Archive for the ‘FAQs’ Category

What are consumer ratings of used cars?

Posted on: May 18, 2012 | In FAQs

Finding a quality car is difficult enough when shopping for new models let alone when choosing between used car models. Fortunately, the Internet provides a host of car ratings and review resources, many of which are geared towards used cars.

Consumer ratings on used cars are one of the categories used by rating and review sites in determining the overall quality of each car model.

Used Car Reviews by ConsumerDifferent sites emphasize different areas when rating cars so consumers may want to pay attention to these areas when comparing different review sites.

Rating Agencies

Online rating agencies gather information from various sources and compile rating scores for different used car models. Some of the more well-known online rating agencies include:
· J.D. Power and Associates
· Edmunds
· Consumer Reports

Both J.D. Power and Associates and Consumer Reports place a heavier emphasis on consumer ratings than Edmunds when determining overall rating scores for each car.

Consumer information comes from people who’ve actually bought and used the cars so much of the information is based on consumer buyer experiences.

Customer Ratings on Used CarsDifferent rating agencies display consumer scoring results in different ways. For example, J.D. Power and Associates uses “All Power Circles” to indicate a car’s overall ratings.

Based on one out of five “circles”, cars with a five circle rating scored the highest overall.

With Consumer Reports, consumer rating results are based on different colors with “red” being a good rating and “black” being a bad rating.

Cars that have no color indicators fall within the average range of the rating scale.

Consumer Ratings

The consumer ratings information compiled by rating agencies use different tools to gather information. Consumer surveys and polls provide a wealth of information in areas involving:
· Customer satisfaction
· Car reliability
· Quality
· Sales satisfaction
· Service satisfaction
· Performance and design indicators

Some of the agencies, such as Consumers Reports may list more detailed ratings information based on actual components of each car. Some of the components listed include:
· Electrical system
· Fuel system
· Transmission
· Engine cooling
· Engine performance

Based on a used car’s overall rating, some agencies may provide a “Used Car Prediction” score. This score attempts to predict how long a consumer can expect a particular type of car to last and the types of problems to expect in the future.

Quality & Reliability Ratings

Consumer-based ratings on used car quality and reliability represent two major scoring categories used by rating agencies. Some agencies, such as J.D. Power use information from new car buyers to determine a used car’s initial quality rating.

Initial quality ratings are good indicators of how a car will perform in its later years. New car buyers receive surveys 90 days after the date of purchase. These surveys request information on the mechanical and design quality of the car. Survey question also address any defects or malfunctions that occur within this 90 day period.

Consumer-based reliability ratings are determined from surveys given to people who’ve owned a car for three years. These results are published in the Vehicle Dependability Study. Survey questions address 200 potential problem areas encountered within the three year ownership period.

Service & Performance Ratings

Used Car Consumer ReviewsAs every car requires servicing at one time or another, rating agencies can gather information from certified car centers and dealerships to find out how often different car models are serviced.

Agencies also survey customers regarding their service experience and in terms of costs and overall satisfaction.

Service rating indicators provide an idea of how often a used car will require servicing based on past service records.

Service records also provide information on potential problem areas most likely to require service and/or repair.

Performance rating surveys measure the “enjoyment” factor in terms of a customer’s driving experience with a car. Rating surveys can vary depending on the type of car involved, such as sports cars versus passenger cars.

Survey questions ask how well a car handles and any specific likes or dislikes customers have towards their particular car model.


As different consumer ratings agencies base their information on different aspects of consumer car experiences, it may be helpful to combine rating scores from different sites to get an overall rating on used car models.

It’s always best to start out with a list of potential car models and narrow down the best choices from there.

Cars that score poorly are most likely not good choices and may develop problems sooner rather than later after a purchase is made.

When researching different consumer rating sites, keep in mind that some sites charge a fee to access needed information while others may provide the same information free of charge.

So, it pays to survey all the rating sites before actually signing up for one versus another.

Many of the used car ratings sites will also list the true market values for different used car models. This information arms consumers with fair pricing guidelines that can come in handy when it comes time to purchase a used car.

Make sure to check out the FREE tool by entering your ZIP code here!


Are Kia used cars a good purchase?

