Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components such as air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance such as fluid top-offs and oil changes, but a growing number of brands have separate free-maintenance provisions. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties. Terms are typically three years or 36,000 miles, although some have terms as high as six years or 60,000 miles. Check the vehicle manufacturer’s specifications for bumper-to-bumper warranty limits.
CarFax is well known for providing comprehensive vehicle history reports that detail all previous damage and ownership history. It works with over 28,000 dealerships nationwide to sell a variety of used cars. You can sign up for alerts on recalls and necessary maintenance reminders to make sure your car is in tip-top shape. The accompanying mobile app receives strong reviews from users.
Once you find the car you want, you'll want to move fast so it isn't sold out from under you. So it's a good idea to get your financing set up before you begin searching for your car. If you're paying cash, there is little to do except make sure you have the funds available to withdraw cash or get a cashier's check when it's time to do the deal. If you're paying all cash for a used car from a private party, consider doing the deal in a public place.
What is a substantially refreshed model? Substantially refreshed models are existing vehicles receiving significant engineering, design, or technology updates. Because complete redesigns cost a big pile of money, car companies sometimes take what is a fundamentally sound design and give it a major makeover. Think of it as the difference between rebuilding your home or remodeling it. Examples for 2021 include the the Lexus IS.
If there is no special offer, you can email, text or telephone dealers for a price quote. Getting four to six quotes on vehicle prices in an hour should be easy. Call the internet manager to verify that the vehicle in question has the options you want and to check if it has any other dealer add-ons. Not all will match your ideal configuration, so you may have to be flexible on options and color to get the best deal.
The next thing to do is get an idea of maintenance costs on any car you're considering. Proper maintenance is especially important on a used car since it may not have a warranty to protect it if anything breaks down. People buy used vehicles as a way to save money but often overlook the cost of maintenance, which might end up pushing them beyond the limits of their budget. The car's owner's manual, which is often available online, will tell you what you need to know about maintenance services and intervals. A phone call to a dealership service department or a trusted independent repair shop will get you pricing information. You also can check resources such as RepairPal.
There are a number of places to purchase a used auto. Here's a quick rundown: CarMax offers no-haggle pricing and cars that are in good condition, but its prices are a bit higher than you'll find elsewhere. Private-party sellers have lower prices and can be negotiated with more easily, but the burden is on the buyer to get the car inspected. Major dealerships sell certified pre-owned cars that are in excellent condition and backed by factory warranties. This option will appeal to buyers who want to minimize the risks of buying used and are willing to pay extra for it. Independent used-car lots are another alternative but can vary wildly on price and the condition level of their cars.
Cons: While buying new might be the most satisfying way to buy a car, it's also the most expensive. Some cars depreciate faster than others, but no matter what you're buying, your new car is going to experience depreciation the minute you drive it off the lot. That's not to say buying a new car isn't a good value, but it's a financial hit you should keep in mind if you're shopping for a new car. Consider doing a little homework on the depreciation rate of the car you have your eye on before pulling the trigger.