When is The Optimal Time to Buy a Used Car?

May 1st, 2020 443 Auto Sales
Buying a Used Car

Buying a Used CarIf you’re the kind of person who is looking for “the best deal for the best price,” then you’ve probably asked yourself this question: “What is the optimal age to purchase a used car?” And then you wondered… “A year old? Two-years-old? More than that?”


One of the things that people worry about when buying a used car is whether or not they’re going to have to pay for repairs or replacement parts, especially if the car is older. They also wonder if there’s a transferable warranty involved– if so, that’s great. Besides these two issues, the other main thing to think about with used cars is a term called “depreciation.”

Used Vehicles Have Slower Depreciation Rates

The dictionary definition of depreciation is “a reduction in the value of an asset with the passage of time, due in particular to wear and tear.”

Depreciation is greatest in the first year of ownership… so, if you were to take a 2020 vehicle that’s sold for $28,000, in 2021 it would be worth $7,500 less. In 2022, it would be worth $8,600 less, on average. So, as you can see, the first year depreciation is a big drop in price ($7,500) whereas the second year it is much smaller ($1,100).

So, when shopping for a used car, the best time to buy one is when it’s about two-years-old. Most two-year-old vehicles still have active warranties, so that’s a nice bonus. And since the vehicle is still relatively new, you shouldn’t expect it to need major repairs. If you’re looking to buy a used car in 2020, look at 2018 models.

Mileage Is Critical

One more thing: check the mileage. If you can get a used vehicle with less than 60,000 miles on it, then you’re doing well. Once cars and trucks hit the 60,000 milestone, they’re likely going to need replacement parts– new belts, brakes, tires, etc.

Do you want to find used vehicles with low mileage? Come to 443 Auto Sales at 2848 Blakeslee Blvd. in Lehighton, PA. Or browse inventory online here. 443 Auto Sales is a “buy here pay here” dealership. For more info, call 570-386-0443.

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