Used cars can offer big savings over new ones, but if you need to finance your purchase, you may not save as much as it seems at first blush. For starters, the average price of a used car is almost $29,000—much higher than in pre-pandemic times. And interest rates for used cars can be double what you would pay for new-car financing, which is often subsidized by the manufacturer to make higher-priced new cars more attractive. With interest rates on the rise, a higher rate could cost you thousands.
“The price of the used car you’re looking at may still be pretty elevated, so it’s a good idea to avoid high-cost financing and dealer add-ons,” says Chuck Bell, a financial policy advocate for CR. “It may be better to arrange your own financing, or consider buying from a private seller, which can be more of a hassle but can result in a better price.”
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