Pros and cons of buying a used car

So, you’ve decided on buying a used vehicle. Congratulations! Before you sign on the dotted line however, it might be a good idea to put together a list of pros and cons to make sure it’s the right purchase for you.

Pros of buying used

Lower prices

While the market has been topsy-turvy for the last few years, used vehicle prices are beginning to come down. Lower prices could also provide a better chance to pay for the vehicle in cash.

Smaller loan amount

With lower prices, it’s no surprise that preowned vehicles have smaller average loan amounts than new autos. Depending on your loan terms, you might end up with a lower monthly payment and possibly lower interest charges.

High-quality options

Vehicles are constantly improving as time passes, and that means there are quite a few exceptional used vehicle options out there.

Quicker payoff

Sometimes a used car loan will have a shorter term than a new car, which means you might be able to pay the loan off sooner. Then you can start saving for your next vacation!

Cons of buying used

Limited warranty options

The vehicle you’re interested in might be under warranty, but if it isn’t, the dealership should have some warranty or extended service options that could suit your needs. Extended service contracts can come with as few as 12 months all the way up to a lifetime of coverage. You can also pick whether to cover just the drivetrain or if you want the entire vehicle covered. Talking to your dealer finance representative about warranty and extended service options should help you select the one that’s right for you.

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Limited features

Unfortunately, the person who purchased the vehicle initially chose the options. So, you might find the perfect vehicle, but it doesn’t have the options you were hoping for. Flexibility in options is key for used-vehicle buyers.


Despite improvements in quality, not every used vehicle was created equal. How the previous owner(s) drove the vehicle can impact you. To protect yourself, you should review the vehicle’s history reports, like Carfax and AutoCheck. There you’ll be able to see its service history and if its been involved in an accident.

Your car-buying decision

As you go through your process of selecting a used vehicle, keep some of these pros and cons in mind. If you do your research, you could be well on your way to riding in style.

Drive® can help you get pre-qualified for an auto loan, and once you’re pre-qualified, you’ll be able to use the Budget Customizer to help you pick a vehicle and finance options that work for you.

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