Posted on: May 16, 2012 | In FAQs

If you’ve been busy comparing the latest used vehicles available, you’ve probably ran across a Kia or two. A growing number of American shoppers are including this brand in their used car comparisons.

Today’s new Kia represents a quantum leap over the vehicle’s reputation of the late 1990s. Although the latest Kia Forte and Soul represent great values when bought new, does the same hold for used examples?

Finding used Kia carsFind out if the Korean automotive brand represents a good value. Afterwards, you can find competitive insurance rates for the vehicle of your choice from the comfort of your own computer.

Kia: A Rising Star in the Automotive Market

Introduced to the U.S. market in the mid-1990s, the Korean automaker did its best to provide American customers with the most affordable vehicles around.

Unfortunately, these vehicles quickly earned a rep for not being the most reliable or well-built vehicles on sale. Nevertheless, the company sought to improve its offerings and fine-tune them to suit U.S. tastes.

Involvement with fellow Korean manufacturer Hyundai and a sharpened focus on quality and reliability gave it a new lease on life. In 2009, Kia became the 8th best-selling car brand in the United States.

Today, Kia represents excellent value with good overall reliability, a far cry from the days of old.

On the Road of Improvement

The company still has a ways to go. According to J.D. Power and Associates’ 2012 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study, the average Kia had 169 problems per 100 vehicles.

used Kia vehiclesThis ties the Korean automotive brand with Volkswagen, but it’s still far below the industry standard of 132 and part-owner Hyundai’s 125 per 100 vehicles.

Meanwhile, a 2007 study by independent automotive warranty specialist Warranty Direct rated Kia’s offerings as number five in reliability, ahead of established German automotive makes.

It’s an excellent accomplishment that any automaker would be proud of.

A New Focus in Reliability

America’s first foray with the Korean motoring brand started with the first-generation Sephia and Sportage of 1994.

While both vehicles won America’s interest on price, its overall quality, fit and finish left plenty to be desired. These vehicles quickly became known for crapshoot quality and questionable reliability. Some owners have had decent experiences with these vehicles. Others were left disappointed.

Kia’s come a long way from the days of the days of the Sephia.

After the company’s acquisition by fellow Korean automaker Hyundai, the company made a concerted effort to improve the overall quality and reliability of its vehicles.

This included improving the interior quality, drivetrain components and overall fit and finish of every vehicle it sold.

To drive that point home, Kia offers its entire vehicle lineup with one of the longest factory warranties of any automaker. Each Kia comes with a 10-year or 100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty along with a five-year or 60,000-mile basic warranty.

These warranties give Kia customers plenty of peace of mind when it comes to owning one of these vehicles for any significant amount of time.

Is Buying a Used Kia a Good Deal?

Consumers have plenty of good reasons for buying a used vehicle. For starters, used car buyers don’t have to deal with the inevitable depreciation that happens as soon as you leave the lot. Secondly, a pre-owned variant of a popular automotive offering features a sizable discount over its newer counterpart.

quality of used Kia carsNew Kias are already priced rather competitively, but getting an even better deal on a used Kia is always a charm. The most recent line of Kia models represent a great deal when purchased used.

This is especially true of vehicles like the Kia Soul and Optima. Even relatively unloved models like the Sedona minivan represent a sterling value.

Final Verdict

Although Hyundai got involved in the company as early as 1998, cars like the Spectre took a while to be revamped according to the new standards.

To stay on the safe side, it’s best to stick to the 2004 model year and up. On the other hand, if you’re thinking about purchasing a Kia is only a couple years old, go for it. Vehicles of this vintage have proven themselves to be reliable time and again.

When you finally decided on purchasing a used Kia, don’t forget to compare car insurance rates online for FREE!

Where can I find a used car free search?

Posted on: | In FAQs

Many drivers make the decision to buy a used car as their next vehicle for financial reasons. Buying a used car can be a more cost-effective buying decision to make. Used cars have already lost value due to depreciation, but they may still be in very good condition.


Online search for used carsThey may have all of the features of new vehicles, but they do not have the high cost associated with a brand new vehicle. In some cases, the body of a vehicle hasn’t changed, so you may be able to purchase a gently used vehicle that looks exactly like a brand new vehicle.

While there is savings associated with buying a used car, you may not want to pay money to search for a used vehicle. So can you find a used car with a free search?

