Good Used Cars to Buy

by Kenny Soward

Buying a used car presents a difficult choice. There are many factors to consider which include the reputation of the brand, why you need a used car, gas mileage as well as the current condition of the used car. All of these factors must be held against the listed price so that you get the best deal possible. Knowing your vehicles--and a few used car tips--you can save you a lot of money in the long run.

The Best Way to Hunt for a Used Car

The best used cars have reasonable mileage (80 to 100k miles), are no more than 6 to 7 years old, and fit your specific need. Decide whether you need a truck for hauling materials or if you are simply looking for a commuter car. Also, have a maximum amount of money you want to spend and stick to that price. Pick out some dealerships near you or ads placed by private owners and do some online research based on the types of cars available. To get an approximate value of the used car, look at the Kelley Blue Book Website (kbb.com) so you have a rough idea of where to start. This price may go up or down depending on the mileage of the car and if any repairs need to be done. It is also wise to look at the CarFax report on the specific vehicle (carfax.com) and make sure there is not a history of accidents or repair work. When you arrive at the dealership, focus on test-driving the car you came to buy before looking at others. Look beneath the used car to see if there are any oil leaks. While test-driving the used car, make sure that the car shifts gears fluently and that the breaks do not rub unevenly or cause the car to hitch while stopping. Take the car to your personal mechanic and have them do a point by point inspection to make sure there are no major problems.

The Best Used Cars

There is some controversy on whether or not domestic or foreign cars are better as used cars. Over the years, two things are clear: foreign cars seem to last longer, but domestic cars are cheaper to maintain. For commuter cars, the Saturn L200 is a well-built vehicle that will last well over 100k miles, and generally runs for $3,400 used. The Ford Focus is another car that works well for those on a budget who are looking for a commuter car. According to edmunds.com, Hyundai cars years 2002 to 2007 are excellent choices. Toyota Camrys are also well known as being reliable used cars. For SUVs, a 2005 to 2007 Chevy Equinox is a highly rated used car. For pickup trucks, edmunds.com recommends a 2002-2007 Toyota Tacoma.

About the Author

Kenny Soward has written hundreds of articles on various topics ranging from physical fitness to religion and he is not afraid to tackle any subject. In addition to writing articles, Soward is just finishing up his first book about budgeting and spending well which will be released in the fall.