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When you want or need a new car, buying used is always your most financially-savvy option. Buying used allows you to avoid the depreciation factor, especially if you buy a car that is at least four years old. Many people are afraid to buy used because they do not understand how to choose a car. Here are a few tips to help you find a solid deal that will hep you keep thousands of dollars in your pocket.

Avoid Depreciation By Choosing The Right Model Year

To many people a ”used car” has to be rusty and have high mileage. That is not true. Many cars lose 50% of their value after three years, but are still going to be running well for at least another seven years. So, tip one is to shop at least four model years old.

Make/Model:  Less Trendy Equals Better Value

Next, choose the make and model carefully. Sure, you may want a Toyota Prius for fuel efficiency, but you will pay a premium for it. Everyone wants the Prius so prices are high. Kia and Hyundai make cars that offer close to the same mpg as the Prius, but cost an average of $5,000 less. Be sure to do a search for any recalls on the vehicle. You will want to make sure those repairs have been made prior to purchase. Once you have settled on a make and model, call your insurance agent. Some cars look great until you know how much coverage is going to cost.

Avoid Kickbacks with Pre-Arranged Financing

Never go to a car dealership unless you have arranged financing ahead of time. The dealer will offer to arrange it for you, like the nice people they are. What they will not tell you is that they get a kickback from lenders for steering your business to them. That kickback manifests itself in you being charged a higher percentage rate than necessary.

Never Neglect The Professional Inspection

Last of all, never buy a used car unless you have taken it to a mechanic that you trust. Have them do a thorough inspection even if you have to pay for it. What ever they charge will be cheaper than buying a repair prone lemon. Many people think that buying a used car is terribly risky. It can be if you buy something that is more than ten years old. You can add another layer of protection for your purchase by buying a certified used car. These vehicles have all been inspected by certified mechanics and have a portion of the manufacturers warranty in place. If you are careful, you can buy a used car, but take on no more risk than buying a new one.

This informative articles comes to you courtesy of the experts at Keystone Auto Loans, a leading loan-finding service that helps people finance cars with good, bad, or fair credit.