Georgia residents will find that Atlanta autos are easy to acquire and relatively inexpensive. The abundance of Atlanta car dealerships available to choose from keeps competition high and costs low, making the market an attractive one for residents looking for a new car. Not all Atlanta residents will need a car, given that some may live, work and play within neighborhoods well-served by the city’s Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA).
However, Atlanta’s infamous traffic suggests that most residents do in fact find a car necessary to accommodate their employment, personal and recreational needs. The preference for owning personal vehicles may be bolstered by local gas prices, which consistently parallel or fall below national averages, and car insurance rates which run around $1,000 per vehicle per year. Motorists’ other vehicle-related expenses will depend primarily on the type, age and cost of their chosen vehicles.
New Cars for Sale in Atlanta
Residents can find new cars for sale in Atlanta of every make, model and description. From tiny Smart Cars to giant SUVs, Atlanta car dealerships offer competitive pricing and valuable services, such as assistance registering and titling vehicles.
There are many benefits to buying a new vehicle in Atlanta, including:
- Acquiring vehicles with the latest safety features and technology.
- The ability to customize a vehicle’s features.
- Comprehensive service packages, warranties and other free or low-cost new car benefits packages.
- Dealership assistance in the buying, registering, titling and tax-paying processes.
At the same time, however, motorists should consider the potential drawbacks of buying new cars from Atlanta auto dealers, as well. These may include:
- The significant and rapid drop in value new vehicles experience in the first few years after purchase.
- Potentially higher insurance premiums sometimes assessed on new vehicles.
- Higher tax and registration costs.
- Significant upfront costs.
Atlanta Used Cars
Atlanta used cars can be much more affordable for local motorists in the market for a vehicle. Not only do they have lower upfront costs, they also typically cost less in taxes, registration and insurance. Additionally, they may be less expensive to find replacement parts for and come with no restrictions on where they can be serviced as new vehicles under warranty sometimes do.
There are, however, some potential drawbacks to buying used cars for sale in Atlanta.
- Buyers must select from what is available and cannot order customized vehicles.
- Used cars may have been in accidents, have been tampered with, or been poorly maintained.
- Person-to-person transactions place more responsibility on the buyer to understand and properly execute the car-buying process and all associated paperwork.
- Purchasers experience more potential for problems and less potential for legal recourse when buying a used car.
- Used vehicles typically do not come with warranties, service packages or other benefits.
Reductions in cost can outweigh some of these inconveniences. Purchasing a used vehicle through a reputable Atlanta auto broker can address many others.
Atlanta Auto Pricing
Atlanta is ranked as one of the top 10 best places to buy a vehicle in Georgia. While Georgia is a relatively affordable place to buy a car in general compared to nationwide costs and trends, Atlanta auto buyers have an additional bonus in that they can secure quality vehicles for an average of $1,000 less than consumers elsewhere.
Experts warn, however, that Atlanta auto sales prices can vary widely from dealer to dealer, even within short distances. Accordingly, they strongly encourage motorists to shop around and compare prices before purchasing a vehicle, as buying from a dealer slightly further from home can yield substantial savings.
Taxes, Titles and Other Fees
Sale price is not the only factor that matters in the Atlanta auto trade. It is important for Atlanta residents to keep in mind that the sticker price of a vehicle is not the total cost they will be responsible for upon purchase. Whether buying new or used, all motorists will be required to pay:
- Tax on the vehicle
- Title fees
- Registration fees
While Georgia maintains a four percent state sales tax, it does not apply to vehicles. Instead, car buyers pay an “Ad Velofum” tax which encompasses both vehicle taxes and the necessary registration fees. Total Ad Velorum cost is based on vehicles’ values and will be different for each vehicle.
Additional county or municipality taxes may also apply to both new car sales and Atlanta used auto sales. Disabled veterans, active duty United States military service members and other qualifying parties may be exempt from Ad Velorum taxes.
Additionally, motorists are required to hold insurance policies on their vehicles, which they include when calculating their total costs. Insurance costs are typically based on vehicle type, age and cost, as well as motorists’ driving and credit histories.
Residents exploring cars for sale in Atlanta and nearby cities, counties or states should also take into account the variations in costs between importing vehicles and buying vehicles in-state. Motorists who purchase, title and register vehicles in other states and then bring them to Atlanta will need to pay additional fees to re-title and register their vehicles upon moving to Atlanta.
In some cases, however, these costs may be avoided by using a three-day affidavit to get a newly purchased out-of-state vehicle to Atlanta for initial registry. Buyers can discuss this possibility with out-of-state dealerships before purchase, if desired.
General Car Buying Best Practices
The state of Georgia Consumer Protection Division recommends that consumers interested in Atlanta auto sales invest the time to properly prepare before buying. Specifically, they advise consumers to:
- Consider what they need and want in a vehicle.
- Determine how much they can afford to pay for a vehicle, taking into account potential trade-in value, monthly payments, insurance coverage and other factors.
- Research vehicles that meet their criteria for safety and reliability ratings, and general price ranges.
- Apply for financing, if necessary, in advance through a trusted bank or credit union.
- Shop around for the best pricing.
- Verify the history of used cars via an approved and reliable online source.
These simple steps can significantly improve customers’ likelihood of securing a safe, trustworthy vehicle they can enjoy for years to come through Atlanta car dealerships or private sales.