Used Car Buying Tips - Part 1: Classic Confusions

by golbguru on July 16, 2007

I will be talking quite a bit about car buying in the following days. The posts will be generally derived from our experience during the past several days in this matter. I am hoping to cover all the material in my head in about 5 parts (probably even less). Although, this series of posts won’t be a *comprehensive guide* by any yardstick, I am hoping that it will be a handy reference for people who are in the market for used cars. All inputs and/or tips will be appreciated.

Let’s start the series by visiting a few common dilemmas faced by people who are looking for used cars.

Used Cars vs. New Cars

If your budget is between $4000 and $12000, you won’t really have any confusion here; there is only one option for you - used cars. Confusion starts taking shape when your budget goes beyond $12000. It usually strikes your heart when your good friend pops a question to this effect “Instead of spending $12500 for a used intermediate sized sedan, why don’t you spend a little bit more and buy a brand new compact sedan?“. For example, instead of buying a used 2002 Toyota Camry (50K miles) for $12500, why not buy a brand new 2007 Toyota Yaris (equally reliable) for about $14500 drive-out price? The argument makes sense IF - you really don’t *need* a larger car, AND if you can afford the extra couple of thousand dollars.

To avoid this confusion, first decide your budget before you start looking for a car - and stick to it. Then, decide what type of car (small, large, loaded, base version, etc) you *need*. Believe me, in the long run, it will be easier to adjust to a smaller, slightly older, less equipped car than it will be to adjust to a larger payment. Also, be cruel when it comes to filtering your *needs*. I will laugh at you if you tell me you need leather trim, a 6-CD changer, and dual-zone climate control. Once you decide these two parameters (budget and needs), the rest of the things will just fall into place automatically.

By the way, if a good brand new car is within your budget, in my opinion, you should go ahead and buy it - it will be worth the additional costs (high depreciation in the initial years). You just can’t put a value for the peace of mind (due to the complete warranty coverage and due to the knowledge that your car wasn’t abused by some jackrabbit idiot for the last 20,000 miles). Just make sure you take the true cost of ownership of the car into consideration before you jump on just the sticker price.

Larger Older Cars vs. Smaller Newer Cars

This confusion occurs after you have fixed your budget and are looking for different cars within that budget.

We faced this situation last week when we had a choice of two cars that came to almost the same drive-out price. The first car was a 2002 Honda Accord EX (V6, leather, and totally loaded) with 69,000 miles, and the second one was a 2005 Toyota Corolla CE (base model with very few extras - didn’t even have power windows) with 21,000 miles on it. We loved the Accord for the power and all the bells and whistles, but there was absolutely no doubt that the Corolla had a lot more reliable life left on it (with proper care) than the Accord. Plus, the Corolla held enough room for our needs, and had enough power to cruise the highways even with full occupancy - so we finally went for the Corolla.

This confusion can get very difficult sort out, especially if you get blinded by the “goodies” from the larger (more loaded) car. The key here is to avoid making an impulsive decision and revisit your needs. Do you really need the V6 engine? and 815 cup holders? and leather upholstery? If you feel even the slightest hesitation in deciding between the cars, the best thing to do is - DON’T decide. Just go home and sleep over it; you will certainly think more clearly on the following day [btw, that's exactly what we did in our case].

If you noticed, I am comparing between a Honda and a Toyota in the example above; I am sure I would have chosen the Accord if it was a choice between a 2002 Honda Accord and a 2005 Ford Taurus. Keep reliability ratings in mind when you are making your way out of such confusions.

Private Party vs. Dealerships

Generally, cars offered through dealerships are a couple of thousand dollars more expensive than those offered by private parties (individuals). However, there are some positive aspects of dealing with a car dealer, namely, the freedom to spend as much time as you want in inspecting a vehicle, getting free CARFAX reports (most dealers will pull one up for you if you request), having a variety of cars at a single location, and some accountability.

