LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Are you in the market for a new car? Buying used may be a smarter option than you think. To help steer you in the right direction, Contact 13's Tricia Kean looks at what you need to know when shopping for a pre-owned vehicle.
"It's crazy expensive. But there's a lot of life left in these vehicles," says valley car buyer, Kathy.
She's bargain hunting on the car lots. She just found a 2011 Ford F150 with more power than her previous pickup.
"We got a longer bed. We got a camper shell and better towing capacity," says Kathy.
DON'T HAVE TO COMPROMISE
She knows you don't have to compromise when buying used. Consumer Reports says pre-owned vehicles offer all the modern conveniences, plus onboard entertainment and the latest safety features.
Best of all, according to Kelley Blue Book the average price of a 3-year-old used vehicle is less than half the cost of a brand new car.
"You'll save yourself a good amount of money," says Bobby Jackson, Sales Manager at Johnny Legends Mitsubishi.
CERTIFIED PRE-OWNED VEHICLE
No matter where you go shopping, he says make sure it's a certified pre-owned vehicle. That means the car has undergone a detailed inspection and comes with a warranty. Be sure to also ask if anything was done to "recon" the car.
Recon means reconditioning. Does it have new tires on it? Have all the fluids and everything been changed on it?" says Bobby.
GET CARFAX REPORT
You want to know as much as possible about a used vehicle's history. So get a Carfax report.
"You want to make sure that there's no accidents. It's been maintained," says Bobby.
The report will tell you about the extent of any possible accident, including structural damage and whether the airbags were ever deployed. That's important to know because in Nevada, there's no lemon law when if comes to buying a used car.
USED CARS "AS IS"
"Used cars, they are bought "As Is" in the state of Nevada," says Bobby.
So hire a mechanic you trust to give you a second opinion on the vehicle. Bobby says any reputable business should be okay with that.
"If you want to do your due diligence as far as take a car to have it inspected and they don't want you to, that is a red flag. Because we're all for making sure that you're 100% comfortable," says Bobby.
Speaking of reputable, Bobby also suggests checking out online reviews before visiting any car lot.
"Third-party reviews; Dealer Rater, Yelp also has them. There's a few out there that will help you. They'll give you a good insight to what other consumers thought about their experience," says Bobby.
In the end, he says your car purchasing experience should be a good one. Finding a vehicle you love at a price you like is possible and important.
"It's probably going to be with you for the next three years. The average consumer drives a car from 30 months to 36 months. So we want you to be happy," says Bobby.
Click here to see specific makes and models Consumer Reports selected for the best used car picks.