Driving From Lot to Lot

One way you can search for a used car for free is to drive around from car lot to car lot. Major dealerships as well as smaller car lots typically carry numerous makes and models of used cars. Some of these vehicles may be like-new with under 10,000 miles on them.

how to find used carsOthers may be over a decade old and have mileage that exceeds six digits. While driving from lot to lot may seem free, there actually is a cost associated with this.

First, it can take a great deal of time to drive around town and beyond in search of the right vehicle.

Second, in addition to the cost of time lost with this type of search, you also have to pay for gas to drive around town.

Online Search Options

Searching for a used car online is a far better solution. When you search online, you enjoy the benefit of browsing for used cars from the comfort of your own home. The time and money spent driving around is removed from the equation.

You can browse hundreds of different makes and models listed for sale on numerous websites. Some of the different places you may conduct a free search for a used car for sale include

  • Websites for used car dealerships
  • Online used car listings websites
  • Local newspaper’s online classified ads

Saving Time With Your Search

When you search for a used car online, you certainly do not have to contend with the time spent driving from car lot to car lot. However, you can still spend hours searching through all of the websites that cater to used car buyers. Depending on your location, you may find hundreds of listings posted online, if not more.

It can take a lot of time to browse through each listing to find the right car for your needs and your budget. To make your search more efficient and effective, there are some steps you can take.

  1. Get pre-qualified for financing. This can help you to determine the maximum sales price you can afford for your new car, so it provides you with an upper sales price limit to your online search query.
  2. Consider your functional needs for the car. Many people like to focus on a car’s style as a secondary priority to price. However, no buyer will purchase a vehicle that does not meet functional needs. Functional needs may include the number of passenger seats in the car, if the trunk has room for everything you may need to transport on a regular basis, if the car will fit into your garage and more.
  3. Review fuel efficiency ratings. The fuel efficiency rating for most vehicles is posted online, so you can easily do a quick Internet search to find out which makes and models in a certain class are most affordable to drive.
  4. Review repairs and maintenance costs. Many drivers do not realize that some cars are far more expensive to maintain than others. However, the cost of parts and repairs does vary by vehicle. An Internet search can help you to identify which vehicles within a certain class are most affordable to maintain over time.
  5. Compare safety ratings. People die in traffic-related accidents every day. Some vehicles are determined to be safer to drive than others, and a search of the Internet can help you to learn which models may be safer for you to own and operate.

Keep in mind that searching for used cars is typically free on most websites.

Further, the information noted above that you may consider researching, such as the fuel efficiency rating, repair costs, safety ratings and more, are also able to access for free.

search for used cars online

This means that you can thoroughly compare makes and models against each other and search for specific vehicles for free over the Internet.

Making Your Final Decision

Many buyers will use the above tips to narrow down their vehicle search to just a few makes and models. They may have a couple of specific vehicles picked out, but may not know how to make a wise decision regarding which is the best choice.

There are two things you can do to make a wise final decision. First, take the cars to a mechanic for a thorough review. A mechanic can inspect the vehicles from top to bottom and provide you with an itemized list of repairs needed.

lookup new cars onlineSecond, you should enter your ZIP code into a FREE auto rate comparison site. You can easily compare the rates of the different models to learn which is the most affordable model to insure.

You can do most of your search for a used car over the Internet without any expense to you.

Searching for a used car over the Internet can be a time-efficient and cost-efficient way to find the best used car for your upcoming purchase.

Is it difficult to find newer used cars for sale?

Posted on: May 15, 2012 | In FAQs

Many drivers today are making the decision to buy a gently used vehicle over a new vehicle. The cost savings associated with buying a used vehicle can be significant, as cars do start to lose value immediately after being purchased. However, many people want to drive a stylish, late model vehicle in good condition.

Buying a vehicle that is only a year or two old allows drivers to enjoy the benefits of a newer car without taking the financial hit associated with buying a new car.


hard to find new used carsYou can compare insurance costs associated with different models you are interested in buying by entering your ZIP code into many insurance company’s websites. However, you may be wondering how to find a quality, gently used car.

Narrowing Down Your Choices

There are many different resources you can put to use to find a newer used vehicle today.

Many of these resources will provide you with hundreds, if not thousands, of different options to choose from. Because of this, you may find it helpful to first narrow down the choices and define what exactly you are looking for in your vehicle.