That “accountability” part might be surprising for some people, but I do assign some weight to it. A car dealership can be easily sued if they fail to disclose structural damages to a vehicle; they have a lot of reputation to lose in such cases (for example, here are some cases in Virginia) - even in the case of “as-is” sales. *Generally*, established car dealerships, representing reputed car manufacturers, won’t deliberately try to sucker you into buying a lemon [you can imagine the kind of attention a dealer will generate if he sells me a damaged Toyota vehicle that still has factory warranty on it - without disclosing the damage]. Plus, dealerships also offer the the “certified used” programs through which you can buy a vehicle with factory warranty (albeit at a higher price). Of course, exceptions are always there (there are plenty of rogue dealers - and bogus *certified* programs), so I would not extend this as a blanket explanation for all dealerships.

On the other hand, almost all private party sales are considered as “as-is” and generally there will not be any written documentation involved. There is no incentive of “maintaining reputation” as in the case of an established dealer. Plus, there is no “higher authority” (for example a manager, or BBB, etc.) to lodge a complaint. Your only recourse in case a private party deal goes bad would be a small claims court - that too if you have ALL the proper documentation for your deal.

Automatic Transmission vs. Manual Transmission

Technically, there is no *confusion* here - you either can drive a manual shift or you can’t. Generally, manual transmission cars are available for cheap - and are better maintained (according to what I have observed). Manual versions don’t fly off the car lots as fast as the automatic versions and dealers are more *agreeable* to negotiations on these cars - the difference could easily be in the range of couple of thousand dollars for popular cars.

We had an extremely good deal on a 2005 Toyota Matrix with just 14K miles on it, but we had to give it up because we both are not very comfortable with manual transmission (although we can use it).

Go manual if you can and save some money.

However, keep in mind that you will have some trouble selling a manual transmission in future as increasing number of people get used to automatic transmissions. The money you saved while buying the vehicle could be easily lost while selling it. :)

That’s all I can think of right now as far as confusions are concerned. Tomorrow we will discuss a few things about vehicle history information and how you can make the most of it. So stay tuned.

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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Gaming the Credit System 07.16.07 at 8:57 am

I totally would have gone for the Matrix with the manual transmission. Same car as the Corolla but with more room. But, I like driving a stick.

One other difference between buying used and new is the financing. (I know, financing a car isn’t usually the best decision, but let’s be realistic…. even if I had $10k in-hand, I don’t think I’d use it to pay cash for a car.) Usually you’re fairly limited in your financing choices for a used car. New cars usually can be financed by the manufacturer’s lending division, often with low interest rates or other perks. If my choice was the one you outlined above with the Yaris at $14.5k financed at 2.9%, I think I’d go for the Yaris.

2 plonkee 07.16.07 at 9:36 am

Its funny that manuals are cheaper over here in the UK too, automatics aren’t nearly as popular and can be quite hard to get rid of.

3 Andy 07.16.07 at 10:12 am

Great article. If you’re prepared to spend the money on a new car and buy a used one instead, you can double your money. You could buy a new BMW 530i for $40,095, or a 2002 of the same model for $21,450. The savings on a 48-month car loan at 8.5% would be $436.07. Save that amount plus the fifth year of no car payments and you’ve doubled your money in five years — even if you keep your savings under the mattress; you’d need a 15% annual return to double your money in the stock market. This way, there’s no risk!

4 broknowrchlatr 07.16.07 at 1:01 pm

One additional point for Large older vs small newer car. I see your point about the reliability of a newer car, but here is another point to considder.

In general, the larger engines last longer. So, if you have a car with no speacial features (that can go bad), you may be better off from a reliability factor by going with a bigger engine. My grandfather has a V8 truck that is over 20 years old with over 250,000 miles on it. There are no bells and whistles. It has regular maintenence and things go wrong from time to time. But, with virtually no electronics and a large durable engine, it is probably the most reliable car anyone in my family has had.

