It’s trickier than ever shopping for used cars these days. Supply chain issues around the world have affected the availability and affordability of new cars, which in turn has made used cars more difficult to find. However, if you do your research and exercise some patience, you can locate a reliable vehicle that fits your needs.
What To Consider When Shopping For Used Cars
The first step to shopping for a used car is to do your research. Start with fuel economy. Check the EPA ratings to see if the used model you like is efficient enough for your needs and to see how it compares against others in the same class. Reliability scores are another important indicator of a good used car. These show how the vehicle’s problems compare with others in the same year.
Another thing to look at is consumer reviews. There are many sites that feature reviews from real consumers on how much they like their cars or if they have a lot of problems. If advanced safety systems are a concern, you should always compare the safety features and options of the used model that you like with others in the same class.
Most Reliable Brands
Some car brands simply have better track records for reliability than others. Lexus and Toyota, for example, have above-average reliability for all their 2017 models. Acura also boasts high scores, slotting just below Toyota. Other brands with scores over 50 for 2017 include Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Buick, Mazda, Lincoln, Volkswagen, Honda, Subaru, Tesla, and Kia.
Specific models that scored high in 2017 for reliability include the Lexus RX, Toyota Highlander, Honda CR-V, Nissan Murano, Subaru Legacy, Buick LaCrosse, and Mazda 3. It’s worth remembering that new cars with high-reliability scores typically turn into used cars with solid reliability.
Buying a Used Car
The good news is that there are plenty of safe and reliable used cars out there in many different categories. Even though some brands are more reliable overall than others, some brands simply offer a few strong models that pass muster year after year.
You have a few choices of where to look for a used car. Visiting a dealership tends to be the easiest and most popular, but if you’re looking for a specific car, you might find it through a private party instead. No matter which venue you choose, it’s important to fully inspect the car inside and out, and take it to your own mechanic for a clean bill of health.
When you look at a used car, start by walking around the exterior and checking for uniform paint and undamaged body panels. Take note of any rust or paint bubbling that may indicate rust beneath it. You can also use this opportunity to check the tire tread wear. Even though your mechanic might perform the most important powertrain check, it’s worth it to look under the hood for any obvious issues like fluid leaks.
When you check out the interior of the vehicle, look for unusual wear on the upholstery and check for any water damage on the floor. It’s also important to switch the car on at this point and ensure that all the instruments work.
Shopping for used cars might seem daunting at first, but with a little legwork, it’s not hard to find a safe and reliable vehicle.
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