Some key points to consider include:

  • Passenger seating
  • Storage capabilities
  • Towing capabilities
  • The safety rating
  • The fuel efficiency rating
  • Special features like satellite radio or a GPS navigation system
  • Your budget
  • Auto insurance rates on different models

By focusing on these key points as well as other points that may be important in your buying decision, you can more easily determine which models are suitable for your needs and budget.

After you have narrowed down your search to a few models, you can then start looking for your next vehicle.

Why People Trade In or Sell a New Vehicle

You may think that finding a quality, late-model used car would be difficult. After all, who would buy a brand new vehicle only to sell it or trade it in a year later? There are actually many reasons why someone may trade in or sell a late-model used car.

trading in a new carThe car may not have met their functional needs, the driver’s needs may have changed after buying the car, the car may have been used as a leased or rental car, the vehicle was more expensive to own than the driver realized and more.

With this in mind, you can understand more clearly why there are so many different late-model used cars on the market to choose from.

Different Places to Look

There are numerous places to look for a quality, late-model used car. You may consider searching in a number of locations to expand your likelihood of finding the perfect vehicle at the right price.

Some of the many places you may look for a used car include:

  • Websites that allow car owners to list their vehicle themselves
  • Used car websites that show listings from both car owners as well as dealerships
  • Dealerships’ websites
  • Online classified ads, such as through a local newspaper’s website
  • Used Car Lots

Expand Your Search Before Narrowing It

Many people who are interested in buying a used car will use websites that show used car listings. These websites typically allow you to create a customized search.

difficulty in finding new used carsOne of those search functions typically allows you to enter a city or a ZIP Code, then to specify a search range for so many miles surrounding that location.

You may think that it is best to start your search by looking within five or ten miles of your home.

However, you may save time by starting out with an expanded search and simply eliminating the options one by one.

Few people find the car they are looking for listed for sale within a few miles of their home. In some cases, people travel a hundred miles or more to get their perfect car.

By starting with an expanded search radius, you can more easily determine which vehicles are priced at the most competitive level, and you may be more likely to quickly find the perfect vehicle that meets all of your needs.

Financing Options

While there are many different newer used cars available for sale in most locations across the country, some of the most popular models of vehicles do sell quickly after they are listed for sale.

Some used car buyers want to find the perfect vehicle to buy before searching for financing. However, there are reasons why you should explore financing options before taking a car out for a test drive.

First, if you do find a car that you like, you want to be able to make an offer on the spot. You don’t want to lose that vehicle to another buyer while you are trying to get pre-qualified for a car loan.

Second, you don’t want to search for a car that is priced higher than what you can afford to pay. By searching for financing and getting pre-qualified first, you will know exactly which cars you can afford to buy.

Before Making an Offer

One last step you should take before making an offer on a used car is to shop for insurance rate quotes.

You can enter your ZIP Code into a FREE rate comparison site to compare rates for different models today. The last thing you want to do is make an offer on a car that is expensive to insure.

new used cars are hard to find

This step can help to ensure you buy a car that is affordable for your budget.

The fact is that it really is pretty easy to find a quality, gently used car. However, you do need to know what you are looking for in a car and where to look for a used car if you want to enjoy the best results for your efforts.

Are Toyota used cars easy to find?

Posted on: May 11, 2012 | In FAQs

Toyotas offer one of the highest resale values of any brand of automobile, and these vehicles commonly reach amazing mileage landmarks, which is a fact that Toyota has incorporated into past advertising campaigns. People often reach milestones as high as 500,000 miles or more.

Well-maintained vehicles often carry substantial insurance coverage, which helps keep vehicles running smoothly. Click here to find out the costs of insuring a used Toyota.


Toyota Used Car OptionsSuperior engineering, intuitive design, and efficient performance influence drivers to hold onto their Toyotas, but many people prefer to buy a new car every few years. If shoppers wish to find a used Toyota, then they will be able to do so because the brand is America’s top selling automobile.

Benefits of Toyota’s Certified Used Car Program

Logical thought suggests that the better the new car, the better the used version will be. Toyota vehicles top the sales charts in America, but used Toyota cars might be an even better value. The reason this situation benefits consumers is due to the Toyota Certified Used Vehicle (TCUV) program, which the manufacturer launched in 1996.

