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How Much Should You Pay for Car Dependability?

car breakdown

There is nothing worse than having your car break down while you are on the way to someplace you need to be. Perhaps it’s happened to you in the rain, or on your way to a wedding, or at night when you’re in a sketchy part of town. For some, driving an older vehicle is a source of constant anxiety because of the threat of breakdowns and high repair costs.

But not all of us can afford a brand new car. If you need a car to live your life, it’s important to know how to get the most dependable vehicle at your price point, and to consider paying a little more if your needs can’t be met at your current budget. Used cars from dealerships will undergo a lot more scrutiny than the car you see on Craigslist. If dependability is a priority, that may be an important consideration.

Still, reliable cars can be found by many sellers. As a buyer, you just have to know what you need, as well as how to evaluate specific possibilities. Start by researching cars that will fit your purposes. Think about what you need in terms of storage, fuel efficiency, power, and every other characteristic which will affect your life. Choose five or six cars that meet these needs, which are more or less in your price range depending on the seller.

Car Dependability

Some people stop here and immediately start looking for bargains. Pump the breaks! You’re not done. Now you need to start to research the details hidden under the hood of the used cars in your shortlist. Get on forums and research common problems associated with these vehicles. You might discover that that minivan you wanted was manufactured with a transmission that almost always conks out at 90,000 miles. Or, you might discover that the Jeep you’re interested in will get to 300,000 miles routinely, with only regular maintenance.

Once you’ve found a car that meets your needs as a driver, and sounds like it can be maintained with your income and experience, start looking for deals. Start with a quick search among all area dealerships to find out how many vehicles of the make and model you are interested in are available in your region. You can just choose the car at the lowest price if you want to have the assurance that results from getting a car from a reputable dealership.

If you want to dig even further, look at online as well as print classifieds for listings of the car you’re looking for. Expand your search to 150 miles around your home, or more if you’re willing to travel long and hard for a deal. You’ll find cars this way that isn’t well marketed and have few prospective buyers. You can negotiate a much better price in these circumstances. Just make sure to get the car inspected before you buy it!

Look hard for the car you want, and make sure that the car you choose will meet your needs and be within your ability to maintain. This way you’ll save money and get exactly what you’re looking for.

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