Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

White lettering on a blue background that says "PRE-OWNED VEHICLES"

Three Important Considerations To Make When Looking At Used Cars For Sale

From the broke college student to the family that’s looking to save money wherever possible, looking at used cars can be a great way to hold onto a little extra cash. Used cars are becoming more popular than ever, and more and more people are taking part in seriously considering a used car for their next vehicle. In fact, the typical car driven here in the United States will have three owners if not more before it is officially retired. There are more than forty million used cars sold over the course of just one year in the United States, a number that continues to grow as time passes on. Used cars are nothing if not important, and present a viable option for you if you are tight on funds but need a car to get to and from work or school and run daily errands.

It’s important to be smart about shopping for used cars. When shopping for used cars, many of the considerations that you will make will mirror that of the process of shopping for a brand new car. But on top of this, you also need to keep in mind the previous life of your soon to be used car, and how that might affect your overall driving experience, not only in the present but in the future as well.

Where Are You Buying Your Used Car?


There are many different places that you can buy your used car. Though dealerships that also sell new cars are likely to be the most common place that you’re able to find a wide selection of used cars, some dealerships will specialize in used cars, and those are perfectly viable options as well.

However, you might also consider buying your used car through a private party, a current owner of a car who has advertised the car on social media platforms or resale platforms such as Craigslist and the like. These cars are often the ones that you can find just by driving around your neighborhood as well, with signs that list a price and a number to contact typically on the front windshield. There are a few reasons why people might choose to buy a used car through a private party. For one, it’s likely to be cheaper than any car you’d find in a dealership – even a used one. This can be hugely attractive for many people who need a car, especially those who are tight on cash. But buying a car through a private owner instead of through a dealership will also mean that there is no guarantee on the condition of the vehicle, aside from what the current owner tells you. This can end up costing you big out of pocket expenses down the road.  And this is why it is hugely important to get your hands on a vehicle history report.

The Importance Of The Vehicle History Report


No matter where you decide to buy your used car from, you will want to have a look at the vehicle history report. If you are unfamiliar, a vehicle history report is a document that shows the entire history of the car, much as the name suggests. Not only will it detail any accidents the car has sustained or repairs that have been made, but it will also give a cohesive and thorough history of the maintenance and service that the car has received.

One of the perks of buying a used car from a dealership is that the vehicle history report is likely to be made available to you at no additional cost. However, if you are buying a car through a private party, such as directly from the current owner, this is not necessarily going to be the case – and, in fact, will likely not be. Fortunately, there are ways to get ahold of a vehicle history report without being directly offered one. Through these methods it is likely that you will need to pay, sometimes up to $100, to be able to access a history report from an online vendor like But even though it comes with an additional cost, it is highly advisable that you still spend that extra money, as a vehicle history report is vital to understanding the quality and history of any used vehicle.

Consider A Certified Pre-Owned Car


If you are looking at used cars but are interested in a car that is of a very high – almost new – quality, consider buying a certified pre-owned vehicle. Certified pre-owned cars, if you are not familiar, have a number of marked similarities to the typical used car. For one, well, they’re both used and have both been owned at least once previously before being placed back up for sale.

However, a certified pre-owned car has many fundamental differences. To be considered certified pre-owned, a vehicle will need to go through an extensive process of testing. This testing process is put in place to ensure that the vehicle is in nearly factory new condition, from the brakes, to the interior, to the transmission, and that it has not been in any major accidents. Certified pre-owned cars will be newer model years as well, and are likely to be the ideal choice for someone who is looking to own a car that is less than five years old.

It must also be noted that certified pre-owned cars will be more expensive than your typical used car. However, they will still be significantly cheaper than a brand new car, making them the ideal choice for someone who is looking to save money without skimping at all on quality.

Making Your Choice


It’s important to take your time in the process of finding used cars that suit your needs. Don’t rush the process, and consider every aspect of it as thoroughly as is possible. Buying a used car can save you money and still let you secure a quality vehicle that will make your life run smoothly.