Deciding on a Used Car

Jun 05

Deciding to buy a used car can be intimidating, but it can be rewarding if you need transportation on a budget.

First, decide what kind of vehicle you want.  Are you interested in an economy car?  A luxury vehicle?  Want a truck, van or sports utility vehicle?  Consider what you’re really going to be using the vehicle for.  An SUV might sound nice, but are you ever going to go camping with it?  A luxury car might impress your friends, but will it help Choosing a Used Caryou pay off your mortgage or your student loans?  Decide on your priorities then look at the makes and models that fit your needs.  Use magazines, industry reviews, and owner comments to check for vehicle dependability and satisfaction.  Decide what age and mileage is comfortable for you.  Also, industry or owner reviews can alert you to certain problems that may be common on your selected vehicles.

Second, decide on your budget.  How much can you comfortably afford to spend on the vehicle?  Remember to leave some money in the budget for repairs and maintenance, because every used car needs something.  Oftentimes the owner has delayed fixing things in the car in the hope that these costs will be pawned off on the buyer.  These repairs and maintenance costs frequently range between $500 to $1000, but they can vary drastically (especially with more expensive vehicles), so be prepared to pay.

Once you’ve decided on the vehicle and budget, it’s time to search for a match.  Aside from general classified ads and newsstand car classifieds, there are several other venues you can check out.   Websites like Kelley Blue Book (, Edmunds (, AutoTrader (, Auto Express (, Craigslist (, and others have excellent Online Car Buyinglistings of used cars.  Use these sites to look-up the typical cost of target vehicles with the year and mileage you want.

Once you find a car that matches your wants, determine if it matches your budget.  If not, it might be time for a reality check.  Either increase the price you are willing to pay for the vehicle or up the age or mileage of the vehicle you are willing to buy.  Sometimes, if you are open to different makes or models, this can solve the problem.  Also, don’t forget to keep your eyes open around town for used cars.  Shopping for used cars on the side of the road allows you to see the condition of the car right away.  They can even open your mind to vehicles you may not have considered.

Whatever you decide, make sure you are happy with the car before buying it.  It’s not worth it to compromise too much and end up with a car you hate!

-Ratchet Robbie


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One comment

  1. Very interesting post. Thank you for sharing.

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