Features of the TCUV program include the following attributes.

  1. Quality Commitment: The TCUV program grows larger every year, offering consumers the opportunity to buy inspected, serviced, and certified Toyotas. Certified vehicles must be recent models with less than 85,000 miles on the odometer, and the cars can be no older than six years.
  2. Warranty: Toyota offers substantial consumer protection for these vehicles by including a one-year or 12,000 mile comprehensive warranty, but consumers also enjoy any remaining time on the seven-year, 100,000-mile powertrain warranty. One full year of roadside assistance is included, and more than 1,400 dealers across America and Canada honor the guarantee.
  3. Program Benefits: In addition to the benefits cited above, consumers enjoy the following protections.  A free CARFAX® report details the history of each car in the program.  Consumers with good credit qualify for standard new-car financing rates.  The extended warranties are fully transferable for customers who decide to resell their vehicles.  Trade-ins are accepted toward down payments.  All vehicles undergo a 160-point inspection and road testing.  Repairs use genuine OEM parts and factory-trained Toyota technicians.

As you can see, Toyota offers wide variety of long-term coverage.

Safeguarding Toyota Investments

The decision to buy a used Toyota vehicle, whether certified or privately owned, bestows immediate advantages that other cars cannot match—Toyota performance, service and safety.


Toyota performance offers good prospects for long-term value. Toyotas keep more of their original value than other vehicles due to their efficient engineering. The best way to protect performance is by following factory service recommendations. Toyota maintains an online library of service manuals for any used vehicle that will answer any questions authoritatively.


Toyota used cars reliabilityProper service and routine maintenance will keep Toyotas running at peak performance. Mileage and time must be considered equally to determine when service is due. Other circumstances might require more frequent service, such as driving under harsh conditions. These types of demanding driving include mountainous areas, stop-and-go city traffic, rugged terrain, or extremes of heat or cold weather.

Regardless of how often service is needed, owners should always choose certified Toyota dealers to make repairs, carry out inspections, and perform routine maintenance. These expert technicians have the factory training, OEM parts, and specialized tools to make repairs quickly and efficiently.


Toyota considers safety the cornerstone of its business, and the company maintains the Collaborative Safety Research Center in partnership with leading American institutions. The facility, located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, concentrates on advanced research to improve safety and advance superior engineering in all of its models.

National safety studies conducted by NASA and the NHTSA have found Toyota vehicles some of the safest cars on the road today, but the company never rests on its laurels and accolades, always striving to improve safety for Toyota owners.

Owners can improve their safety outlook by servicing their used vehicles at recommended intervals, using genuine OEM parts, and practicing vehicle safety at all times.

Toyota Models

Consumers can find certified vehicles from dealers or buy used Toyotas privately from newspaper or online advertising. Many Toyota owners simply put For Sale signs in their car windows and allow the vehicles to speak for themselves.

Toyota used car choices

Drivers can choose from over a hundred specific Toyota models, and some of these date back many years. Restoration projects can be fun, but many older Toyotas need very little work, if any. Buyers can choose from among the following popular choices.

  • Hardtops and Sedans
    • Camry
    • Corolla
    • Century
    • Corona
    • Corona Premio
    • Scepter
    • Crown Majesta
    • Vista
  • Wagons
    • Alteeza Wagon
    • Sprinter Carib
    • Corona Wagon
    • Mark II Wagon
    • Carina Wagon
    • Camry Gracia
  • Coupes and Hatchbacks
    • Cavalier
    • Curren
    • Scepter
    • Celica
    • Corolla Levin
    • Allex
    • Tercel
    • Corsa
    • Corolla FX
  • Offroad and SUV
    • Blizzard
    • Hilux Surfland
    • Land cruiser
    • Mega Cruiser
    • Cami Kluger V
    • Voltz

Used Toyota vehicles offer amazing safety, value, and practicality, but owners should always protect their investments with appropriate insurance. Enter a zip code to find out how cheap it can be to insure a used Toyota.

Who is responsible for pricing used cars and trucks?

Posted on: | In FAQs

Most people are aware that a new car’s value goes down immediately after driving it off the sales lot. This devaluation can be as high as 20 percent of the cost paid for the vehicle. This begs the question of what factors go into the final price when someone buys a used car or truck.


