New or used: finding the right car and getting a deal

By on October 17, 2006

Maybe you just snagged an ever-elusive parking spot on campus, or perhaps you moved off campus and now need something to get you to school in the morning. Whether you are in the market for a new or used car, there are a variety of criteria to look for to make sure you end up with a good deal and a good car.

After first deciding what kind of car you want and whether you are looking for a new or used vehicle, finding a good deal is the next step.

Many car companies such as General Motors and Dodge offer incentives like discounts off the listed price or even free gas.

The warranty is another important aspect of choosing a car. Today, all car companies offer some kind of a warranty program. Among the best in the industry is the “Hyundai Advantage,” which includes a 10-year/100,000 power train protection that covers most engine and transaxle parts and a 5-year/24-hour roadside assistance program.

Some other warranty programs for new cars are Toyota and Honda’s award-winning programs which come standard with their flagship Camry and Accord.

Many used cars also come with similar warranties. Ford has a certified pre-owned program. After a rigorous 115-point inspection, the factory certifies the car and it receives the trademark blue oval that signifies that the car is in perfect shape.

There are several factors to consider when shopping for a car.

“Gas mileage is one of the most important factors for me,” said SGA president Ross Greenstein. “When you graduate from college chances are you’re going be hurting for money, so gas mileage is definitely a factor to consider.”

Other students are concerned only with space.

“Having a comfortable backseat is also important,” said Dan Goldman, a sophomore biology pre-med major. “I want a car that my friends can pile into, but also be comfortable.”

Another top priority is safety. How does the engine run? Are the brakes in good shape? If you are buying the car from a dealer, all safety features should be intact.

Still another important characteristic is drivability. How does the car handle? Can you see yourself in this car? Does the car have the options desired, like a moon roof or CD player? All of these things depend on personal preference and should be considered before purchasing a vehicle.

Something to consider when buying a car is if the price is negotiable. If you’re comfortable enough to bargain with the salesman, give it a try.

Whether looking for a new or used car, make sure to shop around. The better deal could be just around the corner. Most reputable dealers will also meet or beat the price of another dealer.

Also, check out to search the vehicle’s history before buying.


About Jim Ford