Now is the time to buy used cars

March 16, 2015 08:45 AM

Buying a car takes a lot of careful consideration and in-depth research. Prospective drivers must browse through dozens of possible options, determining which features, colors and styles are the best fit for them. That doesn't even touch on the financial aspect of the process. Motorists must set their budgets, shop around for great deals and zero in on possible rebates or incentives that could save money in the long run. 

Winter leads to lower prices
People who are concerned about their budgets will be happy to hear that the month of March could be a great time to buy a used car. According to the NADA Used Car Guide, the beginning months of the year usually give way to slightly higher sticker prices on used cars.

However, this year seems to be bucking the trend, and it could be because of the harsh winter that battered much of the East Coast. People were frequently snowed in and may have even been faced with some unexpected expenses related to weather. These circumstances and others decreased the demand for used cars, which in turn led to lower prices. 

"Since the inclement weather possibly prevented dealers from attending auctions - and customers from commuting to dealer lots - demand wasn't as strong as it usually is in February," said Jonathan Banks, an executive analyst for the NADA Used Car Guide. "As a result, prices were almost a full percentage point lower than the historical average we've tracked since 1996 … consumers should know the savings trend won't last for long, as pent-up demand and tax refund checks will fuel spring season purchases."

Take advantage of the healthy market
Now that the weather is slowly but surely getting nicer, it may be time to start seriously looking for a used car to buy. Capitalizing on lower prices before the rush of springtime buyers flood the market could lead to major savings for savvy drivers. 

There are other ways to save money on an investment. It starts by following a plan for scheduled maintenance, as this simple action can ensure that a car is running smoothly throughout its life. Having a professional check on the vehicle regularly is also a good way to catch potentially dangerous problems before they grow too big - or too expensive - to fix. 

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