Buying a Used Car?

Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 141 Feedbacks

I am about to start looking for a used car. I hope to buy a car that is a few years old. Does anyone have any good advice to use when I start shopping?



Add your voice! Click below to answer. ThriftyFun is powered by your wisdom!

August 2, 20050 found this helpful

Visit Get this book: "Strategies for Smart Car Buyers" by Philip Reed and Excellent source of information to buy both new and used cars.


Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By Debbie (Guest Post)
August 3, 20050 found this helpful

Test drive it and inspect it for things you know about. I like to see if the dipsticks are handy, if the spark plugs are easily accessible, and if the windows are easy to wash, as well as seeing if there are leaks and stuff.


If you still like it, get it inspected by a car inspection business, like Lemon Busters. They may find something horrible, saving you from a bad purchase. Probably they will just find a few things wrong that can easily be fixed. They also give you estimates on what the different repairs would cost. This will give you some warning about what your repair costs will be during the first year or two, and may even help you negotiate a better price.

I've heard you shouldn't use your usual car-repair guy for the inspection because their self-interest is to get you into a car that will need lots of work! Plus car-inspection businesses have a huge list of things to look for.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

Gold Feedback Medal for All Time! 791 Feedbacks
August 3, 20050 found this helpful

Yes - do as I did! Go online! Just type "used automobiles" in Google and then go to the websites shown. I can't remember the name of the one I used; however, I was able to locate all used vehicles that I was interested in (pickup truck for me) within a certain distance from my home; then I was able to research the life story on the vehicles of my choice.


I had to pay a small fee to do the research but it was worth it. I got a 3-year-old truck with only 19,000 miles on it!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By syd (Guest Post)
August 3, 20050 found this helpful

As someone already suggested, you can shop on the Internet for used vehicles in your are.

In both our cases, we started looking with dealer's and let them know what we were considering. I was looking for a new vehicle at first. Always bought new and drove them until they were ready to drop!

In talking with a salesman at a dealership, and he knowing that I was still looking around ... the sales manager stepped in and said, they just got a trade-in he thought I might be interested in and the price was very attractive. It had about 12,600 miles and was a year old and the new ones were due to come out soon. I test drove it. This was a new salesman and I felt like the sales manager was trying to help him make his first sale!


I had them run a Carfax, which was free. We bought the car. This was the first used vehicle we ever bought! I would do it again.

Hubby did the same approach, looking for a used truck with several dealers. Got several calls and after considering a purchase, had a "free" Carfax run on it and found that the vehicle was not a one-owner vehicle the salesman thought it was. He still bought the truck but negotiated the price down!

Being retired, this is the only way we'll will go, when looking for a "newer" vehicle.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By Guest (Guest Post)
August 3, 20050 found this helpful

Even if it is a Used Car, do your research!!!! Make sure that you find exactly what you want, whether it be something to get you from A to B or something that has a couple more "horses" under the engine. If you go into (I think that's the web site) do research on the cars that you are interested in and watch for ratings. (Safety is always important to look at.) They always say "You get what you pay for", which is true. I got a base Mazda 3, a car that has style but is low-cost and really saves gas, a great thing nowadays.


Another thing is when you buy used, try a used car that is "gently used". It's already been broken into, has low mileage, and is thousands of dollars less than driving it out of a dealership in new condition. You save a ton of money that way.

As always, test drive the car, ask a TON of questions and make sure that the sales person is answering all of them (if that is the case, of course). If they don't know the answers, they don't know what they're doing.

Another thing. Between dealerships and personal sellers, it may be cheaper buying from someone on the other side of town, but with a dealer you get a warranty for a little while at least, just walk in smart and know your stuff. Then, they will be well aware that you know what you're talking about and they can't possibly scam you. Dealers have a bad reputation, and walking in there and knowing your stuff makes you five times better off than walking in blind.


One last thing, make sure that it is within your budget. I budget by pay periods (bi-weekly). I figure out what bills are due for that time and then theres regular expenses and maybe a birthday or wedding or something somewhere, budget that too and set it aside. When you have a couple of cars in mind, go online and use the payment calculator to see whereabouts your monthly payment will come up to. THEN, take that number, and add that to your bills and see if you can afford it. Budget budget budget, ugh, I hate that word, as do a lot of people, but it makes life that much more comfortable.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By Joan in CT (Guest Post)
August 3, 20050 found this helpful

Before I purchase any used car I make sure the seller will allow me to take it to my mechanic for a thorough checking out. If not, I simply walk away.
If they are afraid of what my mechanic will say or find, I don't want it anyway. I also ask my mechanic if he knows of any cars he's worked on for sale. We got two really great cars that way. Good luck.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By Lewis (Guest Post)
August 5, 20050 found this helpful

Thank you folks. Your advice was very helpful.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By Meg (Guest Post)
August 5, 20050 found this helpful

Here's what I did:

1) Searched on auto-trader
2) Bought the unlimited CarFax for one month deal (I ran over 40 vehicles!)
3) Learned a lot by comparing Edmunds and the Kelly Blue Book (both online).

And got a "asking price" of $6,900 to an even $5,800 for my 1998 Nissan Sentra and a set of four snow tires! I can highly recommend Sentras . . . especially because I get about 30 mpg around town and usually over 40 mpg highway. With gas costing as much as it does, my little car is worth its weight in gold!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
August 14, 20050 found this helpful

Depending on where you live always check under the car make sure everything looks good. I live in NY and one time my father went to go see cars and he saw one that looked really good and the price was good also, so he wondered what was wrong with it! It seemed to good to be true....he checked everything and all was ok, he decided to get on his knees and look under the car and as expected something was wrong! it was all rusty and eatten up! Due to all the salt that is thrown on the ground when in snows! So check everything!!! Good luck!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
November 18, 20050 found this helpful

Check step-by-step used car buying guide. Learn, where to look for a car, how to choose the right one, how to check car history using the VIN number, what to look for when buying a used car. Learn at this article "Buying a Used Car and Maintaining It" -

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

Add your voice! Click below to answer. ThriftyFun is powered by your wisdom!

In This Page
Budget & Finance Auto BuyingAugust 2, 2005
Christmas Ideas!
New Years Ideas!
Ask a Question
Share a Post
Better LivingBudget & FinanceBusiness and LegalComputersConsumer AdviceCoronavirusCraftsEducationEntertainmentFood and RecipesHealth & BeautyHolidays and PartiesHome and GardenMake Your OwnOrganizingParentingPetsPhotosTravel and RecreationWeddings
Published by ThriftyFun.
Desktop Page | View Mobile
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Contact Us
Generated 2021-12-03 10:41:37 in 1 secs. ⛅️️
© 1997-2021 by Cumuli, Inc. All Rights Reserved.