We all remember that first drive right after we snagged our driver’s licenses. Regardless of whether you were off to meet up with friends, catch a movie, or just take in the naturally beautiful Canadian landscape, this drive represented the first taste of true freedom in our adolescent lives. And if you were anything like most of us, you were probably taking that drive in a reliable but older used car.
You probably have fond memories of this first car. And you should—it represented much more than just a few tires connected by an internal combustion engine. This car was your rite of passage, your first entry into the world of adults. But if you think long enough about it, you may also remember that sticky gear shift. Or the AM-only radio. Or that ratty upholstery that didn’t age too well over time.
Now don’t get us wrong, you should maintain that nostalgia for your first ride. You and that car have an inseparable bond that shouldn’t be sullied by modernity or a clear recollection of its shortcomings. But you should also know that today’s used cars are quite a bit different than that first ride. Below are the three primary differences to keep in mind as you shop through your pre-owned options.
Used Cars Are Increasingly Affordable
The global financial crisis in 2008 that sparked the Great Recession had a sizable impact on the automobile market. As consumers tightened their belts and forewent automobile purchases, the market cratered. Down in Michigan, the biggest automakers in 2009 reported the lowest number of new car sales—10.4 million—since 1982. As the market has recovered over the past few years, we’ve seen more and more consumers across the world picking back up on their typical automobile purchasing trends, but this has resulted in a massive imbalance in supply and demand for used cars. With gains in supply outstripping increases in demand, consumers have seen lower and lower prices for high-quality used cars.
Premium Technology Is Available
If you wanted premium technology in your car just a few years ago, you almost certainly had to purchase a new car to get it. And that distinction was going to cost you—the difference between the average price of a new car and the average price of a used car could run as high as $300 per month depending on loan terms. But the increase in trade-ins of recent-year models has resulted in a surge in premium technology available in used cars. Technology previously siloed in new cars, such as adaptive cruise control, back-up cameras, blind-spot monitoring, Bluetooth audio, car apps, dual-zone climate control, forward-collision warning, automatic braking and head-up displays are now common fare in used cars throughout Canada. Ride Time boasts plenty of these options in several of their used cars, and can save you hundreds of dollars per month compared to what you previously had to pay to access them.
Manufacturers Care More About Quality
The typical car on the road today is a record-high 11.5 years old. It may be easy to chalk this up to a lingering effect of the Great Recession, but this assumption is faulty; automobile owners are purchasing far more vehicles than they are scrapping. When asked about the matter, Mark Seng, global aftermarket practice leader at IHS Automotive, stated succinctly, “Vehicles are simply lasting longer than ever before…There’s quite a lot of evidence of these vehicles lasting longer, staying on the road longer.”
This bodes extremely well for the viability of purchasing a used car. It is now feasible for consumers to look at a model with 70,000 miles on it and envision getting another decade of high-quality use out of the car. And as used car prices across canada continue to decline, the value proposition for used cars continues to grow.
Convinced? Come into Ride Time!
The evidence is clear: now, perhaps more than ever, is the time to invest in a high-quality used car. At Ride Time, we believe in bundling the highest-quality used cars with unbeatable service and integrity throughout our process. Our staff is trained to focus on your needs, not silly sales quotas or incentives. The end result is the car you need, with the terms you want, all with the community trust we’ve built up over years. If you want to see just how much used cars have changed since your teenage years, come in and chat with us!