American Used Cars On Demand
In comparison to the European market, there are specifics
about the US used car market that should be understood and taken into
|a) Condition and Mileage
Due to the mentality of the Americans and the huge size of their country, the condition and the mileage of cars often differ from those of cars on the European market.
It may happen, for example, that the typical American considers a scratch on his car picked up on a supermarket parking lot as trivial, or that he will not remove a Starbuck's
|coffee stain on the carpet for several months, if at all.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it should be mentioned
at this point, so that you, the customer, are aware of that. All the
cars we purchase can have such flaws removed, or we wouldn’t buy
them in the first place.
The average mileage of 16,000 to 18,000 miles per year is also significantly higher than what people in Europe are used to.
Problems due to higher mileage, however, are not to be expected, since typically these miles are “highway” miles which are not driven at full speed.
Moreover, these cars often have large-sized engines which have a higher life expectancy.
|b) Car Auctions
Although Europe has seen increasing numbers of vehicle auctions in recent years, the idea has not reached anywhere near the status it has in the United States.
A huge number of vehicles are sold this way every week. One of the biggest auctions in the USA, to which only registered
|dealers are admitted, takes place every Friday in Manheim,
Around 7,000 to 8,000 vehicles are auctioned each week. We attend every auction, since our place of business is located quite close.
If you get up early on auction day and carefully inspect potential cars before bidding starts, you can often get some excellent deals.
In Germany and elsewhere many people are attracted to the idea of buying an employee`s car used for a year and then passed on for sale.
Such cars are not very common in the US and the one-year-old cars that are for sale are rarely attractively priced. The reason for this is quite simple.
|Around 85% of new cars bought in the US are leased, and
the minimum leasing period is 24 months. If vehicle owners should decide
to give up their cars, they either try to find someone to take over their
contract or have to pay quite a hefty sum to buy out of the contract.
But even vehicles offered by owners who paid cash for them do not usually constitute a good buy.
When purchasing a car, the average American has to pay sales tax, and usually, in addition to that, a title fee, doc fees, registration fees, emission fees, etc. But these taxes and fees to do not apply to cars intended for export to, say, Europe. This means that once you subtract a certain amount for wear-and-tear and mileage, a one-year-old car would be almost as expensive as a brand-new export car.
So, one-year-old cars are rarely available at attractive prices in the United States. Instead, it is better to go for vehicles aged two years or older.
Of course, the exception proves the rule and it may be possible to find the occasional one-year-old bargain.