Often a person does not want to buy a new car for many reasons, thus a used car is considered.
The ownership experience whether great, bad or somewhere in between is usually dictated by: 1 the manufacturer ie Honda or maybe a Lamborghini, 2 how did the previous owner maintain and how was the vehicle utilized.
Not all cars are created equally, some manufacturers and year models are know for specific problems. Do some research. Also some vehicles are very expensive to maintain, while others are quite affordable.
Know what you want, start exploring your needs and desires. Everyone looses when a car is purchased and it is not what you want or need, maybe it is not dependable. Are you going to take care of a car that you do not like, are you going to subject your self to a bad owner experience?
Make sure you fit in the car and that the drivers seat feels good, drive the car for 30min to an hour. If you cannot get comfortable, who cares about price it is not for you. Price of vehicle only is a factor once you know what you want or need.
What to avoid when buying a car:
1. any seller that will not let you take the vehicle to a shop to have a Buyer's Inspection- which can reveal all types of problems that the seller want to avoid.
2. any car that the check engine light is on or any car that has had the computers memory cleared recently.
How to Increase your chance of buying a good used car
1. Take to a quality auto shop and have the inspect for leaks, computer issues, body damage or paint and body repairs, estimate currently needed repairs, road testing. Ask your mechanic what he know about their reliability and or know issues. Take estimated repairs to Seller and negotiate the price down.
2. Make sure you drive the car at highway speeds and do some stop and go driving, work all the windows and electronics.
3. Try to find a vehicle that you like and if it ever needs repairs you will not be hesitant to repair. After 30 years at the shop it amazes me how many people hate their cars, and they don't like us. Happy Owner = Car that get proper care = Mechanic who appreciated by Owner.
4. get a Car Fax. This is a basic tool to find out was this car a rental in a state that has sleet and snow and thus salt on the road and then the rust will come. Did the car have many owners or just a few? NOTE- a car fax is not all revealing, at our shop we have found many cars that have had Major Body work and no insurance company reported the repair. A customer of ours has a car that cannot be aligned because her frame is bent, and the car fax did not show any repairs. It is so bad that the front tires have to be replaced every 6 months. How can this can happen? If a person pays for a repair out of pocket and does not involve the insurance company.
Short Video On Buying a Used Car.