SAN ANTONIO – Some people are skeptical about buying a used car, fearing they may be taking on someone else’s headache. But auto experts at Consumer Reports say there are plenty of reasons to buy used, and being smart about it can often get you a great deal in the process.
The real sweet spot is a 3-year-old used car. You can usually get one for about half what you’d pay for a new car. And many 2016 models have all the latest advanced safety features. The four most important to look for are the following:
- Forward Collision Warning
- Automatic Emergency Braking
- Pedestrian Detection
- Blind Spot Warning
For reliability, Toyotas have consistently been standouts. But if you want a little more luxury, consider a Lexus.
Every used car has its own unique history. So be sure to do your homework, because it will pay off in the end.
If you want a little more peace of mind, look at certified pre-owned cars. You’ll pay a little more, but you’ll get a warranty that’s very similar to one you’d get with a new car.
And it’s always a good idea to get an independent mechanic you trust to do a bumper-to-bumper inspection. Expect to pay at least $100 for this service, but it could be money well spent if a costly problem is spotted before you buy.
You can also check a vehicle’s history report with services such as Carfax.
No matter where you buy, Consumer Reports says to be sure to check for any open recalls by going to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration site: nhtsa.gov/recalls.