I guess maybe that argument is based on bells and whistles. I had a 1998 Taurus with a 6 disk cd changer, electric windows and seats, ABS, moonroof, and a transmission with some special feature that made it change gears more easily.

Well, the CD player stopped working, and the ABS was sticking after a year. Got those fixed but then the tranny started missing going in to gear. Becoming a saftey hazzard, I had to trade it in. I got a mere $1500 for it. It was 5 years old and only had 60k miles on it.

On the other hand, my 1994 Ranger with manual tranmission, no AC, no electric (except power steering and factory tap player) and a 3.9 liter engine has basically had no problems at all and it now has 130k miles on it. I’m going to drive it till it completely dies.

5 Kevin 07.16.07 at 3:16 pm

Wow — there are a lot of good points in that article! I also like broknowrchlatr’s point about reliability vs. bells and whistles.

I wrote up my argument in favor of used cars here:

http://money.kevingunn.org/index.php?/archives/47-How-much-for-that-new-car-aura.html

New cars just lose value too darn fast for my tastes.

6 Baz L 07.16.07 at 3:35 pm

Nice to see that I’m not the only guy who would fall over himself over an older Accord as apposed to a newer Taurus. I just feel better in a Jap. car, I’m sorry. Although these days Honda is pushing it with their price tags. That’s why I opt. for a Mitsu.

On the larger/smaller car thing. “Larger engines last longer”? This is the first I’ve heard of this frankly. But even without this, with the way gas prices are right now, it was easy for me to make my choice to a newer, smaller car.

But I had the fortune of getting a new car after a lot of the depreciation. I got a brand new (24 miles) 2006 Lancer a few months ago. Been sitting on the lot. Nobody wanted it but me? They put all that advertising into the “pretty” 2008 Lancer, so no one wants the “ugly” 06.

Baz L
Day In The Life of Baz
http://www.LifeOfBaz.com/

7 Toyota Fan's Club 07.16.07 at 5:26 pm

According to the one article…

Toyota, maker of the once famous Toyota Matrix parts, is bringing the “Highway to the Future: Mobile Hybrid Experience,” to Livingston, Montana for the Northern Rockies Sustainability Fair. It is a nationwide tour that is designed to provide consumers with a firsthand opportunity to experience automotive hybrid technology.

In January 11, 2007, the tour debuted at the San Jose International Auto Show. It is now traveling to more than 150 events across the country during the next 18 months. Through a number of interactive educational exhibits and test drives, consumers will have an opportunity to test Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive system and learn about hybrid technology.

Celeste Migliore, Toyota’s National Manager for Advanced Technology Vehicles, said that most people have heard of hybrid technology and probably have a shallow idea of how it works, but only a few have actually driven a hybrid and or taken an up-close look at its operation. According to Migliore, the tour allows consumers to learn more on the technology behind this system and the benefits derived from hybrid vehicles.

Highway to the Future: Mobile Hybrid Experience functions like a mobile museum to the environment as well as to alternative fuels. The exhibit will be situated at Sacajawea Park from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 14.

Within the exhibit, there are four distinct interactive learning areas. One is the “Alternative Fuels: Fueling the Future”. It identifies the differences in the different types of alternative fuels and how they are produced. Next is the “Environment and Resources: Small Steps, Big Difference”, which shows attendees what they can do to make a difference to the environment. The third one is “The Prius Driving Experience”, which feigns the current Hybrid Synergy Drive technology allowing visitors to interact with system while on-screen instructions offer driving tips, and the last one is the “Hybrid Technology: Not All Hybrids are Created Equal” exhibit which gives visitors a better understanding of the different hybrid technology options on the market and how hybrids benefit the consumer and the environment as well.

Other than those, the exhibit provides attendees the chance to get behind the wheel of the Prius, Camry Hybrid and Highlander Hybrid for them to experience Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive system.

