back to articles | May 23, 2022 | Charity Prado

Categories: Tips & Insights For Car Buying Buying & Selling Cars

Tips to Know Before Buying a Used Car In 2022

It's no secret that new car prices are skyrocketing, owing to a global microchip shortage and other supply chain issues that have slowed new vehicle production. There has been a trickle-down effect as new car prices have risen to an average of $47,000, causing used cars to become more expensive as well.


It's no secret that new car prices are skyrocketing, owing to a global microchip shortage and other supply chain issues that have slowed new vehicle production. There has been a trickle-down effect as new car prices have risen to an average of $47,000, causing used cars to become more expensive as well.

However, buying a decent used car in 2022 isn't impossible—you just need to know where to look and how to go about the process. Despite the fact that automobiles are currently scarce and expensive, you may find yourself in the market for a used model. If that's the case, there are a few things to keep in mind as you go about your search.

  • Broadening Your Search Horizons
  • Beware of Fishy Schemes
  • Obtain History Report for The Vehicle
  • Go Through Pre-Purchase Inspection Report
  • Trade-Ins Are Not the Best Options
  • Get A Test Drive
  • It Is Best to Wait Out

Now, let us take a look at each tip in detail.

Broadening Your Search Horizons

Many dealers currently have limited used car inventory, and what is available is typically very expensive. As a result, you should broaden your search beyond retail outlets and consider private parties.

There are numerous websites where dealers and private sellers can advertise their vehicles for sale. Facebook Marketplace, OfferUp, eBay, and (you guessed it) Craigslist are among the most popular. There's also AutoTempest, an aggregator of online used car classifieds that allows you to search multiple websites at once.

Of course, unlike a dealer, you won't be able to get a loan on the spot if you buy from a private party. Unless you're paying cash, you'll need to get financing from a bank, credit union, or finance company first.

Beware of Fishy Schemes

You'll want to be aware of red flags that indicate a car could be a lemon while browsing online used car classifieds (or worse yet, a scam). Here are some red flags to look out for:

A title that has been rebuilt, reconstructed or salvaged: A branded title of any kind indicates that the vehicle was declared a total loss by an insurance company—due to significant damage from a collision, flood, or other event—and that the vehicle was purchased and repaired by someone else. But it's impossible to say how well that repair was done. That's why any car you're thinking about buying should have a clear title.

Any vehicle in need of "just a tune-up" or minor repairs: It's easy to be enticed by a car that's being sold for a ridiculously low price because it only needs minor repairs. One of the most common phrases in classified ads is "just needs a tune-up," which usually means the vehicle requires an engine or other major repairs. Be realistic—if the car only required a few minor repairs to get in great shape, the owner would have taken care of them by now.

Too good to be true bargains include: There are numerous scams out there, such as people willing to sell showroom-condition cars for pennies on the dollar out of "goodwill" (as long as you wire them the money). You don't want to get so caught up in your search for a car that you lose sight of reality as a used car buyer claremont ca.

Obtain History Report For The Vehicle

Obtain a vehicle history report from CarFax or another similar provider whether you're considering buying a car from a private party or a dealer. Accidents, service records, and other data are documented in vehicle history reports to help you make an informed decision about your potential car. The majority of dealers will provide you with a free report and may even link to it on their website.

Go Through Pre-Purchase Inspection Report

A pre-purchase inspection is exactly what it sounds like: a professional inspects the vehicle you're thinking about purchasing. A pre-purchase inspection does not guarantee that your car will be trouble-free, but it does offer a significant level of protection and assurance. Pre-purchase inspections are available at most repair shops or through a national inspection agency.

While most private sellers’ welcome third-party inspections, some dealerships may object because their mechanics have already examined the vehicle. Regardless of the dealer's position, if you have any doubts about the car's condition, you should have it inspected by a third party.

Trade-Ins Are Not the Best Options

If you're thinking about buying a car from a dealership, you can either sell your current vehicle, via cash for the car, or trade it in. Dealers are willing to pay top dollar for trade-ins these days, but you'll almost always get more money if you sell your old car outright, especially in this market. Dealers may give you the wholesale value for a car, whereas if you sell it yourself, you'll usually get somewhere between the wholesale and retail values.

However, trading in your car is clearly more convenient than selling it outright. Selling a car on your own can be difficult, so consult your local DMV's website for instructions on how to complete the transaction legally and safely.

Get A Test Drive

Make sure to take a test drive in every vehicle that catches your eye. A test drive is required because it allows you to determine whether a vehicle is a good match for you and your lifestyle. Taking a spin also allows you to spot obvious flaws like illuminated warning lights and distracting noises. If you notice any issues, you can eliminate that vehicle and move on to the next.

It Is Best to Wait Out

The worst of the used car inventory crisis, according to most experts, occurred in 2021, but the problem is expected to last through most of 2022. The good news is that some experts believe the market will stabilize between the end of 2022 and the beginning of 2023, resulting in used car prices falling by 20% to 30%.

As a result, waiting to buy a used car might be a good idea, though this isn't always possible. If you can wait, you'll almost certainly get a better deal and have a more pleasant shopping experience.