5 Important Factors to Consider When Buying a Quality Used Car

Used Car Buying

When it comes to buying used cars, everyone wants a quality used car. But how do you determine whether or not the car you’re looking at fits your own definition of “quality”? Quality could mean many things, like “low mileage,” or “best safety features,” but in order to make the best decision on a quality used car, it is important to understand what factors are most important to you. 

Here are 5 important factors to consider when shopping for your own quality used car:

1. Safety

Safety is the most important factor to consider when buying a car. When car shopping, do your own research to review any known safety issues, open recalls, and safety ratings. It’s also advised to have a trained technician perform a pre-purchase inspection on the used car so you can be sure all safety features are present and functional. Some of these recommended safety features include an antilock brake system, frontal and side airbags, and safety-belt features. 

2. Mileage

A common assumption is that low mileage is the key to indicating which vehicles will last longer. However, low mileage does not always mean that. If a car has low mileage but has not been driven consistently or received regular maintenance and repairs in its lifetime, it may be prone to more underlying issues than a car with higher mileage that had regular upkeep from its previous owner.

An older car with low mileage may have been used for low-speed commutes, which have the potential to take a bigger toll on a vehicle’s mechanics than a car that was acclimated to highway driving. Before immediately assuming that the car with 50,000 miles is better than the car with 100,000 miles, make sure that you understand the full condition of each car. 

3. Price

When setting a budget for your used car, you’ll want to make sure you’re paying a competitive price based on the condition of the car. Car shopping websites alone are not enough to determine the fair market value of that specific vehicle, as many use fairly broad metrics – without requiring an in-depth inspection – to evaluate and provide a price analysis.

By researching market prices for a vehicle, coupled with getting a pre-purchase inspection on the specific car you’re evaluating, you’ll be able to more confidently make your own price assessment based on the car’s condition and market value. Otherwise, you may run the risk of purchasing a vehicle that is actually over-priced due to unforeseen issues with the car. 

4. Fuel Efficiency

Fuel efficiency refers to the distance that a vehicle is able to travel per gallon of gas. Finding a used car that is fuel efficient is beneficial as it will save you money and trips to the gas station. More miles to the gallon is a significant determinant for most car buyers.

The difference between owning a fuel efficient car, rather than a not-so fuel efficient car could be as much as $700 or more saved in fuel costs each year. This is an important factor to consider when setting your budget and selecting the right vehicle for your lifestyle.  

5. Interior and Exterior Appearance

When searching online or looking at cars at a dealership, appearance is the first thing that sparks your interest. It’s important to find a vehicle that you feel confident in, from how it functions to how it looks. That being said, a perfect appearance does not automatically mean it is a perfect car.

A vehicle with no scratches or dents is typically a great sign of proper care by the previous owner, however, confirming the quality of a vehicle takes more than just looking at its paint job or carpeting. A detailed interior and exterior inspection will not only determine the condition of paint and carpeting, but also whether or not all the door locks, window controls, and lights are fully operable. 

Be Sure You’re Buying a Quality Used Car 

Every used car is different and cannot be considered “quality” before looking deeper into all of the necessary information. Be sure to consider the factors most important to you when car buying. Look for a SureSale vehicle quality report when car buying to be sure when buying your own quality used car.