Used car shoppers have different priorities than new car shoppers. Their primary concern- budget considering the fact it has a lesser depreciation value as opposed to new cars. Now, Pros don’t always go for the cheapest but the best for their money keeping in mind the condition of the vehicle and the long term implications to get the best out of the car. We get many questions like how do I negotiate a used car? Pro shoppers consider the 360° and find a favorable balance – budget, performance, reliability, interior, exterior, safety down to the maintenance cost.

In any game, knowledge is power. No matter how low the price, a car isn’t of much use if it doesn’t serve its purpose well enough. Check reliability ratings, a good one is the J.D. Power and Associates Vehicle Dependability Study, read Consumer Reports annual auto issue, it has a used car section that gives you regular information like lists of most reliable, performance reviews and least reliable used cars and frequency-of-repair records for recent model years. Go through our blog post on the most reliable used cars to buy based on our experience. This information can help you create a list of used cars you want to check out.

Go on a test drive; be observant while evaluating the used cars performance. A used car was once new. Go through the car history, keep in mind: a car that had plenty of power, stable handling and good fuel economy when it was new is likely to remain a decent performer as a used car. An occasional servicing is ok but if several times for odd things like engine trouble or crappy brakes after only a few years, think again. Performance is key. Ensure the car interior is to your liking, the materials used of good quality and it has enough space to accommodate your needs. As for safety, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the Federal Government’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration perform crash tests new cars. You can use the ratings from them to assess how safe a given model is likely to be as well as check the safety features such as electronic stability control available in the used car.

Finally, there’s no point buying a car if it’s too high maintenance for you. Stay in your lane. A pro used car shopper not only finds one with a budget friendly price but also one with affordable operating costs over the long haul!