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Used Car Buying Guide, car reviews, information about reliability, prices, price quotes, auto purchasing, insurance and dealers.

What to look for: Miles and upkeep


The first and most important step in picking a used car is determining its condition. But how can you tell a good car from a bad one? Unfortunately, you can't simply judge based on the appearance. A car with gorgeous, shiny paint might just be hiding the fact that it's never had an oil change. And, on the flip side, you might find a car with some body damage that's actually been maintained impeccably, potentially saving you thousands of dollars. Read More »

Is ‘certified pre-owned’ worth it?


One of the fastest growing parts of the used-car market is the "certified pre-owned" car. These heavily advertised programs are typically offered by a new-car dealer when selling their own used models. A BMW dealership, for example, may offer a selection of "certified" used BMWs that have been thoroughly inspected for defects. Are these top-notch cars worth the premium dealers charge for them, though? It depends. Read More »

Depreciation: Why it matters


One of the biggest expenses related to your used car isn't something that comes directly out of your wallet. It only shows up when you sell your car. It's called depreciation, and if you're not paying attention to it before deciding which vehicle to buy, you're making a big mistake. Read More »

Financing choices: It’s easier than you think


Few people have enough money to pay cash for a high-quality used car. Fortunately, there are plenty of options for coming up with the money to buy a safe, long-lasting vehicle. From the bank to the dealership to your own checkbook, here are some ways you can finance your dream car. Read More »

The checklist: Know what’s been tested


At the heart of every certified used-car program is one thing: the vehicle inspection. A good, thorough inspection gives certified used cars a big advantage over traditional used cars, so pay close attention to exactly what has been checked and what hasn't. Buyers should dig in to the details of the inspection process. Who inspected the car? What did they look at? What repairs or service were performed on it? Read More »

Extra protection: Certified cars can come with longer, better warranties


You can tell when a company believes in their products. They put their money where their mouth is. Because certified used cars have been inspected and fixed, manufacturers are willing to back them up with longer warranties and better coverage than other used cars, often at no additional charge. Every certification program offers some type of additional warranty protection, ranging from simply extending the original new-car warranty to adding extra benefits on top of the basic warranty coverage. A few even offer full, bumper-to-bumper warranty coverage for a period of time, even if it has expired under the new-car policy. Read More »

Return policy: Some programs let you bring a car back if you don’t like it


Buying a car isn't like buying anything else. If you pick up a sweater at the store, then bring it home and decide the color is all wrong, you can return it and get your money back. For the vast majority of car purchases, though — which are much more important and expensive — you don't have that luxury. Once you decide to buy the car, you typically can't take it back to the dealer to get your money back. A select few certified pre-owned vehicle programs make an exception to that policy, though, which is a good advantage if you can find it. Read More »