15 Secrets to Buying a Used Car

Buying a used car can be a gamble, but knowing these 15 secrets and strategies will help you drive away with a good deal.
Pontiac GTO's At Domino FarmsPhoto by JimG1948


1. Every Used Car Has a History

When you’re buying a new car off the lot, there’s very little difference between your options within a given make and model. You can choose the color and a few trim options, but otherwise, each new car is pretty much identical the one next to it. Used cars are different.

You can look at two used cars of the identical year, make and model but one could be worth thousands more than the other due to its condition and mileage. Two cars might look the same, but if one’s spent most of its life in a garage and the other’s been used for heavy all-weather commuting, the first one will definitely be worth more. According to Kelly Blue Book, the price difference between “Fair” and “Excellent” quality in a used car averages around $2,000.

This is why it’s important to do your due diligence when researching a particular vehicle. Understanding the role a car’s history plays in its value will help you narrow down your options and negotiate the best possible price.


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