Category Archives: Shopping for Used Cars

Why Buy Certified Pre-Owned?

The benefits of buying a certified pre-owned car are more substantial than you might think. Here are the top reasons why you should buy a certified pre-owned car over a non-certified car.

1. They Come With a Warranty

A common problem with some used cars is that they come with the financial risk if something happens to the car or if you find existing issues later on. However, certified pre-owned cars come with a warranty that softens the financial risk. These warranties can vary, so it’s important to check what they do and do not include before you purchase the car.

2. They Are Inspected

In order to become a certified pre-owned car, a vehicle must pass a multi-point inspection. This is extremely important because it puts the pressure on the dealership to make sure that it passes all of the tests before being sold. This limits the chances of buying a car with many unseen issues.

3. They’re Young and Well-Maintained

As mentioned above, all cars that are a certified pre-owned car must pass multiple tests. Only relatively new, low-mileage, and well-maintained vehicles can pass these tests. This means that you will be able to have the car for a longer period of time before you need to purchase another car. This will save you money in the long run since you won’t need to buy a new car as soon. You will also save money on maintenance costs.

4. They Come With Extras

Depending on the manufacturer, some certified pre-owned cars include no-cost maintenance for a year or more, roadside assistance, trip-interruption reimbursement, and replacement transportation when your car is in the shop.  Also, some manufacturers even offer a chance to return the vehicle within a few days of purchase if you decide it is not the right fit.

5. They Are Usually Backed by the Manufacturer

Most certified used programs are managed and supported by the vehicle’s original manufacturer. This is extremely helpful because it means that you are able to receive service at any of their franchised dealership service departments. So, if you are on the road when something happens, help won’t be too far away.

At Peak Kia North, we offer a variety of certified pre-owned cars. Stop by today or browse online to check out all of the options we have to offer.

 

5 Things to Look For In a Used Car

Buying a used car is a great option if you’re looking for something with a smaller price tag that can get you from point A to point B. We know that buying a used vehicle can be nervewracking, especially if you aren’t a car expert, but it doesn’t have to be! Here are 5 things to look for when shopping for a used vehicle:

Under the Hood

Before you get in a used car and take it for a test drive, take a look under the hood. While you may not be a mechanic, you can at least check for things that might be red flags. Is the engine bay clean and free of oil splatters? Do you see any corrosion on the battery or wires? Those can be signs that the vehicle is not in great working condition. You can also check rubber materials like belts and hoses for cracks by giving them a little squeeze. If everything under the hood checks out, you can move on to the next thing.

Exterior Condition

Take a lap around the vehicle to spot any damage that may decrease the value of the vehicle or that may be a concern. Misaligned panels or large gaps may indicate that the car has been involved in some sort of accident. If this is the case, you can certainly ask a dealer for a vehicle history report. During this lap, it is okay to have the car running so you can check that headlights and brake lights are functional before taking the car for a spin. Don’t forget to check the tread on the tires and any scuff marks on the wheels – and check under the vehicle for potential rust.

Interior Condition

Inside the car itself, you should look for any obvious signs of damage. Look for rips or tears in the upholstery and any stains. You should also check that the AC and heater work properly by turning them on. Turn the windshield wipers on and test that any controls for the turn signals or headlights are also in proper working condition. If the seat adjustments are electronic, test those, as well as your windows and mirror adjustments. Last, check the odometer to make sure that the mileage is the same as what the seller has told you.

Mileage

There is not a simple answer to the question, “what is good mileage for a used car?” because it all really depends on how well the vehicle was maintained. It is good to remember to use caution when purchasing a car with high miles because engine parts are not made to last forever. However, if the previous owner maintained the vehicle well, the car may still have a lot of life left to live. Keep in mind that 100K city miles are harder on a vehicle than 100K highway miles.

Vehicle History Report

A vehicle history report will help you identify problems you can observe by looking at the car. You will be able to see any accidents the vehicle has been in and if there have been past issues with the title. You can get a vehicle history report from the dealership you are purchasing the car from or online using the VIN number. This will help you determine if everything the seller has listed about the car is accurate.

With these five things in mind, you can buy your next used car with confidence! The team at Peak Kia North is committed to providing the best experience to every customer that walks through our doors. With the largest selection of used cars and trucks, and certified pre-owned vehicles, we are certain you will find your next vehicle at Peak Kia North. Check out our inventory today!

Should I Buy a Used Truck with over 100K Miles on It?

It’s the age-old question: how much does mileage matter when buying a used truck? While mileage and age have a major effect on the value of a vehicle, they are not the only considerations to make. In this post, we will discuss why the mileage and age of a used truck matter and one other important consideration to make when looking for a used truck.

Why Mileage on a Used Truck Matters

If you’re buying a used truck, mileage will absolutely be a factor in your decision making. You can think of the odometer reading on a truck as how much life it has lived. The parts of a truck’s engine and suspension are only built to last so long, and a truck with high mileage might indicate that parts are beginning to break down.

That said, the way the truck added its miles is also important to understand. There is a difference in a truck that got most of its miles via city driving and a truck that got its miles through highway driving. City driving is harder on a truck than highway driving. Before you buy a used truck with high miles, figure out which one you’re getting.

Why Age of a Used Truck Matters

The age of a used truck is also important to consider before purchasing. In some instances, it can be more important to miles. For example, let’s say a truck is 10 years old with just 20,000 miles on it. While the mileage is appealing, you should wonder why the mileage is so low. Has the truck been sitting? Has regular maintenance been done on it? A common problem among cars and trucks that sit is oil leaks due to cracking of o-rings and other fittings that keep fluids in the engine. These will need to be checked or replaced before you purchase your used truck.