Not only interesting educational activities are offered by the hybrid experience. It is also designed to eliminate its own environmental impact. As a matter of fact, Toyota will plant more than 50,000 trees in honor of those visiting the experience in lieu of the National Arbor Day Foundation. These trees will help repay the “carbon footprint” of the trucks which are transporting the tour across the country and will continue to have a positive impact on the environment as years pass by.

… I will still with the manual transmission. From the very first day I had a car I always do the manual, automatics are not necessary for me.

8 Baz L 07.16.07 at 7:11 pm

My next car (in the next 6-7 years) will be a Camry (2 years older than whatever’s out that time).

Baz L
Day In The Life of Baz
http://www.LifeOfBaz.com

9 Tim 07.17.07 at 11:35 am

i need leather upholstery in order to have heated seats. if you have had heated seats, then you know what i mean. so laugh away.

dual-zone climate control is a must have, b/c i like it cold while my wife likes it warm. so it’s a need. laugh away.

10 Baz L 07.17.07 at 3:54 pm

I guess everyone is entitled to their wants. And I’ve always been a huge advocate of “if you can afford it, then get it”, but I can never see myself in that situation. You can get a lil’ back massage thing for about $40.00 and stick it in the cigarette lighter of any car you travel in. It’s a bit ghetto, but then my butt doesn’t freeze in the winter. In the summer leather seats are totally worthless if you ask me. You have to keep treating them or the sun is going to ruin them. Not to mention the burns, oh gosh.

But again, to each his own. I’m a poor guy who’s always had to find innovative ways around money shortages.

Baz L
Day In The Life of Baz
http://www.LifeOfBaz.com/

11 Debbie 07.18.07 at 7:08 am

I will never buy from a dealer again. First, my budget isn’t big enough anymore. Ten years ago I went to a dealer just to confirm my suspicion and asked if they had anything for $3000. The lowest-priced car they had was $5000. I was ready to leave but the guy kept harassing me. “How much can you afford per month?” “I can afford $0 per month with a down payment of $3000.”

I deal with the lack of accountability in two ways. First I have the car inspected by a Lemon Busters type place. They can find all kinds of things, even things that don’t need fixing now, but will soon. You can use the results to negotiate the price down.

Second, I buy cars that are so inexpensive that if I do mess up and get a lemon, I can afford to just buy another one.

Larger older car versus smaller newer car? Neither! I want smaller older car.

Automatic vs. manual? I used to feel the way you do, but I found a car that was pretty easy to shift, so I got it thinking that I would get better with practice. I did and came to prefer a manual because I feel closer to my car, like I’m more able to feel how it’s doing. For my next car I found a bargain that was an automatic, but the gas mileage is much worse, so I’m really trying for a manual next time.

Here’s another choice: sedan vs. wagon. I used to want a wagon or hatchback because the car is more versatile in what you can carry. But I’ve almost never needed to use the hatchback as anything other than a regular trunk, my boyfriend has a pickup truck, and I prefer having the contents of my trunk hidden (the covers are annoying, broken, or missing when I get the car), so next time I really want a sedan.

12 golbguru 07.18.07 at 8:46 am

Gaming the Credit System: The financing confusion is a good point - I didn’t opt for the financing option and will have to write in detail about it; this comment space won’t do much justice. :)

Debbie: “I was ready to leave but the guy kept harassing me. “How much can you afford per month?””

I had the same experience on our first day we started looking for a car. I have some tips to counter this - will post them in a day or two.

13 car girl 07.18.07 at 12:22 pm

Can you talk about leasing?
I’m wondering about a 3 yr lease for my grad student son. Pluses and minuses???

14 Patrick 07.23.07 at 9:11 pm

While most of your article is very informative and useful, I do have one contrary opinion. I know its well established that ‘American’ cars are not as reliable as their foreign counterparts, but I do wish to point out some things that are false of this belief (since it is one that you share).