Used cars and truck pricingEnter your ZIP Code online for more info on insurance, quotes and prices

If you have ever negotiated a purchase price for a used car, you probably have wondered who or what is actually responsible for determining the basic prices for used cars and trucks. We all want the best possible price we can pay for a used car or truck.

No regulation or rule determines costs.

Therefore, it is vital to understand how these prices are determined so that you know if you are paying a fair price or not. The price set for anything you buy is partially supply and demand, but there are many other factors that come into play when determining the prices for used cars and trucks.

While there are no actual rules or regulation on the place or person that determines a used car or truck’s value, there are some trusted players in how the price of used cars and trucks are determined.

These sources have helped to determine a fair value for used cars and trucks that are accepted by even the U.S. government.

Kelly Blue Book and Similar Sources

One of the most trusted sources of prices for used cars and trucks is the Kelley Blue Book. The Kelley Blue Book was developed in 1918 when a car dealer in Los Angeles, Calif. started making a list of used vehicles he wanted to buy from other dealers in the area. However, he needed price information to give to the banks and insurance companies in order to do so.

The Kelley Blue Book, as well as similar publications such as Edmunds, and NADA guides helps to determine the cost of used cars and trucks.

You can find these publications online and easily enter the year, make and model of a used car or truck and be given a range of accepted prices for that particular vehicle.

Several Factors Fall Into Play

Saving by buying a used car or truckUsed vehicles’ prices are determined by analyzing things like the history of the vehicle, actual transactions on previous sales, the state of the economy, where you are trying to sell the vehicle, developments in the car and truck industry, and the season of the year you are trying to sell it.

You also have to take into consideration the age and condition of the vehicle, the brand, the mileage, if it has a history of being in an accident, and the options on the vehicle. These results are geared to represent all possible changes in the market place, so are well-trusted by both consumers and officials.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the dealership or other entities selling the used car or truck want to make a profit on the vehicle when they sell it. This means that they will try to price it at the highest value they can get for it so they will make the most money on the transaction.

Wholesale Auctions

Another place that plays a role in determining the prices people pay for used cars and trucks is the wholesale auctions with vehicles for sale. Dealers and wholesale agencies buy and sell cars and trucks at these auctions and then resell the vehicles at their stores.

When the cars and trucks are auctioned off, it is noted what the highs and lows are of what ends up being paid for certain vehicles. This plays a role in determining how much money the dealers will charge the customers when they resell the vehicles.

Other Factors That Play a Part

Other factors include whether or not the car model and brand has a good reputation or is popular or not. If so, that could make the price higher than a similar car or truck that isn’t of as high a quality in the consumer’s eyes.

Trends too play a big factor in determining the cost of used cars and trucks. For instance, these days smaller cars with better gas mileage are more popular since gas prices are so high. This means used cars and trucks that get better gas mileage may possibly be priced differently than those that don’t get good gas mileage.

Again, this is a sort of supply and demand that is common in selling any kind of consumer product, and cars and trucks are not that different. In truth, just like anything else, used car and truck prices are at least in part determined by the amount of money the buyers are willing to pay for them.

Used car and truck demandThe bottom line is that if you are trying to buy a used car or truck, you should be aware that many different factors go into determining its cost. No one entity or person sets the accepted prices for used cars and trucks.

Instead, the price depends on how much a consumer is willing to pay along with factors listed above.

Enter your ZIP Code online for more info on insurance, quotes and prices

So, if you are expecting to be buying a used car or truck, you should do your homework and research the prices ahead of time using things like the Kelley Blue book, as well as other accepted sources of information.

What are the best Toyota certified used cars to buy?

Posted on: May 10, 2012 | In FAQs

what are the best toyota certified used cars to buyIf there is one thing the Toyota company is known for, it is making good cars that retain their value year after year. Toyotas tend to retain their resale value year after year. In addition, they score high on customer satisfaction surveys, such as those conducted by JD Power and Associates. Toyotas are known for being dependable transportation which will endure high mileage. When an auto is Toyota Certified, rest assured that the used car will most likely be a reliable one.

Once you have selected your Toyota Certified vehicle, be sure to shop and compare auto insurance companies for the best possible rates. Use an auto insurance comparison site to perform a side by side comparison of companies and policies. To use a comparison site, just enter your ZIP code into the input box and click the “Submit” button. A list of auto insurance providers that offer coverage in your area is returned to you.

