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Used Car Buying Guide – Step Two

How much money will this car cost?  That’s a question only you can determine.  I can give some ideas about it, from my perspective.  Car prices vary from state to state and area to area. Generally, I am talking about a used car you can afford.  What can you afford?  How much money do you have?  That should tell you what price range to look in.

Borrowing money for a car can be a real bad decision, and I know that most people do it, but cars are not investments!  Look at this example.

I just did a search online in my area for a 2007 Ford Explorer XLT and found one that had 18,000 miles and was $20,000 at dealer. (this would be less if I could find it from a private sale).

The same car in this years model , a 2008 Ford Explorer XLT costs $30,000 new with the same options as the used one above.  This car lost 33% of value in one year at only 18,000 miles.  This is very typical.  Cars are not investments and the value of a new car goes down faster than anything I know.

In this guide we are talking about saving money. Borrowing money to buy a car is not saving money.  I suppose there are always some exceptions though. If you need a car for work or something and have no money, then you may need to borrow some to buy it.  convert_seat

The price of a used car will depend on many things.  Where you buy it, as an example.  If you go to a dealer and buy a ‘certified’ used car, you are going to pay plenty.  This is not what I am referring to, when I say a used car.  I am talking about a car you may find by looking in the classified, or maybe see a for sale sign in the window of a car in the parking lot.  These are some of the best buys you are going to find.  Private owners’ sales.  I will tell you another great place to find very good used cars when we get to the next step.

Try to decide on a range of money that you could afford.  Be serious about the maximum, because things get real ugly when you can’t say no to a car that is clearly outside what you can afford.  This upper number will help when looking for a car, and will keep you on track to being a happy buyer, once the car is yours. Join me at step three for where to find this car.

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