I am the first to admit that many cars made by traditional ‘American’ brands during the 80s and even into the 90s were not of the best quality. There was some lemons. But times have changed.

I’m not saying ‘American’ cars are the best in reliability, but the traditional ‘best’ brands sure are having trouble keeping their brands reliable today.

For example, I have 2 co-workers who both own Honda Accords. One is a 2007 Coupe and one is a 2002 Sedan. For some reason, both owners are having problems with their check engine lights. It has even caused the sedan owner to try to sell the car, as a check engine light in NJ is an immediate fail for NJ auto inspection. Honda, fail… makes you think… hmmm… Maybe there was just a couple of lemons out there. Okay, I can agree with that, except that the problem transcends 5 model years!! Note: The coupe is under warranty, but Honda doesn’t know what the problem is and is blaming it on the
owner. Honda has a problem and even the dealerships don’t want to deal with it.

Next, Toyota. Oh yes, Toyota will ‘last forever’. If that is the case, then how come more American cars continue to be re-registered than for Toyota? Maybe because this ‘reliability’ that is perceived is based on a, shall I say, an unreliable block of time? Anyone else notice that Toyota has more recalls than any other manufacturer (2006-2007)? Doesn’t sound that reliable OR SAFE to me. And Americans are buying them?

To further the point, my family is an American buying family, but will consider other cars based solely on what they offer. Value vs options has not been there for the foreign cars. If you think I’m full of it, compare a Camry and a G6. The G6 handles better, has better quality parts (ie the tires alone cost more in a tire retail center) and is a lot more attractive. Maybe I’m ‘old-fashioned’ at 26, but I also like cars to have some torque with their HP. There is no Toyota or Honda that offers a true ’sport’ version of any model. (The S2000 is as ’sporty’ as a Miata)

Now I have obviously blown holes into your foreign cars are reliable theory, but what about my cars? Well, my parents owned and sold a 1980 and 1991 Chevy Caprice Station Wagons for well over their ‘value’ with 180K and 175K respectively. Did I mention they were the original transmission and engine? Okay, maybe the V8s are better than say GM’s V4s? Well, wouldn’t you know that I sold my Pontiac Sunfire, with 110K, for $4500? Yup, you guessed it, original engine and transmission. (I upgraded to a Grand Prix, otherwise I would have kept it till it hit 200K easy) Never had a check engine light on in my car. I won’t lie and say it didn’t have its hick-ups here and there, but it definitely wasn’t anything that was going to effect the car in a real mechanical way. A check engine light should cause real concern. Side note: I did seriously consider a Subaru Impreza GT and a Hyundai Sonata before deciding on a more powerful and roomy Grand Prix Sedan.

Just to round out the ‘argument’ here, I feel people should drive a car they LIKE to drive and can afford. Don’t drive a Toyota cause you THINK it will be more reliable (recall anyone?)or a Honda Accord because you think it is safer (Insurance Institute rated the Accord coupe as one of the worst cars to be in, if your ever involved in an accident. - It recieved a score of 293 when the industry average is 100, creating a 193% worse than the average car).

So, what I am suggesting in this long comment is, buy what you like, not on what is popular.

P.S. If Toyota is #1 in the world, how come its dead last in Japan? Maybe they know something Americans don’t. Feel free to respond.

15 golbguru 07.23.07 at 11:10 pm

Patrick: Personally, I don’t care about the looks, for *goodies*, or the extra power (in our town extra power will only get you to the next traffic light two seconds before me :) ). All I care is a good “no-problem” car, with a good resale value, and hence my inclination towards Toyota or Honda.

Of course, there must be some very well made American cars that are around - I don’t deny that, but honestly, I personally haven’t heard about many such cases and hence I don’t have any special love for them.

And, like you say, people shouldn’t blindly buy a car because other people buy it. It’s always good to evaluate a car on it’s merit and your *needs*.

Btw, who told you that Toyota comes “dead last” in Japan?

