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The Best Used Cars Make The Best New Cars

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On: Thu, Apr 15, 2010 at 3:09PM | By: Lou Ruggieri


The Best Used Cars Make The Best New Cars

So your tired old clunker has finally clunked for the last time. But it did manage to keep going long enough to miss cashing in on Obama’s offer, and now you think you’re stuck. Or perhaps you actually are stuck on the side of the road, in which case may I suggest calling for some immediate assistance and then getting back to AutoShopper.com?

There is good news and bad news about your current predicament. The bad news is that we can’t help you fix your car at this very moment. But, the good news is that you might be passing one of those silly new car buyers in the very near future. Even more good news is that you might just be driving something with a lot more cachet, class, and horsepower. 

You might be wondering just how this could possibly come to pass? Well, despite popular belief, the answer is not the Publisher’s Clearing House or any special Powerball lottery numbers. All you need to do is trade in the old idea that newer is always better. The last two decades have been the Golden Age of automobiles. There’s a slight chance it may continue for the next few years, but with a questionable economy and pressure to increase gas mileage, not to mention the sky-rocketing price of fuel, it seems the best days are indeed behind us. So let’s keep the idea of ‘The Modern Golden Age’ between the years of 1990-2010. Some of the fastest, most luxurious, and most lusted after cars were created within this small 20 year window. The best part is that aside from a few exotics, special editions, and one-offs that were bought and still have about 15 miles on them, almost all of the cars from that time period have lost a considerable amount of their original sticker price.

Now, obviously it’s probably not news to you that typically used cars are cheaper than new cars. But does this mean that you should buy your dream 1989.5 Lamborghini Countach with 250,000 miles on it? No, but you might not believe what you can do with that same (or less) new car money. Not a believer? Okay, let’s put it to the test.

The most popular car in the United States in the month of February 2010 was the Honda Accord, which has an MSPR of anywhere from $21,055 - $29,305. So we’ll figure right down the middle and say you can get a loan for about $25,000. The average Accord buyer may be vastly different from person to person, but a Honda Accord says a few things right off the bat about the potential buyer. He/she is looking for: 1) practicality (in both gas mileage and price), 2) safety, 3) potentially hauling a family. However, what we can't discern is whether or not this is the car the buyer truly wanted. Is it possible this could have just been the ‘logical’ choice due to the lack of options in the sub-30 grand new car market? More than a few potential buyers may not have been aware of exactly what else is out there with $25,000 to spend.

The following is just a handful of choices and genres of automobile you might not have known are options to that brand new Accord:

Sporty:

2006 Mustang GT Convertible – 8-cyl, auto with 22,494 miles. $21,990



2004 Chevrolet Corvette – 8-cyl, 6-spd with 40,311 miles. $24,900



2006 Nissan 350Z Convertible – 6-cyl, 6-spd with 15,380 miles. $21,999



SUV/Truck:

2006 Nissan Murano SL AWD – 6-cyl, auto with 36,798 miles. $17,990



2006 Ford Explorer XLT 4x4 – 6-cyl, auto with 50,231 miles. $16,990



2008 Hummer H3 – 5-cyl, auto with 24,535 miles. $23,995



Family Hauler:

2009 Chevy Malibu LT – 4-cyl, auto with 34,171 miles. $15,995



2007 VW Passat – 4-cyl, auto with 31,611 miles. $14,988



2004 BMW 530i – 6-cyl auto with 49,135 miles. $22,995


Those are just some of the options that are out there, all for around the same money. Now, I can already hear you griping to the computer, “Oh yeah, anyone can find one or two good deals if they look long enough.” Wrong. Where can magic deals like these come from? Every one of them was in the latest edition of your local Auto Shopper. All you have to do is keep a keen eye peeled for a good car at a better price.

There are only a few words of advice I will give you before you go out and throw down the most money you can afford for the nicest car out there. A Certified Used Car will usually cost a little bit extra, but it makes up for the extra money by being put through a safety checklist and typically coming with a longer warranty than non-certified cars (each dealership is different, so ask just to be sure). Also, know the replacement costs and MPG of what you are (literally) getting yourself into. Just because you can afford a used Ferrari doesn’t mean you can afford to maintain it.

Remember, the more informed you are, the better your chances are of making a good decision. So with that said, hopefully you can take that $25,000 of new Accord money and go find a used car that just might strike a more attractive chord with your wallet and your inner enthusiast.




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