ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

9 Invaluable Tips for Choosing the Right Used Car

Updated on November 7, 2014

Buying a used car is not a science, it is an art

Sorry to say, there is not one single best used car out there to purchase. If that were true, we could write a program to compare all of the cars for sale online and arrive quickly at the best choice.

A car is a personal choice as much as an economic one. Some people really like Dodge, others wouldn't drive anything but a Ford. You get the idea -- it's not just about price or condition.

These tips will help you turn your decision to purchase a used car into an opportunity to enlist your personal preferences and tendencies about cars to your advantage in your search for the right used car.

FACT: Used cars generate $700 billion a year in the United States

Tip #1: Do not make an impulse purchase

Sometimes the decision to purchase a used car comes suddenly -- you receive an unexpected bonus or your long lost uncle left you an unexpected inheritance. Do not make an impulse purchase of a used automobile.

You should never visit a used car dealership without knowing exactly what vehicle or vehicles you are interested in purchasing and what price you are willing to pay.

Any other approach makes you their next used car victim. I promise.

Tip #2: Choose your vehicle before you visit any sales lots

Do not let a used car salesman educate you on the various and sundry benefits of the cars in his lot. Learn about and choose your vehicle and price range before you arrive.

Tip # 3: Do not buy a used vehicle that you cannot afford

This is simple common sense. Remind yourself, because car salesmen would like you to pay much more.

Tip #4: Choose the style of car you are seeking first

Do you need a compact, a mid sized, an SUV, a cargo van, a passenger van, a station wagon? You can only choose one.

Tip #5: Research the various makes of that style

Knowing the style of vehicle you are seeking allows you to take advantage of the research done by others. If you are seeking a mid sized sedan, for example, you can search for comparisons between mid sized sedans. Style comparisons are published much more frequent than brand comparisons.

Tip #6: Visit only the dealerships that have the car you are seeking in stock and test drive those cars only.


FACT: The average lifespan of a car in the United States is just over ten years.

Tip #7: Look for "bargain" moments

The very best bargain opportunity with used cars comes at the end of design cycles and at the end of time cycles. When the new redesigned vehicle hits the market, the older model falls quickly in value.

If you have decided upon a vehicle style (e.g. mini-van) either look for models that had recent design changes, and search for the last model year of the old design or wait until the new model year cars are delivered to the dealership and look for the newest used models.

Tip #8: Be patient or be flexible

Used cars are constantly bought and sold. If the kind of car you want to buy is not available when you identify your choices, wait a few weeks. Check again. If you don't want to wait, look for vehicles with similar qualities in the same price range. Do not depend upon a car salesman to identify a similar vehicle. Do your own research before returning to test driving any other car.

Most Important for You

The most important quality of a used car for me is:

See results

FACT: You Can Save Money with a Smart Used Car Purchase


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)