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Used Car Buying Guide – Step One

What are your needs? Why is this car needed? This question needs to be answered before you can start looking for a used car.  This can be a very difficult problem as we all have many ideas of what we would ‘like’ in a car.  If we are honest, we have this little thing called pride, so we want a car that helps to reflect our own value. ( Bad idea). We also want to get something that will be at least as good as the neighbors, so they’ll know we make good money, right? Wrong! These are not good ways to look at this. convertable

We need to focus on things like safety, reliability, and value. Looks are important too, just not at the top.  Also, do you want a 4 wheel drive ( have bad winters where you are?). Maybe you just like an SUV because it sits up high?  I know I do.  You see, the type of car is something you can have some personal desires about during this process. For instance, say I want an SUV, but I know that a Hummer is not in my price range, but a Jeep Cherokee is.  That’s ok.

Ok, we know what type of car we want. Now what manufacturer?  I believe this is where the research can pay off.  Pick a few sites to do this research like Kelly Blue Book, or Edmunds.  You can also check Consumer Reports, although online this often costs money.  You can usually find the paper magazine at your local library if you wish.  These sites have a great deal of information on used cars.  You can research down to different model years, how reliable others say they are, what type of recalls have happened to them, and generally what current owners think of them.  First hand experience is always good stuff!

Through this process , pick a few specific models and years of cars to focus on and then we will move to the next step.  How much money do we spend on this?  That is the question we will talk about in step two.  Stay tuned!

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