Toyota Camry

Toyota Camry is most likely the best Toyota Certified used car you can buy. The Camry is well-known for it’s dependability. Camry owners report 200k miles without any major engine repairs. Some owners even report that their cars carried on well into 300k. For a used Toyota, the Camry is the preferred choice by many.

Toyota Highlander

The Toyota Highlander is a crossover SUV that always scores high on resale ratings and dependability metrics. The Highlander is actually better purchased used, rather than new. The best used Highlanders to buy are years prior to 2008. The Highlander endured several recalls in model years 2008 through 2010. In 2004, the Toyota Highlander debuted with third row seating. If you need to pack in a crew, models created from 2004 to 2008 are the best Certified Toyota used SUVs.

Toyota Tacoma

are the best toyota certified used cars to buyThe Toyota Tacoma is a great used Toyota Certified vehicle if you are planning to buy a truck. The Tacoma tops comparative trucks for dependability and resale value. You can expect to pay under $10,000 for a 2006 or earlier model. Tacoma is known for its choices in body styles. Extended cab and crew cab models are available, making this truck a great work vehicle.

Toyota MR2

The Toyota MR2 is a sporty model that has the revered Camry engine. These used cars are known for their reliable power train, which remains solid with over 100,000 miles on the engine. Most used Toyota MR2 include the T-Top. However, though some hard top roofs may be found, they are usually a bit more expensive than the T-Top. The sporty Toyota MR2 is a great choice for the racer set.

Toyota Corolla

The used Toyota Corolla is not only great for reliability, they are also one of the most fuel efficient used cars you can buy. Both the 2006 and 2007 Corollas made the Top 10 Most Fuel Efficient and Reliable Cars list produced by Consumer Reports with an average gas mileage of 29 miles per gallon. The 2005 Toyota Echo made the top of the list with gas mileage topping out at 31 mpg. The 2005 Toyota Matrix was Number Six, as well. As Toyotas are mainly known for their high resale value and dependability, the added benefit of fuel savings is icing on the cake.

Toyota Tundra

The Toyota Tundra made’s list of 10 Best Used Cars for Under $8000 – Specifically, the 2002 Longbed Tundra. The Tundra is a full sized pickup with a standard cab. This truck usually comes at a bargain price, but exhibits the same reliability for which the Toyota name is famous. A used Tundra is generally less expensive than other full-sized trucks of the same model year. The Tundra is a value and reliable transportation, as well.

Toyota Scion

best toyota certified used cars to buyAnother Toyota to make TheStreet’s Under $8000 list is the Scion. The Scion 2004 the favorite model cited on TheStreet’s list. This vehicle has undergone some changes over the years, but it always retains its value and provides Toyota reliability.

Most Toyota Certified used cars are dependable vehicles. In fact, in order to be certified by Toyota, the used car must undergo several tests. Only the highest quality vehicles are Toyota Certified. The choice is really up to you. All Toyota Certified used vehicles are checked and verified to ensure that when you purchase a used Toyota Certified car, you are buying dependability and value.

Remember to use an auto insurance comparison site to get the best deal on auto insurance once you have purchased your certified Toyota. Shopping for car insurance is easy using a comparison site. Simply type your ZIP code into the box and click “Submit.” You will receive back a list of car insurance companies for your geographic location. From there, you may select specific policies to compare and request FREE quotes from your selected car insurance companies. Save hundreds of dollars by comparing various auto insurance providers and their rates. Spending a little bit of time comparing policies will ensure that you get the best policy and rates for your needs.

How do I find a reliable used cars list?

Posted on: May 9, 2012 | In FAQs

If you’re looking for a reliable used car, then you’ll need to find a way to find the most reliable used car list available. While shopping for your next used car, you need to do your homework ahead of time. Here are some of the best ways to get a listing of the most reliable used cars:

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most reliable used cars Consumers Reports

Consumers Reports is both a magazine and an online resource that rates consumer products, including used cars. In their annual auto issue Consumer Reports puts out a very through list of the cars from the past 10 model years listing the most reliable new and used cars, as well as the least reliable ones.

