TIP #1 – Read This Guide!

To get the most for your success in buying a new Used Car, do these things:

  1. Read through this guide and become familiar with it.
  2. Print it off and make notations in it as you inquire about cars and schedule your viewings.
  3. Take it with you when you go to look at prospective vehicles, and take notes.
  4. Review it, and rate your findings in order to make your decisions

The benefit you gain in value and time saved will be well worth the investment of time and preparation.  Do it right the first time!

Why Buy Used Instead of New?

Buying a used car has several advantages, varying with type, age, mileage, price range, etc.   Most of them are financial in nature.  Someone else eats the depreciation.  A new car loses 10% of its value the moment after you have purchased it.  It will lose almost 20% of its value the first year.  Check out Edmunds’ fun infographic.

Save money

Directly to the point of the foregoing, you can have a near-new car, including full warranty (depending upon mileage and manufacturer’s offering), for a lot less money than buying brand new.  The money you save you could invest.  You work hard for your money, but it is even better when your money works for you!

Lower budget

Buying an older car in a lower price range allows you to pay cash or achieve a lower overall cost of ownership.  Perhaps you have other things to do with your money like start a business, address health matters, take a vacation, or buy multiple vehicles for a family growing in number of drivers.

No payments

By paying cash or paying off in a shorter period, you own an asset instead of a liability.

Reduced care and obligation.  New cars demand babying.  If you are making payments, then you must pay premiums for full insurance coverage.  But for a paid-off broken-in well-loved car, you are less worried about a shopping cart scuff, and you can buy liability only insurance if you like.  The time and energy you save belong to you!

Buying a good used car can be such a blessing if you do it right.  Welcome to the Ultimate Used Car Buying Guide!

Content in the Ultimate Used Car Buying Guide is organized primarily around the car-buying process.  There are 12 primary steps:

  1. Identify need
  2. Choose type
  3. Set budget & financial
  4. Locate candidates
  5. Inquire
  6. Schedule
  7. View (3 sub steps)
  8. Drive (3 sub steps)
  9. Evaluate
  10. Offer
  11. Transact
  12. Own

While it is possible that some activities could vary across the steps, they are a pretty good representation of how things flow.

Use tags to navigate the topics, and the search to quickly find what you need.

Stories of successes and failures in used car buying

SD Story Mustang Convertible

SD Story 4×4 Suburban

SD Story Lexus 1 and Lexus 2

Buying Boat #1

Buying Boat #2

Buying School bus