Buying a Pre-Owned Car: 5 Signs a Vehicle Is Perfect for You

Pre-owned cars are a hit in the US, with statistics showing phenomenal sales of 43.1 million used light vehicles in the country in 2021. The number is just the tip of the iceberg, considering it does not include heavy variants like trucks. The surge came due to a slowdown in the production of new vehicles with a shortage of semiconductors. 

For buyers, the reason for favoring pre-owned cars is much simpler. The decision saves them tons of money because they can get great deals without breaking the bank. The average price of a pre-owned car in the US in December 2022 was $29,533, which is far lower than a new one. The statistics are encouraging for those who cannot afford a new car.

Considering location-specific data, California dominates car sales in the US and is one of the largest global markets. Being a resident surely puts you in a good place to pick good deals on pre-owned cars. Smaller cities like Redlands likely have good options because they are relatively less expensive. 

While everything about buying a used car in this part of the country sounds good, you shouldn’t jump at the first deal. The vehicle should be perfect for your needs. Check these signs to decide whether it is the right one.

Sign #1: A Trusted Dealer Is Selling It

Although used vehicles are far more affordable than new ones, you may have a fair share of doubts about their condition. But buying from a trusted dealer is the best way to overcome your apprehension. If you are looking for one sign that ensures a good deal, this one covers it because you can take a dealer’s word on the car’s condition. 

Redlands CDJR recommends buying from a dealership with a broad range of cars, trucks, and SUVs. Buyers have more options to pick and choose according to their needs and preferences. A dealership also follows a proper process, from test drives to paperwork, so buyers can rely on them for value-for-money deals. 

Sign #2: The Car Looks Good and Rides Well

Whether you want to buy a new or pre-owned vehicle, you will probably connect with it at first sight. If the car looks good, you can consider taking a closer look at the engine, tires, and interiors. Check carefully to rule out visible flaws and damage.

Once you are happy with the aesthetics, take a test ride to see how it runs on the road. A short ride is often enough to understand whether it offers optimal power, performance, and efficiency. If both signs go well, you may take the deal forward.

Sign #3: The Pricing Works for You

There’s a lot of savings potential for buyers looking for pre-owned cars. According to a J.P. Morgan survey, prices of used cars are expected to decline by roughly 10% in 2023. That’s an impressive drop if you are looking for a ride on a tight budget. 

Remember that a perfect deal is always the one you can afford, so it’s a sign you should not miss out on a reasonably priced option. The best piece of advice is to stop drooling over the latest model and buy a used one if the price works for you.

Sign #4: The Paperwork Is Complete

Another sign that a pre-owned car is good for you is that its paperwork is in place. Proper documentation indicates a legit deal, so you need not worry about anything being amiss. Buying from a dealer makes sense in this context because they ensure hassle-free documentation for buyers. 

Check details such as vehicle registration, insurance, and maintenance records to be on the safe side. Also, ensure that the documents are correct and updated. Skip the deal if you find a document or two missing from the checklist. 

Sign #5: The Vehicle Matches Your Needs and Lifestyle

A perfect match is a vehicle that works for your needs and lifestyle. A 2-seater sports car isn’t ideal if you have a family of four and a pet to tow along. Likewise, you don’t want a delicate ride if you love long road trips and off-road adventures. A Jeep makes a far better option for your adrenaline-rush lifestyle. 

Visit a dealer to check your options and find an ideal match. They can actually help you find one you will not regret buying down the line. Remember to dig deep into facts such as the vehicle’s age, mileage, custom modifications, and safety features. 


A pre-owned car can be a money-saver for buyers running on low budgets. But you need to be extra cautious while buying a used vehicle. Double-check its history, evaluate it inside out, and buy only from a reputable seller. Also, check these signs to be sure about the decision. 


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