Buying Used Cars

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Now deep into summer during a year that most of us would probably like to forget, let's talk about something else that you'd probably prefer NOT to be reminded of -- the process of buying a used car.  

Everyone knows that purchasing a brand new car entails none of the gut wrenching decisions that buying a used car does. But while you can avoid those tough decisions when purchasing a new car, you definitely pay a premium for that peace of mind. So why do people buy used cars? I think it's the hunt for a great deal -- that is cars that are under-priced and well maintained. There's really no other justification for all the effort required.

Feeling like we needed an automotive upgrade this summer, my wife and I decided to search around for a 'new' (i.e., new for us) car. We searched some used car lots, and considered a bunch of different models because we actually had no idea of what we were looking for aside from "something bigger" that the compact that was gracing our garage. 

After narrowing down the search to a specific model, the task then became to find the best option available. That entails comparisons galore. We tried to find a car that not only had low mileage but also sported an undamaged body in the 'right' color, a pristine interior and all the accessories deemed essential. I admit it was hard for me not to fall for the first car that looked brand new, but lacked a few of some of the desired accessories. But spurred on by my wife's simple and irrefutable logic -- "If we're going to pay so much for a car, it should have everything we want!" -- we pressed on in our search until alas, the right car was found. 

Then, it is as easy as 1, 2, 3:  Take a deep breath, transfer money, enjoy your "new" car!  

I know there are those who purchase a car at regular intervals of a year or two. They are hardier souls that I.