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The decision to purchase a quality used vehicle is all about better value for less money. When you buy a new car, you pay up front for the depreciation. As soon as it leaves the lot, it starts to lose value. If you are out car shopping and see the “Used cars for sale” sign, know that buying there is a practical option as long as you are smart.

Research your Favorite Model

A majority of people go into the buying process already knowing what model they want. The first step is to figure out whether that model is the right choice. Do some research before starting a serious search for your next car.

  • Figure out if the model you have your heart set on is within your price range. How old will it have to be before you can afford it, for instance? If you have to buy a car that is 10 years old to have it fit within the budget, it is probably not worth it.
  • What is the feedback on this model? Consumers love to chat on the Internet about things they buy. Check out forums and car websites to see what people are saying about that brand. Go with the majority. There are always going to be a few complaints.
  • Decide if this model meets your needs. If it is a gas-guzzler and you commute a long distance, it is obviously a poor fit.

Don’t Buy the Mainstream Brands

The popularity of a car brand determines the selling price. The top selling models are going to cost a few thousand dollars more than the second-tier version. For example, Honda Accord is one of the most popular models on the market. Buying a used Accord will cost more than the less common Chevy Malibu.

Do the Math

Know exactly how much you want to spend before going to the lot with used cars for sale on display. Figure out a down payment and determine your monthly budget. Use on online tool like a monthly payment calculator or an affordability calculator to figure out a sale price that fits within that range. The dealership may try to convince you to spend more, but stay firm. You came up with this figure for a reason.

Some shoppers just want a new car for bragging rights, but for the average individual, used makes more sense. You can get twice the features for the same money as a brand new car when you look for something a couple of years old. Many used vehicles for sale by dealers have low mileage and may even still be under factory warranty.


Jake Edward is a New Jersey resident who loves to blog about cars. For information on used cars for sale in NJ contact him @JakeAlexander17.