What to Look for in a Used Car

While buying a used car may seem like a simple task, it can often be harder than buying a new car. Besides the research you have to do for any car, such as figuring out how much you can afford, what kind of car is right for you, there are many extra aspects to take into consideration. You must take unique aspects of every car into consideration when looking at used cars in NJ, PA, or any other state, such as gas mileage, prior accidents and history, and age, just to name a few. Below are a few things to look into:

A good rule of thumb to keep in mind during your search is that the lower the price, the higher the mileage. Obviously, older cars with more mileage are going to have a cheaper price tag, but it’s up to you to decide if the lower price tag is worth a potentially short-lasting vehicle. Take into account what you’ll be using the car for- if you commute a good distance to work every day, a used car with lower mileage is most likely a better decision for you.

Most people aren’t extremely knowledgeable about cars, so it’s important to have someone who knows more to look over the car for you. Signs of a quality used car are a clean engine, a body free of rust, undamaged tires, are just a few things that are visible to the eye. Be sure to have someone else test drive the car- they may feel or hear something that you might have overlooked.


Ask about the history of the car. Was it involved in any accidents? If so, what was damaged and how was it fixed? These are all important questions to ask, as they pertain directly to your safety.

This is a personal decision that completely depends on you. Many older cars don’t live up to today’s safety standards and don’t include some popular features, from high-tech gadgets, such as the ability to play music from your iPod, to simple safety features, such as 4-wheel drive, or even seatbelts.


This is usually the number one concern of potential used car buyers. Since every car is different, it can be difficult to get an exact “market price” number to match. The most important way to make sure you are getting a good deal on a vehicle is to compare! Do some research both online and at other local used car dealerships in NJ and the surrounding states to make sure you are getting a fair price.

Jillian Johnson is a professional content writer with an interest in cars. Follow her @JillianLJ87.

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