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Buying a Second Hand Car

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If you're in the market for a new set of wheels, consider buying a second hand car to save money. New cars lose their value the minute you drive them home. They lose a major percentage of their value in the first two years of ownership, and then depreciation starts to taper off. So, for the best value, look for a second hand car that's just about two to three years old.

What to Look for in a Second Hand Car

First, you should look for the lowest mileage possible in a used car. Typical owners usually put about 12,000 to 15,000 miles per year on their vehicles. If the car you're looking at has a lot more mileage than that average, it could have been heavily used by the owner, and that could mean more repair costs down the road. Look for reliability surveys on used cars, conducted by many different companies and surveyors when you're researching which used car to buy. Many of these companies survey their members about their own used car experiences, and pass them on to others. Keep your options open by researching several different makes and models, rather than just one.

Research Your Used Car

You can search the VIN to find out a vehicle's history, but don't forget to check out recall notices, too. If a certain model has had several different recalls, it might be a warning to stay away from that particular car. Ask the previous owner for any maintenance records they have, too, so you can see if the car's been well maintained throughout its life. Be sure to take any prospective purchases on a test drive before you decide on the right car for you. Check out the car's safety features to make sure it offers the right options for you and your family. Find a trusted mechanic and hire them to look over the car for mechanical problems before you buy.

Buying a second hand car, especially a newer model, can save you quite a bit of money. If you look for the right things before you buy, you'll find a dependable used car that can give you years of safe driving for you and your family.

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