I would like to buy a new used car. What should I look for? I do not want to spend more than 6k. I want a safe and reliable car with good gas mileage.

Asked by Jan 06, 2013 at 08:11 PM

Question type: Shopping & Pricing

5 Answers

25

IF THE WEB SITE HAS WHAT IS WHAT IS COMMONLY REFERRED TO AS A CERTIFIED VEHICLE, YOU SHOULD BE GIVEN TIME AFTER PURCHASE TO SECURE A REPAIR. OR, IN MY ADD, I SPECIFICALLY STATE THAT THE VEHICLE HAS 3500 MILES AND NEARLY TWO YEARS REMAINING UNDER THE MANUFACTURER'S WARRANTY. LOOK UNDER 2011 MAZDA MIATA.

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Toyota, Honda, Mazda. Get one that has all the maintenance records.

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My friend told me that I should look for Honda and toyota brands and that the miles should be no more than 12k/year. Other than that, I have no clue what to look for and I am really worried to pick up someone else's problems. I am a student so I cannot afford that. Do certified vehicles cost more, because they are certified?

25

I live and die by what the April edition of Consumer Reports indicates what is and what is not a "recommended" buy. Under no circumstance should you accept what the seller says about their vehicle. No matter how diligent you are about buying a car, there is always the possibility that you could buy the proverbial lemon. But, you can be extremely proactive and prudent in the purchase. First, start with vehicles that have a history of quality. Typically, the Japanese have consistently produced good cars. This would include Toyota, Mazda, Nissan, etc. The April edition of Consumer Reports will give you a good starting point on what cars are reliable and which ones to avoid. Carfax is only as reliable as an auto body shop doing the repairs. If information is not entered into a web site by the body shop, the carfax is worthless. Whether you purchase from a dealer or a private seller, nothing will substitute for an inspection by a mechanic. But even a layman can draw some good inferences based on what they see. For example, to check for a side crash, check for paint overspray beneath the car. Stand in front of a vehicle in good lighting and stare down the side of a vehicle. If you see a ripple or discoloration or haze, chances are that the vehicle has had body work. Remember, if a vehicle is being sold by the original owner and exhibits pride of ownership, most likely has been well cared for. But, in any event, before you give someone a check, pay a few bucks for a local mechanic to inspect the car. Go to a local body shop that has been in business for quite some time. A "ma and pa" operation that relies on reputation for its business should do the trick. Technology has come a long way and computerized diagnostics are relatively inexpensive and if done correctly, are extremely accurate. Best of luck to you. Remember, accept no fact as truth. You need to validate any statement by the seller.

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Ask around the neighborhood, or relatives, to see if anyone was going to trade in a good car. And then maybe they will sell it to you.

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