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May 14, 2015

The “Formula” for Buying the Best-Value Used Car

Buying the Best-Value Used Car

When it comes to buying a used car, there’s something of a “formula” to follow to ensure you buy the best value for your budget.

This formula isn’t one of mathematics. Instead, it’s one of common sense and knowing a bit about how new cars depreciate soon after purchase.

Read below for more information

As you look at used cars, you’re already making a smart financial because new cars lose about 19 percent of their value as soon as your drive them off the dealer’s lot. The new car will go on to lose about 47 percent of its value within the next three years.

So you’ve got that fact squared away: you’re buying a used car.

But how old should the used car be? How many miles should it have?

As a good rule of thumb, suggests that two- and three-year-old cars often give you the best value. The car already has depreciated greatly (the 47 percent mentioned above), and its price will reflect that. Yet it will be quite similar to a new car and the cost of collision insurance the taxes on will be lower.

What’s more, continues, used cars today are far more reliable even than used cars sold in 2007. The magazine found that five-year-old cars today had one-third fewer problems than five-year-old cars looked at in 2007. In addition, the magazine added, “major engine and transmission problems have also decreased, making late-model used vehicles far less of a risk”  also stated that used vehicles today “should easily surpass 100,000 miles…and many could reach 200,000 miles” (so long as the cars are maintained properly.

If possible, the best two- or three-year-old car to buy is one that has fewer than 50,000 miles on its odometer. This used car will cost more than a three-year-old car that has been driven more than 50,000 miles, but, as Indiana Jones famously said, “It’s not the years;  it’s the mileage.”

Even a five-year-old car with fewer than 50,000 miles on it may be a better buy than a three-year-old car with 65,000 miles on its odometer.

For cars much older than three or even five years, try this formula: any used car you purchase should give you 1,000 miles of worry-free driving (no major troubles or repairs) for it to be worthwhile. So, for example, a car you purchase for $3,000 should give you 30,000 miles of trouble-free service. If you feel a $3,000 car has too many miles or isn’t in shape enough to give your 30K in miles, you may want to pass on the car.

Buying a used car with makes perfect financial sense. We can help you find a reliable two- or three-year-old, low mileage vehicle at a great price. Visit the PAACO location nearest you, or give us a call at 877-810-4555.

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