Here are the top 10 sellers in Japan for the second quarter of 2007 (note that Daihatsu is owned by Toyota):

1. Suzuki Wagon R*: 53,659

2. Daihatsu Move*: 49,323

3. Toyota Corolla: 32,253

4. Toyota Vitz: 25,879

5. Daihatsu Tanto*: 24,776

6. Daihatsu Mira*: 22,510

7. Honda Fit: 21,651

8. Honda Life*: 20,858

9. Toyota Passo: 18,978

10. Suzuki Alto*: 17,307

16 Patrick 07.24.07 at 7:58 am

In response to you golbguru…

I honestly was not aware that Daihatsu was a Toyota brand. As for Toyota’s actual name on that list, it appears only 3 out of 10. Also, where is Subaru? Subaru is owned by Toyota as well. Seems like you have a slight point, but I would argue that they don’t advertise these other brands as being Toyota. Just a thought…

As to your response about a ‘good, no problem’ car, did I miss something? Toyota was #1 in recalls as recent as 2006 (here is my proof: http://www.businessweek.com/autos/content/jul2006/bw20060717_855947.htm)

How could you say you want a ‘no-problem’ car and say that is why you chose Toyota. They recalled EVERY model in 2006. If you can show me where they are problem free, I invite you to do so, but in recalls alone, the opposite is proving true.

As for the looks and ‘goodies’ as you call them, I need not go further than point out that ‘goodies’ like anti-lock breaks and side air-bags have shown to save lives. Toyota has long avoided ABS, side airbags, and traction control except on their high-end models. My 2002 Pontiac Sunfire had 4-wheel ABS standard with Enhanced Traction Control, while the Celica at that time limited it to their top tiered model. I personally don’t care about the leather (although my current car does come with it standard) or a GPS unit, but I personally value Onstar (including the 25% discount on my car insurance) and a satalite ready radio (I hate commercials).

As for needs, I agree, everyone should buy according to that. Just look past the **supposed** reliability. And to point out one other fact, my car’s value has barely moved since the day I bought it, so even that may be specific to some models, but not to all.

17 golbguru 07.24.07 at 8:44 am

Judging car *reliability* based on recalls is a tricky issue. Recalls usually are indicative of “initial quality” and sometimes also include trivial issues like “wrong contact information for NHSTA in the user’s manual” (this happened to Honda Civic last year I think). It is difficult for a common man to judge the severity of a recall (or relate it to long term reliability) just based on the knowledge that “recall has been issued. For example, a recall for changing headlight lens doesn’t mean that the car will give problems after 70,000 miles.

Also, you should understand that there are “preventive” recalls ~ stuff done to avoid the remote possibility of things going wrong, and there are “remedial” recalls ~ things are breaking apart (or catching fire) and someone needs to do something about it.

As far as I know, both of Toyota’s recalls were preventive in nature. There haven’t been any reported accidents in those cases. [I need to back this up with a reference though]

Plus, it’s not like Toyota is the only company that recalls vehicles. In the article you cited, there is a presentation included which can be found with this link:
http://images.businessweek.com/ss/06/07/recalls/index_01.htm
In that case, if all automakers have their fair share of recalls, the only thing I would base my reliability estimates is on customer reviews, and recent reliability history - for specific models. Whether I am right or wrong in the long run, time will tell.

Patrick, honestly, I do not have any reason to be so defensive about Toyota (and neither am I Japanese), but this is how I am looking at things right now. Things may change in time to come.

18 Baz L 07.24.07 at 3:49 pm

@Patrick
I’ve been waiting to chime in on this all day, but now I’ve forgotten all my good defenses.

Again, everyone is entitled to their preferences, however there are a few things to consider.

