A salesman shows a couple car information on a tablet against a blue sky

Used Car Shopping Isn’t Complicated – Just Ask Yourself One Question

When it comes to used car buying, a lot of people complicate the crap out of it. Why? I don’t know. But, time and time again people go through the stress of figuring out what type of used car they want. Especially today in 2016, where materialistic objects like vehicles are considered a status symbol of one’s wealth. Here’s an example of a train of thought that person might go through:

If I’m going to buy used, I’m going to make damn sure it’s a used luxury car. Wait a second, that luxury sedan isn’t good on passenger space for the kids, is it? So what about an SUV? But, I do a lot of driving — so the cost of fuel will be expensive, won’t it? Well, as long as it’s not a rust bucket, it should be okay. After all, beggars can’t be choosers in this field, am I right? So, how about a used economy sedan? Oh, crap. It doesn’t have the Blu-Ray player that the minivan does. Plus, it doesn’t have heated seats either…

It just goes on and on, snowballing onto itself until your head is so convoluted and confused, you want nothing to do with car buying. Instead of worrying about all those individual issues, take a different approach. Ask yourself this one simple question and it will help answer all the other ones.

The Single Answer to All Your Car-Buying Questions

For the money-conscious and confused or first-time car-buyer, you need to cut it with the “my car is an extension of myself” or “it’s a fashion statement” crap. A car is a car – a tool to get you from point A to point B. End of discussion. In order to figure out what type of used car is right for you, you need to get into this type of mindset.

Simply ask yourself, “what do I need it for?” Not, “what do I want it for?” You’re buying used, after all, which means you don’t want to dish out the money for a new car. I don’t blame you. Personally, I think buying a new car is a terrible decision. But if you’re jumping into the realm of used car buying, then you can’t afford (maybe in a financial sense, as well) to worry about wants above needs.

See how that just simplified the train of thought mentioned above? Based on what the person needs not wants, a used minivan is the right way to go. It’s got the room for the kids, is better on fuel than an SUV, and you can still find one that has fun features in it — if you’re willing to dish out the extra money.

Make it Even Easier – Don’t Worry About Fun Features

Then again, you might be a veteran car buyer shopping for a used luxury model to make it an extension of yourself. If that’s the case, knock yourself out. Or, you could be dead set on buying your dream car at a used price. Great, ignore this advice.

But for those who need a used car and aren’t sure what to buy, ask yourself that question and answer it honestly. Then, to make it even easier, don’t even worry about tracking down a used model rife with those extra fun features. Just buy what you need and call it a day.

There will always be time for fun cars later, right now just get something that satisfies your daily and budgetary needs.

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