The Value of Buying a Used Car

As the price of new cars has climbed, used vehicles have become more popular than ever. They're also more expensive than ever, inflation aside. But thanks to engineering strides, vehicles have never been more durable and maintenance-free, and previously owned vehicles are no less a value.

More on How to Buy a Used Car

Because new vehicles lose such a high percentage of their value as soon as they're driven off a dealer's lot, used cars have always appealed to practical buyers. But there's always a concern about buying someone else's problems. With the introduction of certified pre-owned vehicle programs, the advantages of buying a new car seem to be dwindling. If it's important to you to drive a brand-new car, dive into our Buying Guides, sharpen your negotiating skills in Negotiating With Car Dealers and get ready to inhale that inimitable new-car smell.

However, if value is your goal, explore this used-car resource, learn how not to get burned and then turn the key on our Used Cars for Sale listings.

As a first step, you might consider test-driving some sellers. Are we serious? You bet. Car shopping taxes your energy and time. If you hire a mechanic to inspect a prospective purchase — as Cars.com strongly recommends — it can also tax your savings. With the number of used cars on the market, you'd best narrow your search and concentrate only on the ones with the most promise. Two great methods are questioning the seller and inspecting the car before the test drive — ruling out sellers that aren't worth a visit as well as cars that aren't worth a professional inspection.

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