First off, let me tackle this whole Pontiac Sunfire with 110K being sold for $4500. I’m sorry, but I couldn’t help myself. I hoped over to Kelly Blue Book and started plugging in some numbers:

A 2000 (Generous estimate - I was trying to push it up to $4K) model car is supposed to have an average of 79K (according to KBB).
I fudged some figures all with 110,000 miles. Here are the results:

Sunfire - $3,200
Mitsubishi Galant - $4,800
Toyota Camry - $7,200

So unless KBB has some conspiracy against American cars, it looks like Japanese cars hold more value.

With that being said, I have no idea who you got to give you 4,500 for that car. I’m just saying based on the figures. Older cars bought from private parties rarely go for much above KBB. But I guess you got lucky.

I just didn’t want to believe that the Sunfire was actually worth 4,500.

Now, with that being said let’s move on.

I don’t see why we’re talking about recalls and 2007 cars.
1. Unless I’m missing something, recalls are free. So I don’t really care either way. Sure, get a million recalls. It’s all free from the dealership if we’re talking about 2007 cars.

2. (most importantly). Right now, any new car you pick up should carry you worry free for three years.

The discussion is about reliability. Who cars if the manufacturer recalls a bulb? As said before, a lot of those are preventative. Your particular car might be just fine. I want to know what’s gonna happen 80K down the road when all warranties are gone, that’s what I wanna know about.

Also, in that same light, 80K down the road I want to be able to sell the car and be able to contribute more to my new car than a few tanks of gas.

Point is: American car quality could have dramatically increased and Jap dramatically decreased. However, we can’t see into the future. All we have to go by is history. And history just shows that there aren’t that many older American cars out there.


Baz L
Day In The Life of Baz
http://www.LifeOfBaz.com

19 William Profet :: OneJobTwoSalaries.com 07.25.07 at 12:31 am

I have two used car purchases behind my back and I would like to have read this post series when I first was on buying my new-used car :))).

20 fastlearner 08.01.07 at 4:36 pm

Used Cars are doing big business. There are almost three times more used cars sold every year than new cars. Used Car Business amounts to $324 billion. For many of us a used car was the first car we purchased. Surprisingly, more used cars are sold between individuals (person-to-person) than through franchised used car dealers. Instead of saying “used cars” we can call them as “previously-owned”, “near-new”, “just-bought” vehicles. Used cars in this era has got its own luster to look like a shiny new car. Now a customer can expect recent-model vehicles available from clean-cut salespeople in offices equipped with computer terminals.

The growth of high sales of used cars is due to the high price of new cars as well as the desire of the public to drive more luxurious vehicles than they can afford to buy. Most new-car leases last two to three years at which time the “owner” brings in the vehicle to exchange for a new model, leaving the seller with a “used car” to resell. This vehicle is then cleaned up, tagged “near-new” and put in the used-car inventory. Buyers who were interested in brand new Cars are now looking for well maintained, gently handle used cars and parts still reliable like for example BMW 323i parts. They prefer it because of its high quality and the warranties offered by the automakers and the dealers.

Though buying used cars has become the highest priority for the car buyers there are more cases where they get disappointed buying the used cars. The chances for this failures or disappointments can vary from the price of the car, vehicle mileage and the fuel efficiency problems, maintenance of the car etc. To avoid the failures and disappointments in buying a Used Car we have listed some tips or important advices to be followed before buying a used car.

21 Tadeo Sanchez 09.21.07 at 9:39 am

I agree with the last paragraph about getting vehicles inspected. I have personally been in the trade for over thirteen years and I can’t tell you about many customers have come into our shop with a lemon.

This was my motivation to start my service, Lemon Proof. I offer a pre purchase inspection for used vehicle buyers. It is a mobile service and includes, interior, exterior and undercarriage inspection and all of my findings are documented in a 100+point inspection report.

I also include an estimate of services and repairs required so that there is no surprise expense after the purchase. You can also use this report/estimate to negotiate the price.

Tadeo

22 James 02.10.10 at 4:29 pm

Thanks for the tips! People may also want to consider getting help from someone like Carsala - I know they’ve helped a lot of people get really good deals.

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