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Advice on Used Car Purchases

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We've all heard the stories: So-and-so got an unbelievable bargain on a used SUV with only 8,000 miles on it! But all of us probably also know somebody with that less than fairy tale buying experience: Our used car ran incredible for the first week, but then it broke down and we found out it needs thousands of dollars worth of repairs!

Purchasing a used car can sometimes feel like a treacherous quest, but with a few nifty tips you can shop with confidence.

Assess Your Needs and Decide on a Vehicle

Don't start your search without a set idea of what type of car you would like to buy. Consider where and when you will most likely use the car. What type of weather do you usually drive in? Where can you park your vehicle? (Nobody wants to come home with a truck on a lift that can't fit into their garage) Once you have made this determination your job becomes much easier.

Determine Your Budget

This number should not only incorporate sticker price as there are many other financial factors to include. Will your insurance go up when you purchase this car? Some cars require more expensive tires or oil when the car is lubed. Gas mileage can also play a big part in this decision.

Gather a Set of Possible Brands

Some men and women are loyal to one single car brand, but when you are in the market for a used car, you will find a better deal if you don't limit yourself. This isn't to say you should be open to everything, but choosing a few different makes and models will give you a greater likelihood of meeting your needs with the money you have.

Decide on a Search Radius

You may not want the inconvenience of traveling too far to buy your used car, and if you live in an urban area you possibly don't have to go too far. However, if you are out in the country or if you are willing to put in a little more footwork (or, more likely, wheel work) then decide how far you will go for your ideal car. The internet makes it easy to search all around the country, but make sure the extra travel time is worth possible money saved.


Once again, the internet is an indispensable tool here. After you find some listings for cars in your price range that you would like, start looking into the specifics of each year, make, and model. Check pricing guides as well as reliability reports.

Vehicle History

Using the vehicle identification number, you can look into the history of the exact automobile you are interested in acquiring. This will let you know if the automobile has been in an accident or has had other major incidents.

Used Car Pre-Purchase Inspection

Last but not least; before you put any money down on a used vehicle, bring it into I-86 Truck & Auto Repair for a used-car inspection.