There's a lot to consider when it comes to picking a new vehicle. You want to look at safety, price, style and more. And while you might be tempted to get a brand new model to meet all those requirements, used vehicles can actually exceed your expectations.
And honestly, the opportunities are endless. Experts say there are about 350 new models of vehicles sold on the market each year. Multiply that by a few years and your literally have tens of thousands of affordable options.
To help you narrow those options down just a little bit, here are the traits the best used cars that keep their value all have:
Good used cars are built to last
Used cars are just as safe as newer models. Experts say cars made in the past two decades were meant to drive 200,000 miles, compared to a previous 100,000. That means even with a used vehicle, you can expect to drive it for years to come.
Furthermore, there's less to worry about when it comes to a slightly older vehicle. With newer technology, you run the risk of expensive repairs if something goes wrong.
They get good gas mileage
Good gas mileage plays a huge role in the value of your car, because it's the one thing you'll be consistently spending money on. Instamotor says that you should look for a vehicle that gets at least 30 miles per gallon, but there's a few factors you have to consider.
Before you buy, look up the factory MPG for the vehicle want. Next, look at the exact vehicle's maintenance records — you can either ask the mechanic, dealership or use a service like CARFAX. Those records can tell you what's been replaced and how often the oil was changed, which can tell you what the condition of the engine is. If the mileage is high but the maintenance was consistent, you shouldn't have to worry about MPG.
Plus, with electric cars becoming more common, you might be able to find a used one for a much lower rate.
They can be easily upgraded
Perhaps the most value offered from a used vehicle is its simplicity. You'll save thousands in the long run when you forgo the latest technology and, honestly, it's become incredibly easy to upgrade a vehicle on your own.
If you're looking for a little help with parking, you can buy an easy-to-install wireless backup camera, for example. If you want a way to find your car in even the most crowded of spaces, you could look into a GPS car charger. And if you like to know everything going on with your vehicle, you can find affordable car monitoring systems that can be installed on nearly every make and model.
And if you still need some help in terms of finding the best used cars, here's what Kelley Blue Book, one of the leading resources for car comparisons, recommend.
- 2010 Kia Soul
- 2009 Mazda3
- 2008 Subaru Impreza
- 2008 Nissan Maxima
- 2007 Subaru Outback
- 2010 Ford Crown Victoria
- 2009 Toyota Corolla
- 2009 Honda Civic
- 2007 Honda Accord
- 2007 Toyota Avalon