Making an Investment: Best and Worst Used Cars to Buy

March 18, 2013

Distinguishing between the best and worst used cars at times may be a difficult task. There are some things that one can look for in a used car to figure out if they are one of the best, or one of the worst. You may find a great looking car, but if it has a faulty engine it just went from best to worst.

  • Research is always the first step in any car buying process. There are some reliable car companies out there that are known to have some great used cars. These companies are typically the luxury car companies and other companies such as Toyota and especially Honda. Next thing you need to know is what type of car you want. If you want a luxury car or an affordable car is first, but then the type of car is important (sedan, coupe, SUV, etc). A great site to look on would be CarsDirect. You can look for cars of a certain make, model, year, and then shorten the results by specifying qualities you are looking for.
  • The listings you see will be local listings of mostly dealerships in the area. Once you have picked out a car, the next step is to contact the dealer and test drive the car. This is one of the most important steps in the used car process. This can be the difference from buying a good used car and a bad one.
  • If your test drive goes well, then you will definitely want a mechanic that you trust to look and inspect the car. It may cost you around $100, but it is well worth it to determine if the car is a lemon, or have any underlying or potential problems.

Best Used Cars

The best used cars will be those that are built to last. Consumer Reports came out with a list of the best and worst used cars of the decade. Honda appeared most on the best list, winning four awards. Also making good showings were Lexus and Toyota. If you are looking for a smaller, family car, the Honda Accord would be a nice choice. A similar car would also be the Toyota Camry. Another option is to buy a certified used car. These are cars that are certified to be in excellent condition and are often some of the “newer” used cars. They come with a certified warranty, and pass extensive testing to gain that status. These do cost more than regular used cars, but they are from dealerships and guaranteed to run.

Worst Used Cars

The worst used cars according to Consumer Reports were Chevrolet and Volkswagen, appearing five times each on a list of about 30 total cars. Audi also made a surprise appearance in the A6 and A8 models. Of course, the other worst cars are those that you buy and are already in poor working condition. Since there is no warranty, if you buy a used car and it breaks down the next day, you are responsible. That is why it is important to check out the car extensively before you buy it.

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