There’s nothing more exciting (and stressful) than shopping for a car. We all want to get the best bang for our buck and drive around town in style – maybe even turn some heads! Luckily, used cars in Atlanta can be quite reasonable. Let’s take a look at some tips and tricks for buying Atlanta used cars.

Why Should I Buy a Used Car?

Honestly, car value depreciates very quickly – especially if you buy a brand new car and drive the first few miles off the lot. There will always be a marketable audience for brand new cars, but it’s much more financially sensible to drive a well-maintained used car for most individuals and families. Used doesn’t mean trashy!

What Should I Look for in Atlanta Used Cars?

When you go shopping for your next car, be careful not to fall into one of the most common sales tricks: bait and switch. Set yourself a clear monthly budget and don’t let the sales representatives offer you anything that doesn’t fit that budget. It can be so tempting to buy the nicest car on the lot, but your wallet will thank you for being more reasonable later on. Keep an eye out for these important traits in your next used car:

Low Milage
The lower the car’s mileage, the longer (usually) you’ll be able to use the vehicle. While low-mileage vehicles are generally more expensive than their high-mileage counterparts, the car’s longevity will usually outweigh the price upfront. Definitely try to stay away from used cars that have two hundred thousand miles or more – unless it’s made by a manufacturer known for high-mileage motors or the vehicle is for a new driver.

Never Been in an Accident
Not all accidents will adversely affect the car’s usability, but some will. For example, a front-end accident may have initiated issues around the engine block or front axle that may not appear for a few months after external repair. It’s difficult to know what you’re getting into when you purchase a used car that has been in an accident, so try to avoid it unless the accident was many years ago.

Newer Tires
Tires can be a huge expense, especially if you just put a down payment on the vehicle. Used car dealerships usually replace or rotate the tires prior to selling, but you should always ask questions about the vehicle you will be buying. A used car with new tires might be priced a bit higher than you hoped to pay, but it will save you a few hundred to a thousand dollars in a year or so.

Well-Cared For
It’s usually quite clear when a used car is well-maintained. There will be few (if any) dents in the exterior, no upholstery damage, new-looking carpets, and decent bumpers. The vehicle should also be clean and not smell strange. If you smell second-hand smoke or see tears in the car’s internal fabric, run – don’t walk – away from that used car.

Reasonable Price
You can get a good idea about a used car’s value by looking up the Kelly Blue Book Value. This isn’t always a 100% accurate representation of what you should pay for the car, but it can give you an idea of what a reasonable price might be. If the dealership is asking ten percent (or higher) more than the KBB value, something suspicious is going on.

If there’s any tip you take away from this article, it should be this: don’t pay new car prices for a used car!

Vehicle Longevity
This is an important consideration, mainly because vehicles are a quickly depreciating investment; in fact, it’s difficult to consider them an investment at all. When you look at all of your options, consider how many years you’d like to get out of your next car. If you’d like a car that will run forever, make sure to buy a used car from a reputable brand known for its motors’ longevity.

On the other hand, an older, cheaper car might be suitable enough for your 17-year-old who just started driving on his own. Weigh all of the factors and make an educated decision – don’t let the sales personnel talk you into something you don’t want.

Where Is the Best Place to Buy a Used Car in Atlanta?

The bottom line is this: work with a dealer you trust to not give you the run-around. It’s difficult to spot the “bad eggs” because they work so hard to be discreet. Trust your gut when you go out to a car dealership (used or new!). If you feel like you’re being misled or information is being withheld from you, walk right out and visit Cars at Wholesale. We price our Atlanta used cars at reasonable rates and offer you only the car you’re actually looking for.

For more about our business, read our blog!, how Atlanta buys cars!