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Shopping for a used car is definitely not as much fun as “window shopping” for a brand new model from a magazine. While it may be tempting to choose the red sports car over the grey Chevy, obviously, there are many deciding factors beyond just the color and the brand when you are in the market for a used car.

1. What is the gas mileage like?

While the initial purchase of the car is a huge part of the cost, you should think about what it will take to operate this vehicle, particularly what kind of mileage is gets. In this economy, where the price of gas is known to fluctuate, it’s important to consider how much you’ll be spending in gas per week – if it’s a lot, it may not be worth buying just for a cheaper price upfront.

2. How old is it and how many miles does it have?

You need to find out the age of the car, as this could be another big deciding factor. An older car is more likely to develop problems and may have less willing participants able to fix it. The car’s mileage is a big part of this, as a car with more mileage will last you a shorter amount of time.

3. What does the vehicle history look like?

Has the car been in any accidents? You should look at the vehicle history report before buying a car to see if there has ever been any prior damage to it, and if so, how extensive. This report should tell you what they’ve replaced, what they’ve fixed, and what they’ve left alone.

4. Does the functionality fit your needs?

While a two-door sports car may be tempting, it won’t really be functional for your wife and three children. Consider the size of the car, as well as any extra features, such as four-wheel drive if you live in an area where harsh weather conditions are present. Always choose functionality over appearance.

These are just a few questions to ask yourself when buying a new car.  Be sure to look at a variety of cars and different brands. For example, extend your search to various dealerships, like Chevy, Ford, and Volkswagen in McAllen, Texas… you never know what you might like! These lots tend to get cars in on a regular basis, so be sure to check back regularly and let a representative know what you are looking for in case the perfect car comes in.

Hailey Andersen likes to share money savings tips that she finds useful for herself and others. Follow her on Twitter at: @HaileyWrites.