Buying Used

By Peters, Eric | Consumers' Research Magazine, December 1997 | Go to article overview

Buying Used


Peters, Eric, Consumers' Research Magazine


Reliable transport doesn't have to be new. There are many alternatives to the showroom floor that will get you where you need to go for less than the $20,000 average new-car selling price.

When buying a used car, it's important to size up the market carefully, and evaluate your needs and what you can spend before kicking any tires.

Start by settling on a specific type of car. Do you want a sedan or coupe? Compact or full-sized? How important are such things as performance, fuel efficiency, ease-of-maintenance, and so on, to you?

Dig into back issues of used car guides for information about quality, reliability, insurance costs, and so on. Research will help you to converse intelligently with salespeople and to evaluate the relative merits/weak points of otherwise comparable cars. For example, if you've done your homework, you'd know that the Ford Aspire comes as a 2-door coupe only, while the Honda Civic and Toyota Tercel are available as four-door sedans.

In addition to used car lots and the newspaper classifieds, "Auto Trader" publications sold in convenience stores are excellent sources for locating the car you're after. There are also buying services that will locate a specific car for you.

When it gets to the nitty gritty of shopping for a car, there are several general rules that will help keep you out of trouble. The first and most important Of these is always to ascertain the car's history to the fullest extent possible -- whether you're buying a used car sold by a private party or a dealer. You should try and find out the following:

1) Is the seller the first or second (or third) owner? The fewer owners a car has had, the better. Multiple-owners cars suggest a vehicle that was not especially well liked by the people who drove it.

2) Are maintenance records available? If they are, this is a good sign. You can easily see how well the car was maintained, whether it has had unusual problems, and so on. Conversely, buying a used car with no service records is like buying a pig in a poke -- you really have no way of knowing what to expect.

3) Has it ever been in an accident? This is important. On today's unit-bodies cars (integral frames and bodies that are welded together), accident damage can be difficult to repair; sometimes, a car that's been in a serious accident "will never be quite the same" -- it may leak, squeak, and have alignment problems. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Buying Used
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.