I don’t like used cars and I don’t like used women. Someone very close to me used to say this and although the second half of the statement is rather crass I included it so that you get the idea of how this man perceives used cars. He has never owned a used car and his reasoning has always been that he’d rather pay more and get something new than save money and get something with problems or issues.
His reasoning has been rather sound but in the last decade or so, used car reliability and reputation has dramatically changed. In fact, the entire used car industry has changed and as such more and more would-be new car buyers are turning to pre-owned and certified cars.
I am happy to say that I finally convinced him to buy a used car two weeks ago and as it happens his first used car came from eCarOne. He was in the market for a new E-Class Mercedes and of course he visited Mercedes’ website and built one that ended up having a $67,000 MSRP. As he was ready to pull the trigger, I said Wait… you can get the same year car (2012) with plenty of warranty remaining and barely any miles for at least $12,000 to $15,000 less. Why would you buy brand new, especially since you’re building a very standard color combination (silver on black) and this very same car should not be hard to find. After discussing the economics for a bit, he finally said, ok can you see if your friends at eCarOne can find one for me and how much would it be?
I called them and put them to the task. Less than a week later, they had the car at their location, detailed and ready to go. I picked it up and brought it to him. He drove it and after realizing that this car has only 8,000 miles, three years of remaining warranty, an MSRP of nearly $70,000 and he can have it for $52,000 it was not long before he had wired the money and owned the car. I had eCarOne add a bumper to bumper warranty that extends another 2 years beyond the factory warranty for less than $2,000 and for a total of $54,000 he had a “new” E350 Sport Package with Pano roof and almost every available option; not to mention five years of warranty and $16,000 less than he would have paid at the dealer!
I can go into great detail about the economics of buying used vs. new and I’m sure you can read tons of articles and opinions about the same subject… it’s been beaten to death. Without going into much detail, I can tell you that the current low interest rate environment coupled with a huge US trade deficit is making new foreign cars depreciate like rocks. With that in mind, why would anyone pay a hefty premium just to be the first owner and walk away with a large loss! In my humble opinion, I’d rather be the second owner than the first sucker!
Maybe 15 years ago, buying a used car was a hassle. Interest rates were high, history reports were non-existent, and the whole business had a shady reputation but today you can get sub 2% interest rates for five years on used cars, you can get not one but a handful of history reports and records, and last buy not least, most dealerships are now more focused on the pre-owned cars than they are on new ones! The buying experience has changed and if you walk into a place like eCarOne or even Park Place, Sewell or any other reputable dealer you’ll find that buying a pre-owned car is every bit as rewarding of an experience as a new one. Try it out and see for yourself.