The cost of new cars is on the rise, and so is the price of buying good used cars. Fortunately, the general quality of vehicles made these days ensures most will last for many years when properly maintained and driven. That means lots of quality used cars are available for purchase, but there still are lemons and bad deals awaiting those who do not do their homework when buying a used car. No matter what type of vehicle you are looking to buy, here are some helpful tips to help you buy a great used car.
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Determine Your Budget
You’ll have to start your search for a good used car by determining your budget. You might want to pay cash for a used car, but that would mean laying out nearly $30,000 or more based on Michigan’s average used car price. You might find a good used car for much less, but that will take a lot of hunting for a vehicle that is more than 10 years old and still has a lot of life left in it. More likely, you’ll need to determine how much you could finance plus the cost to insure the vehicle with full coverage as required by all lenders when the vehicle secures the loan.
Select Your Preferred Vehicle and Features
Once you have a budget in mind, you need to choose the type of vehicle and features. You might want a pickup for work or hauling items. Or maybe you want an SUV, a minivan, or a sports car. Whatever type of vehicle you have in mind, you will need to choose the features that you also want it to have. Those might include leather seats, a 4X4 or AWD drivetrain, or maybe one that gets good fuel economy. The seating, cargo space, and towing capacities all might factor into what you want in a used car.
Look Up Model Reviews
You should try to narrow your choices to vehicles with a reputation for being reliable, built well, and that last for many years. Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds, and Consumer Reports are good sources for vehicle ratings and reviews for specific makes and models. You also should check online forums for particular vehicles and learn which model years are noted for being among the best and which ones might have a reputation for certain mechanical problems. Checking for general parts availability also helps you to know if a vehicle might be relatively costly or affordable to maintain and repair as needed.
Have a Mechanic Inspect the Vehicle
If you have a trusted mechanic or are good at doing your own maintenance and general repairs, you should independently inspect any used cars that you are considering buying. We have a trusted staff of factory-trained and certified mechanics that make us one of the most trusted Albion used car dealers. We are perfectly happy to let customers closely inspect vehicles so they are confident when buying a good one from us.