Vehicle HistoryFirst, you want to gain an accurate depiction of the history of the model you are considering. A good place to start is to ask for a CARFAX report. Reputable dealers will be happy to provide this information to you. When reviewing a vehicle report, CARFAX provides detailed histories of the SUV including:
- How many owners the model has had
- Have there been any title issues with the SUV?
- Service records
- Any accidents the vehicle has been in
- How the airbags deployed?
- How many recalls the vehicle has underwent
RecallsAnother aspect of the vehicle’s history to view closer is how many recalls it has had. It’s normal for most SUVs to have one or a few recalls. However, if there have been many recalls issued in a short time, it can indicate there are systematic issues with the model. It’s important to consider if the manufacturer is coming across problems now, what does that say about the future of that SUV? If you choose to roll the dice and take the model, be sure you have protection by way of extended warranty.
DependabilityWhich models tend to perform better for longer? This is a good aspect to consider when choosing the right vehicle for you. J.D. Power and other independent research agencies conduct studies to find the most dependable SUVs on the road today. Currently, brands like Subaru, Lexus, and Honda dominate the list.
FinancingWhen you finance a new model and you have great credit, it isn’t uncommon for you to receive financing incentives where you pay zero percent interest on the loan. The same won’t apply to used models, though. The reason for this is the value of the model has depreciated significantly since it isn’t considered new. This means the more you drive it, the less the lender will be able to recoup should they have to repossess it due to loan default. Now, this doesn’t mean you cannot receive a low-interest rate, but you might have to shop around more than relying on the dealer. One of the best alternatives to dealership financing is to find a local credit union. Credit unions offer lower rates on loans--depending on your credit--making them a great option on the affordability end. Other choices include using a loan service like LendingTree, who can match you up with lenders that best align with your finances or use peer-to-peer lending. With this option, you have private donors invest in your loan. You can lock in competitive rates and have flexible repayment terms.
Consider Certified ModelsCertified models have undergone rigorous testing to ensure they deliver great quality. Though they are more expensive than other used vehicles, they come with outstanding benefits too. Many certified programs include the original manufacturer warranties, access to free technological features like SiriusXM Radio for a specified time, and other perks. Additionally, some dealerships try to sweeten the deal by offering free service for the first year or two for oil changes, inspections, tire rotations, and more. This can be a great deal on the surface, however; it’s important to consider other factors as well. Certified models don’t cost much less than newer ones, so if you qualify for the best dealer/manufacturer incentives it might be wise to take the new model instead where you won’t pay interest on your loan and you could receive cash back. At the same, if you want to have confidence in your purchase, then a certified model is a great choice.
Our TakeBuying a used vehicle can be a stressful process. To make it easier, you can research your model’s history using CARFAX. If everything checks out on that end, use J.D. Power’s dependability study to see how your model measures up to the most dependable out there. By doing side-by-side comparisons, you can gain confidence in knowing you are going to find the right model for you.
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