model year will get minor updates or facelifts, these vehicles won’t get full blown remakes for several years. As such, the technology will remain largely the same from model year to model year. If you are looking at a used car only one or two or three years removed from the newest year model, you are looking at a lot of the same things available in the newest one. However, your price tag will not reflect the new car status.

Part of what makes these used cars so much more affordable is not just the barely older year model, but the miles that have been put on them. Looking at an odometer is a good start as a measure to figure out what a used car has been through, but it is by no means the only one. Many used vehicles undergo what is known as the certified pre-owned process. In this process, a vehicle will undergo a bumper to bumper inspection, covering everything inside, outside, underneath and everywhere conceivable. Some of this checklist covers nearly 200 points of interest, from the engine to CPU to chassis to brake systems. Most also include vehicle background checks and a test drive.

Once these vehicles have passed these criteria to satisfaction, the respective automakers will give them the certified pre-owned certification. This gives the buyer not only the psychological peace of mind of having a used car that is beyond roadworthy, they also get an extended warranty. This warranty will cover the certified pre-owned vehicle to a certain number of miles or years, much like the warranty of a brand new car would. Some higher-end automakers also offer concierge services with their certified pre-owned vehicles. This is not something you will find with a used car, whether it be at a mom-and-pop shop or a superstore.

Of course, finances are not the only reason one might opt for a used car. Another reason might be for purchasing a second vehicle. Many of our friends and neighbors like to enjoy the wide variety of nature that the state of Colorado has to offer. A sturdy SUV or pickup truck can get you all over our little corner of the Rocky Mountains and all it has to offer. Some people might not want to subject their everyday vehicle to the stresses of off-road life. A second vehicle, one that is suited for alternate terrains, would be a great way to enjoy the countryside. In the meantime, it can rest comfortably while you use your main vehicle for going to work.

Used Cars – Colorado Teen Drivers

Two happy teen girls in a white sedan

More than 28% of the population of Colorado is under the age of 19, meaning there are a lot of teenage drivers and soon to be teenage drivers in our fine state. Most teenage drivers, regardless of how well they are taught, will inevitably get into some kind of accident. It may or not be their fault, but it is virtually guaranteed to happen.

When it inevitably does, you would be much better off financially by having a used car. First of all, used cars are much easier to repair, as far as damage is concerned. Parts and body pieces, when they need replacing, are far cheaper and more easily accessible than those found on a new vehicle. Additionally, insurance rates for new vehicles are significantly higher than those for used vehicles. If and when an accident occurs, your teen driver’s insurance rates are bound to go even higher than they already are (there is a reason why 16-year-olds’ insurance rates are so high). The investment in a used car will keep both potential repair costs and insurance rates in a much more reasonable range.

You may also find yourself or a loved one in a temporary station in life, for example, going to college. If you are in a place where you may only be for a few years or less, you might not want to make an investment as financially heavy as a new vehicle. You never know where you will be once this current temporary situation ends. You might be stuck with a huge car payment and no desire to continue with this vehicle. This is also a pretty good argument for leasing over buying, but that is for another day.

Regardless of what situation you find yourself in, whether it be one of these or another, buying a used car is always worth investigating. It is less expensive and can be just as trustworthy as a new car. You can still be emotionally invested in your vehicle, without being as financially invested. It can be a great teaching tool and a valuable first lesson without being a drain on your bank account. You can even still get the bells and whistles of a new make and model without the alarming price tag.

In Colorado, Your Best Bet is Used

Sure, there will be car aficionados out there that will decry the whole used car buying experience. But, the vast majority of us live in the real world and can’t drop a huge number on a brand new car whenever we want to. And, honestly, we shouldn’t want to. There is absolutely nothing wrong with buying a used car, for whatever reason you have.