Factors considered before buying Used Cars?

Hi Friends,

This is very important question because people generally buy cars out of craze and latter find them self guilty. SO what are the Factors one need to consider before buying used cars.


First off what kind are you looking for?
Sports car,suv,mini van,little car or 4wh drive?

Do I really need a car?

Agree; first of all, decide if you really need a car. Once you decide you need a car, decide how much room you need inside. Also, is the car used for work, where appearance is important, or are you looking for the lowest cost for a reasonably good vehicle.

Unless you live in the mountains or the Alaska interior, you probably don’t need 4 wheel drive.

Before we can go any further giving you good advice, please tell us:

  1. What is you budget approximately?
  2. Is the car to be used for daily commuting to work?
  3. If the car broke down, could you use public transit or take a cab for that day?
  4. How many miles a year do you put on?
  5. Will the car be used for extended holiday trips?
  6. Will the car be used to tow a trailer?
  7. How may persons in your family?
  8. Will there be another car in the family?
  9. Are you technically savvy enough to own a car that requires such knowledge?
  10. Are you concientious about car care and maintenance?

As you can see, there is a car for everyone, we just want to match you to the best choice. Please answer our questions.

Take a look at the Consumer Reports Car Issue, April 09, and there is advice about negotiating for used cars as well as information about used car reliability and what cars to avoid. Read that, determine what your vehicle needs ae, and then come back with questions.

This is a start for any vehicle you are considering:

  1. Original owner – much preferred over used car lot “mystery mobiles”
  2. All service records – everything up to date
  3. No accidents – check carfax.com and other sites
  4. Pre-purchase inspection by an independent mechanic who specialized in the make
  5. Buy the seller as much as you do the car
  6. Don’t pay over wholesale (trade-in) in today’s economy

Just what has worked for me over the years.


Cost per mile to operate, to keep on the road. That’s the only thing that counts, really. You are buying a machine that provides you with transportation and nothing else. Taxi’s use Crown Vics. There is a reason. Take it from there…

It that just to large for you? Then a Toyota Corrola…But overall cost per mile goes up a little because on the used car market, they cost considerably more than a Vic…

Um, the reason is you can cram 5 passengers in them, they can be bought for cheap in fleet auctions and most places require taxis to be large vehicles.

Don’t get me wrong-- I think Crown Vics are great cars. But it’s a bit of a stretch to suggest they’re going to be significantly cheaper to run than a Corolla or other economy car.

Avoid craze. My daughter bought a used sports car because of the look. The repair bills and maintenance are huge. Read the other posts here and make a list of things that make sense to you. Biggest thing is to ask seller to let you take it to your mechanic before you decide. Go find a good one if necessary. The mechanic will charge you $75 or thereabouts to go over everything. Then you can talk to the mechanic about critical problems and what they would cost to fix. If its still a go, then negotiate price with seller based on your mechanic’s findings. If its no, walk away.