How To Find a Hidden Gem in the Sea of Used Cars

Finding a used car that is in good condition, fuel efficient and within your budget can be time consuming. After looking at lemon after lemon, you may even be tempted to throw in the towel and buy new. However, don't give up on your quest just yet. Use the tips below to find a treasure in the sea of used cars out there:


Decide on a Model  

Whether you're shopping new or used vehicles, if you don't have an idea of what type of car you want, the car buying process is going to take much longer than necessary. Before you start your search, determine what make and model will best serve your needs. Consider how much space you need, what type of gas mileage you're looking for and your budget to narrow down your search options.


Know Where to Look  There are several sites that list used cars, but how many of them list reliable used vehicles? If you begin your search online, turn to sites like Craigslist, CarMax and Auto Trader. Enter your search criteria, and then make note of vehicles sold by reputable sellers such as used car dealerships. Most used car lots post their vehicles online, making it easier for shoppers like you to narrow down their options without having to go from dealership to dealership.


Inspect and Test Drive 

When test driving a vehicle, take it on a route with a little bit of everything--hills, asphalt, dirt, curves and speed. While it's understandable that you want a car that looks nice, don't let sleek lines and fresh paint persuade you. Instead, look for good visibility, smooth acceleration, working brakes and overall good mechanics. If you really like a vehicle, and unless you're a mechanic, schedule a full inspection prior to closing the deal.


Finding a reliable used car can be difficult and time consuming, but by using the above tips, you can speed up the process and walk away with a new used vehicle worth bragging about.

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