How to Save Extra Money on Used Cars

The disappointment is real. You’ve decided to “settle” for a used car based on your budget, but you’re also expecting a considerably more luxurious or powerful (albeit, already driven) vehicle than you could have afforded new. Then the reality hits you… the used car is still out of your price range.

This is a common occurrence while shopping for cars, but there are several strategies you can take to help you save a bit of money on those used purchases. Before you head out to your local used car dealerships in Lexington, Kentucky, see how you could save yourself some dough…


Target an Unpopular Brand or Retired Model

As Steven Lang of explains, targeting a lesser-known or retired vehicle could potentially save you thousands of dollars. The better-known brands are obviously more popular, and consumers often target the names they recognize. A lack of advertising could also contribute to this trend, as potential customers may avoid vehicles that they’ve seen little of. Furthermore, potential buyers often assume that a negative stigma accompanies a retired model or nameplate. While this is a reasonable assumption, it’s usually not the case.

To confirm this sentiment, Lang focused on the 2008 Saturn Outlook, which sells for around $10,050 used. This is about $3,000 cheaper than the popular GMC Acadia or Buick Enclave, which sell for more than $13,000!

If this is the route you decide to take, make sure you do your research prior to shopping. Assure that therehave been no safety recalls for a particular model, and also make sure that the vehicle delivers all the specs and contains all the amenities that you’re seeking.

It’s also important to remember that these brands and models can be a bit pricier to repair, especially if they’ve been discontinued. Manufacturers will often stop making parts for these particular vehicles, and you’ll have to pay a bit more to secure a specific part. Of course, some parts are interchangeable, regardless of the brand or models, so a generic part should suffice.

High Mileage

A price of a used car is often dependent on how many miles the vehicle has. The higher the mileage, the cheaper the vehicle… it all makes plenty of sense. Lang advises buyers to target vehicles that are eight to ten years old and have more than 100,000 miles on them.

How did he come up with these figures? The writer focused on the inaccurate warnings that have somehow accompanied these used cars. Many buyers assume that older or higher-mileage vehicles are approaching their inevitable death, which is certainly not the case. As he notes, most powertrains are expected to last between 225,000 and 275,000, with the age basically being irrelevant. If you operate under this guideline, your used car may not even be halfway through it’s lifespan!

Of course, there are several things to watch out for. You’ll want to make sure that your targeted vehicle has been well maintained, and assure that there’s no damage to the vehicle. Exterior damage isn’t particularly important in this case, but mechanical issues are of the utmost importance. You can determine whether the vehicle has any issues by peeking under the hood, and you may be able to pick up on any issues by giving the vehicle a test ride. If something sounds wonky, there’s probably something wrong. This doesn’t mean you have to give up on that particular vehicle. Use the expected repair fees as a negotiating tactic, and deduct the cost from the dealership’s asking price


Manual Non-Sports Car

As Lang writes, there are few consumers who are willing to drive non-sports cars with manual transmissions. There’s no real logic behind this trend, but it could work out in your favor. As these specific cars sit on the lot, their prices will surely decline. This is when you can swoop in and purchase the vehicle for well below market value.


We understand that you don’t want to look like a soccer mom, but sales of the vehicle have gradually been declining over the past 15 years. Lang notes that 1.4 million minivans were sold in 2000, but there are less than 500,000 of the vehicles being sold today. The same goes for sports coupes, “body-on frame” SUVs and midsize sedans.

The reason for the decline doesn’t have to do with the performance of these individual cars, but rather the popularity of other vehicles. Crossovers have become increasingly popular over the past 10 years, and the previously mentioned vehicles have seen their sales decline as a result. As Lang writes, “the less fashionable you are, the more you can get for your money.”

A Beat-Up Exterior

Dents and scratches have never effected how a car drives. Sure, it may not look great, and you certainly won’t be getting any head turns from your fellow drivers (for the right reasons, at least). However, some consumers value how their vehicle looks, and you can save some money by targeting these beat up exteriors.

If it is a concern, you could always make a project out of repairing the exterior. After all, these alterations will likely cost you significantly less than engine repairs. Obviously a combination of a nice exterior and working mechanics is ideal, but we’d certainly prioritize your engine over anything else. However, as the writer says, a car that hits “multiple ‘ain’ts’ can be had for super cheap.”

Avoid Mistakes

You can also save yourself a boatload of money by avoiding some common car buying mistakes. Make sure you know your targeted vehicle’s history, and make sure you also have an independent mechanic check the vehicle out. This is especially important if you’re purchasing from a private seller.

You also don’t have to assume that the sticker price is how much you have to pay. You’ll still want to shop around for the best deal, and don’t be afraid to negotiate. This includes the financing and monthly payments, and you could potentially save yourself hundreds of dollars by following those steps.

That all makes sense, right? If you even follow just a piece of this advice, you could find yourself saving some considerable money.

Of course, you could also save yourself money by visiting Dan Cummins used dealership. Head down there today to get the best prices on used vehicles!