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3 Steps to Finding The Ideal Used Car

(PRWEB) March 30, 2012

Searching for a used car can be a significant chore. Hours are spent searching websites like craigslist and without getting any closer to a decision. Most people want to find the ideal car that fits their lifestyle and budget, but they just don’t know where to start. Fortunately, it is now possible to find an ideal car in three easy steps, using resources available to every car buyer.

First, Narrow Down Needs

The first thing to consider as a used car buyer is just what needs the car has to meet. Do you care more about raw power or high miles-per-gallon? Does the car need room for groceries or a car seat? Are head and legroom a concern? Answering these questions early on will keep you from buying a sweet ride that turns into a headache when you take it home.

Just as important is figuring out how much you can comfortably spend without borrowing money. A new car’s value typically decreases 15-20% in the first year, and 10% per year for the following four years. Borrowing money and taking on payments to buy something that is going to decrease in value over time is usually not a good plan.

Some say that new cars make sense because they come with warranties and/or low dealership financing. The simple fact is, neither of these will come close to making up for the 50% depreciation in the first few years, especially if you make sure to check the car out before buying.

Second, Work Out “Wants”

Once the universe of vehicles has been narrowed down to the ones that meet a buyer’s needs, the next step is to do some side-by-side comparisons and decide which they actually like. Unfortunately, since every used car is unique, it can be hard to make apples to apples comparisons. However, since models rarely change drastically from year to year, it can help to to visit a dealer’s lot and check out some new models. Even when planning to buy used, this is a good way to quickly weed out cars (or whole classes) you just don’t like. Visiting the lot allows you to actually see the vehicles in person, sit in the driver’s seat, feel the legroom in the back, et cetera – things you just can’t get from a written review.

The advice of the car dealer is another good resource, but do make it clear that you are only narrowing things down and have no intention of buying right away. That way no one’s time is wasted.

Since only so much time can be spent on the lot, some comparisons can also be done at home. Use Google Image Search to search for models that interest you and find multiple different perspectives of their interiors and exteriors. That way even if you can’t feel the leather, you can see the view from the cabin. also has great photo galleries for every make and model you could imagine. Professional reviews can be useful as well. offers a review search tool that will find reviews for your car of choice from a bunch of top automotive sites.

Third, Identify the Ideal Car

At this point it should be clear what the ideal car looks like, what features it has, and about how much it costs. Since every used car is unique though, it is important to cast as wide a net as possible to make sure you get the features and options you want for a good price.

It would take hours to search through the millions of listings on the hundreds of different car sites out there. Fortunately, tools exist to save you the effort. The used car search gathers results from all the top used car listings sites around the web, including craigslist, in one place.

Once you’ve found your ideal car and are ready to buy, AutoTempest also has guides to help with negotiating for the best price and avoiding potential pitfalls.

About AutoTempest provides all the tools and resources needed to find the ideal car for any budget and lifestyle, and to make the experience both informative and enjoyable. The AutoTempest used car search brings together used car listings from the top sites around the web, searching craigslist, eBay Motors, and many more to help find that ideal used car.


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