Getting The Most Bang for Your Buck with Used Cars in Dayton

November 9th, 2018 by

Man in suit holding a red toy car

When it comes to buying an automobile, the one thing every driver needs to be thinking about is how to get the best possible value from their vehicle. There really is no simple answer to this questions, since many factors apply when estimating vehicle value, but if you insist on the cliff notes version, the answer to this is investing in a used car. Used cars in Dayton, OH are everywhere and come it all styles, quality levels, and price points, and if you learn to understand and bring out their true value, you will always be getting the most bang for your buck.

Investment Types

Before doing anything, when it comes to vehicle investments, it is first important to understand your options. There are four main investment types when it comes to acquiring a vehicle, each with their own list of advantages and disadvantages.


If you aren’t made of money, which most everyday drivers are not, then you will want to invest in a vehicle that offers the best overall value possible for not only the short term but long term. Used vehicles take up a vast majority of the automotive world, and that is honestly a great thing that drivers should be taking advantage of. A vehicle that has had previous owners is clearly more affordable in a number of ways and can feel like a treasure hunt where you sort through the “fool’s gold” to find the gem. Here are some pros and cons of used vehicles:


  • Lower sticker price
  • Insurance and interest are more financially forgiving
  • Slower depreciation rate
  • Large variety of vehicles from all years
  • Problems with the vehicle are generally pointed out and fixed for selling purposes


  • Won’t last as long as new and mileage may be high
  • You must do intensive research and Inspections to avoid a lemon
  • Customizability is limited to what you can find or add later
  • The latest features may not be available
  • Lacks that new car freshness


New vehicles are clearly the ideal option for anyone who has money to spare and is not a fan of compromising what they want in their vehicle. While it’s true that nothing beats that new car smell and having the best features on the market, a new car is a hefty investment that may not be worth the extra cash you will have to put out. Here are some pros and cons of new cars:


  • Latest and greatest everything
  • Low mileage with many years left in it
  • Complete customization
  • Everything looks feels and smells fresh
  • Quality mostly guaranteed


  • Generally, overprice starting value
  • Insanely fast depreciation rate within the first year
  • High insurance costs
  • Limited to current years models
  • Ratings are still up in the air

Certified Pre-Owned

Somewhere in-between new and used are certified pre-owned vehicles, also known as CPO vehicles. CPO vehicles are newer models that have been lightly used by a previous owner and are then tested for quality assurance from the manufacturer or dealership. These vehicles offer the reassurance of a new vehicle with the cost efficiency of a used vehicle. Here are some pros and cons of a CPO vehicle:


  • Hardly used
  • Quality tested
  • lower priced


  • The vehicles has had previous owner(s)
  • The cost will reflect the like-new quality
  • The market for them can feel limited

Man and woman looking at cars in showroom


Leasing is that options you choose if you just have this deep desire to jump from vehicle to vehicle every few years without having to worry about what to do with the last one. Leasing is when you sign a contract that allows you the freedom to drive a car you do not own for a low monthly cost. Majority of leased vehicles are brand new, and the contracts generally last up to three or so years. Leasing contracts will also have restraints on how many miles it can be driven, and what condition the vehicle must come back in. When the lease is up you will have to return it, but you can also choose to buy it for a depreciated value or even renew the lease for a couple more years. Financially speaking though, this is probably one of the least appealing options since it is just cash leaving your hand and never returning. Here are some pros and cons of leasing:


  • New vehicle for low payments
  • Warranty assured
  • No worries about what to do with the vehicle afterwards


  • Limited mileage
  • You must keep it clean
  • No return on investment or trade-in value since you do not own it


So Why Used?

When you invest in a used car, you are investing in your future. While their mileage has taken a hit, used and CPO vehicles are going to be saving you a ton of money in other aspects of financing. While the clearest way is through the depreciated value marked on the sticker price, it is actually the rate of depreciation that you should be paying attention to.  New cars have an extremely fast rate of deprecations during their first year, but eventually, that starts to slow down. This means that when you buy a used car, someone else has taken the biggest hit to the vehicle’s value for you and that you can feel secure in knowing the value won’t be taking any major drops if left undamaged. Additionally used cars will have lower interest rates and insurance fees due to their already depreciated worth. Basically, the stigma that all used cars are damaged goods will work in your favor most of the time. Add all this together, and it is clear to see that when it comes to money you just have to go used if you want the most bang for your buck.

Avoiding a Bad Deal

While used cars in Dayton Ohio are the best, there is always a level of risk when it comes to buying something that someone else has already had ownership of. This is why it is important to do the following things in order to assure you are getting a good deal:

  • Research like you are an automotive fanatic
  • Keep your needs as simple as possible
  • Inspect every inch of the vehicle until you are satisfied no matter what kind of pressure you are under
  • Take all the time you need to feel secure before signing anything
  • Never buy “as-is.”
  • Make sure to brush up on lemon laws


Getting the Best Value

Just as there are ways to avoid a bad deal, there are ways to secure the best value possible. Here are a few things to keep in mind when buying and owning a used car in Dayton, Ohio:

  • Try to save in advance to put in as much as you can at the start
  • Try to invest in a used car that is high on resilience and fuel efficiency
  • Make small cosmetic or tech upgrades a couple of times a year
  • Keep your vehicle clean inside and out
  • Have a strict maintenance schedule inspired by the owner’s manual


Where Your Dollar Will Stretch the Farthest

At McCluskey Auto, we make your life easier by providing quality and affordable used cars to the drivers of Dayton Ohio. We at McCuskey Auto want to make sure our community gets the best value possible on all their investments, so we take the time to listen to your needs and lead you through the process with no hassle at all. So next time you want to get the biggest bang for your buck, just stop by and speak with our friendly and informed representatives.