Average Cost of a Used Vehicle
The average cost of a used car is just under $20,000 according to Edmunds. Official number from the first quarter of 2018 is $19,657. The ideal used car you want is someone who was ready for the upgrade even though their present car was great. However, you could be buying someone else’s problem. The person who knew they were selling and just before a major maintenance interval decided to sell. Or worse the car needed safety items addressed or other types of costly repairs and opted to trade in instead of fix.
Some dealers out there hide issues or plain ignore them. I cannot and will not speak ill of others or their business practices. (Please do not contact me asking about particular car dealerships.) It really depends on the technician checking your soon to be vehicle—and the business manager in charge of the inventory.
Buyer beware. My best piece of advice is to have a PrePurchase Vehicle Evaluation performed on your potential new vehicle. Don't be cheap, a good PPVE could prevent you from purchasing a nightmare. Although, they cannot predict the future. Most times they do provide excellent negotiation points. For example, Professional Auto Care provides pictures and detailed estimates for clients to take back to the dealership/seller.
I have personally seen:
a transmission painted with part of a bell housing cracked (a supposedly 1 year old vehicle)
awful paint job -- which was not visible in the pictures posted online (out of state PPVE client)
bearings so bad I felt the obligation to advise the client against driving it back to the dealership
With all the bad, I have also seen some really great deals and vehicles in wonderful shape.
Do you research and don't be a cheap when it comes to a Pre Purchase Vehicle Evaluation--it's like being cheap on the home inspection. You want to make sure you're having the best trained professional driving, walking underneath and overall evaluating the vehicle.