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How Old Should a Used Car Be?

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The option between getting a used car and a new car is not an easy choice, but the decision to save money is a good one, not to mention that it’s a little easier on the environment! The question after deciding on a new car is just how old should that used car be? There is the ideal of about a year, but there can be advantages to one that’s only six months old and there are advantages to buying a vehicle that six years old! So, which choice is the better option?

The answer to that question really depends on the person buying the vehicle. Age and mileage are an important component of buying a used car and directly contribute to the price. A car that is a year old, for instance, will already be twenty to thirty percent cheaper than a new car. This is good news for a used car buyer, who can save as much as half the value of a car that’s only four years old. Age is a definite factor in the purchase of a used car, but so it mileage.

A favorite expression of many people is that it’s not the years that affect them, but the mileage! This is also true of most used vehicles out there. A quick search of used car dealerships will reveal that a five-year-old car with twenty thousand miles on it is going to cost more than an identical model with forty thousand miles reading on the odometer. Why is that? Because the more mileage a car has on it, the less it has left on it. So, the logic is that the first car will last longer than the second, although it’s the same model.

So, now that everyone understands age and mileage, the question becomes how much money does a person have in their pocket and what can they afford to pay? One can always make a down payment on their used car, but the question that really affects the price is just how much money they have to spend every month on their new vehicle. Knowing how much they can put into a car payment is one of the most important parts of determining what they can get. Some may be able to easily afford to buy a car that’s just a year old, while others might find them struggling to make the payments on a seven-year-old car.

The final contributing factor is to determine exactly what the car is for. If someone just wants a car to get back and forth to work, they might consider an older car since their needs are simple. A person who’s going to rely on their vehicle to go many places in the city every day of the week might want to buy a vehicle that’s no more than four or five years old. People who are planning on making long trips might want the reliability of a car that’s just one or two years old.

In the end, always check the mileage along with the age of a used car, first!

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