An Important Consideration

If you are looking to purchase a used truck with over 100k miles on it, an important consideration to make is how well the truck has been taken care of. It can be an older truck with high miles and also be in great shape due to regular maintenance and care by the previous owner. Our take is to not let mileage or age scare you when looking for a used truck. Consider how well the vehicle has been cared for over its lifespan.

If you are in need of a used truck, look no further. Peak Kia North has the largest selection of used trucks in Northern Colorado. You can check out our used inventory here, and you can schedule a 24-Hour test drive here!

How to Buy a Used Car

Shopping for a used car can be a little stressful. How do you know you’re truly getting a good deal on a car that is going to be reliable? Lucky for you, there are several tools out there for used car shoppers to use to get the most for their money. At Peak Kia North, we’ve compiled 10 steps to follow when buying a used car.

#1: Set a Budget

The first step to buying a used car is to set your budget. When you are paying for a car with cash, remember to not completely drain your savings on the price of the car. You should leave some money in the bank to pay for registration, insurance, and repairs and maintenance that need to be done.

If you are planning on taking out a loan for a used car, getting pre-approved can help you determine exactly what your budget should be. Submit an application for pre-approval here and check our payment calculator to estimate what you can afford.

#2: Find the Right Used Car for You

Everyone has a dream car, but that dream car is not always practical. Think about how you plan to use this car. Do you need room for a growing family? Are you going to pull a trailer? Do you need a vehicle to be fuel efficient? Is safety your main priority? Narrow your used car search by making a list of must-have features. You can then search for car models that match your criteria on Car Finder or Edmunds.com. This will help you find the right models of car for you!

#3: Check Ownership Costs & Reliability

While some car models may be inexpensive to purchase, they may be expensive to maintain over the long-term. You can use Kelly Blue Book’s Cost to Own feature or Consumer Reports’ Cost of Vehicle Ownership to estimate and compare the lifetime cost of the different vehicle models. These tools can also show you how reliable these vehicles are to further help you narrow your search.

#4: Let the Search Begin

Once you have narrowed your search further, it’s time to start hunting for used cars near you that meet your criteria. Some good places to look are Craigslist, AutoTrader, and Facebook Marketplace. If you are looking for a Certified Pre-Owned vehicle, your best option will be to look through used inventory at dealerships.

#5: Price the Cars for Future Comparison

Now that you’ve checked out some used inventory and have a few cars on your radar, you will want to price the cars. Kelly Blue Book provides a tool where you can enter the used car’s year, make. Model, mileage and additional options to give you what a fair price for the vehicle would be. You should be able to find this information on the car’s listing. This estimation will help you negotiate the price of the vehicle in the future.

#6: Get a Vehicle History Report

If you have honed in on a vehicle or two that you are strongly considering, it is wise to take a look at their vehicle history report. This is a quick and easy way to know if you should seriously consider a car. Enter the vehicle’s VIN into Carfax or AutoCheck. This report should detail if the title is clean or salvaged, whether it has been involved in any accidents, how many previous owners there have been, and will verify the miles on the vehicle. If the vehicle checks out, you can move on to step 7.

#7: Contact the Seller

Now that you’re comfortable with your selection of a few vehicles, contact the seller. Whether it’s a private sale or you are contacting a dealership, this is a good opportunity to ask any questions you might have. Some basic questions you can ask are:

  • Has the car been looked at by a mechanic? If not, can I have it inspected?
  • Are service records available?
  • Is there any important information I should know that was not included in the ad?

#8: Take the Car for a Test Drive

The next step is to take the car out for a test drive to determine if it’s worth buying. Before you hit the road, be sure to inspect the vehicle for anything glaring that could potentially bring the value down. If everything looks good, it is time to get in the driver’s seat!

Be sure to pick a test drive route that has everything from curved roads, highway speeds, and rough pavement if you can. Drive with the radio off to hear for any strange sounds or vibrations coming from the vehicle. Pay attention to the ergonomics of the car and whether there are any blind spots. Additionally, check the responsiveness of the brakes and acceleration.

Once you’ve completed the test drive, you can then check out the stereo, cargo space, and other features. If everything checks out, you can certainly ask for the vehicle to be thoroughly inspected by a mechanic. If the car is Certified Pre-Owned, this has already been done.

#9: Negotiate a Fair Price

This is the part that most people avoid: negotiation. Negotiating a fair price is not a bad thing. You’ve done your research, you know what a fair price is, and you’ve seen and tested the car. The key to a successful negotiation is being armed with facts, which you have from your pricing research and vehicle history report. Point out any concerns you might have while also making clear that you know the book value of the car. If anything needs to be replaced, like tires, ask for a price below the book value that would help you get the tires replaced. If you are pre-approved, don’t negotiate by monthly payment, negotiate as if you were a cash buyer. If you are at a dealership, remember to ask about any dealership fees before settling on a number. Be prepared to walk if you feel as if you are not getting a fair price from the seller.

#10: Buy the Used Car

Once you and the seller have made an agreement on a fair price for the vehicle, buy it! Be sure to add the vehicle to your insurance policy before you finalize the purchase. If you are purchasing from a private seller, check your state’s requirements for private car sales to ensure you are getting the proper documentation. If you are purchasing your used car from a dealership, they will likely extend warranty offers and they may be worth consideration. Take your time to review any contract, and only sign if you’re comfortable with the terms. Once you’ve signed, that’s it! You’ve made your used car purchase and are all set!

We hope these steps for buying a used car find you well. The staff at Peak Kia North is committed to providing a hassle-free car buying experience. You can even schedule a 24-Hour test drive to get the best test driving experience! Check out our used inventory today!