The market for good used cars offers the consumer a wide variety of tempting selections. Whether you are a domestic or import buyer, there are bargains to be discovered. The majority of makes and categories are represented below, although you will find that some makes are a better value than others. Your first step should be to determine what your specific needs are and what price range fits within your budget.
Economy-minded consumers have the widest selection to choose from. For the import buyers, Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Hyundai and Mitsubishi all offer good quality models in the economical sub-compact category. Two of the more interesting selections in this category are Kia and Scion. Although Kia has been manufacturing automobiles for many years they are relatively new to the U.S. market. Therefore they are aggressively marketing their new cars with extremely competitive new car pricing. Since used cars naturally depreciate, the savings are passed on to the used car consumer by way of lower used car pricing. Kia also offers one of the best warranties in the business. Scion, like Kia, is also relatively new to the U.S. market. The difference, however, is that Scion is a division of Toyota, a giant in the industry. But, again similar to Kia, Scion is trying to gain market share in the U.S. and is succeeding by offering a good, reliable product for a very reasonable cost. And with Toyota backing this division it is a good bet that the consumer will never be left stranded.
But the domestic buyer has not been left out of the equation. With all of the increased competition from Japanese and Korean manufacturers, the domestic car companies have stepped up to the plate with their own economical offerings. Chevrolet, Ford, as well as Dodge all offer their own versions of the import beater. The good news for domestic buyers is that domestic automobiles typically depreciate at a greater rate than the imported competition. This can mean more car for the money at the used car bargaining table. Keep in mind that competition is good for the market place. Quality has improved across the board at the big three automakers.
Luxury car and SUV buyers will enjoy the deepest discounts in the marketplace. This is due to the market being soft and depreciation high. Again, domestic brands experience the deepest impact. Imported luxury makes such as Acura, Lexus, Infiniti, BMW, and Mercedes are still highly desirable, therefore pricing reflects their popularity. There are, however, some import bargains still out there. Consider Jaguar, Saab, Volvo, and even Porsche. Porsche offers an SUV that is very reasonably priced on the used car market. Domestic offerings include Cadillac, Lincoln-Mercury, and Chrysler. Of the domestic brands, discounts from forty to sixty percent off of the new list price are not unheard of.
Remember that the market fluctuates. Today’s hot car may be tomorrow’s slow seller (think Chrysler PT Cruiser). Determine your needs, your budget, do your homework, then incorporate these tips to make your best deal on that shiny new-to-you car.