Their listing has nine different categories of vehicles, including small cars, cars for families, luxury cars, sports cars, SUVs: small, middle-sized and large, upscale cars, minivans, and pickup trucks.

If you are looking to buy a used car in one of these categories, then you should pick up the latest copy of the Consumer Reports annual auto issue. Consumer Reports conducts some of the complete auto-test programs of any other magazine or website and is a very trusted source of data.

Used Cars at Dealerships

You can also get a list of reliable used cars by going to a dealership, picking out some cars and asking to see the maintenance and repair history on each one. This is called the Car Facts report.

You should then find out if all recommended services for that car were done by previous owners, as well as if the car has ever been in an accident or had any other sort of major repairs.

Consult with a professional mechanic or shop about the vehicle’s history, repairs, brakes, etc.

You should also get your own personal mechanic to look over any car that you are seriously considering buying. This can confirm if the car is sound and would be considered as a reliable used car that you should buy.

Used Cars Owned by Rental Companies

You may also be able to find a list of reliable used cars that a car rental place may be selling. Some of these cars are even still under warranty. However, you need to be careful to get the maintenance and repair information on these cars since rental cars may also have had a lot of wear and tear since a lot of people may have driven them. You should only buy these cars from national rental companies such as Hertz, Avis, or Enterprise to be certain of how they were treated.

Leased Used Cars

Another possible source of reliable used cars is cars turned in that were previously being leased. Since a person has to take good care of a leased car so they won’t be penalized when the terms of the lease are over, it is more likely that this sort of used car is in good shape.

You can get a listing of previously leased cars from most dealerships and will have several cars to choose from. However, you should still have the car checked out ahead of time before you buy it.

Risky Places to Buy Reliable Used Cars

If you want to be certain of getting a reliable used car, then some of the risky places to buy one might be from an individual or from a car auction. In both cases, the car is often sold as is and you may or may not be able to get a mechanic to check it out ahead of time. It is not a good idea to buy any car that you know little about or that you can’t get maintenance and repair report on and have your own trusted mechanic inspect it first.

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What are the best Volvo used cars to buy?

Posted on: May 8, 2012 | In FAQs

what are the best volvo used cars to buyChoosing the right car to buy is a big decision. If you are like most people, you will use your car to drive to work every day, to run errands and more. You want to find a car that is safe for you and your family to ride in, and that is also dependable and affordable. Volvo is among the most trusted and reputable names in the car industry, and you may have already decided that this is the type of car you want to purchase. Before you can enter your ZIP code into a car insurance rate comparison website and compare insurance rates, you first need to determine which is the best used car to buy.

Popular Volvo Models

Volvo offers an extensive line-up of vehicles for car buyers to choose from. The models include SUVs, sedans, coupes and compact cars. Some of the best -selling Volvo models include:

  • Volvo S60
  • Volvo XC60
  • Volvo XC90

Which Model is Best For You?

Every used car buyer will have his or her own unique hot points to consider when it comes to choosing the right vehicle. For example, those drivers who commute long distances to work may be looking for a fuel efficient vehicle. Those drivers who are buying a family vehicle may want a vehicle that is highly rated for safety and that has space for a certain number of passengers. When determining which model is right for you, consider these points:

  • Budget, as factors such as the sales price, financing options, car insurance costs, fuel efficiency, repairs and maintenance and more all affect the cost of ownership
  • The condition of the vehicle
  • The sales price or value of the vehicle
  • Special needs you have for the vehicle such as passenger seating, towing and more

are the best volvo used cars to buyBy focusing on the ability of Volvo models to meet your needs, you may easily be able to narrow down the options available. You may narrow the options down to a couple of models or just one Volvo model by focusing on these points.

Other Factors to Consider

Once you have determine which model or models you are most interested in buying, you may start shopping around to find a specific vehicle to purchase. Keep in mind that once you determine which model you want to buy, other factors may need to be reviewed

  • The trim options of a specific model
  • Optional features available in some vehicles
  • The sales price of the vehicle in comparison to the loan value
  • The mileage of the car
  • The condition of the vehicle

The options available to you may vary considerably in these ares. Because of these variations, you may find a few vehicles to be far better buys than other vehicles.

How to Find Used Volvo Models

Finding used Volvo models can be relatively easy to do. There are several different options to consider:

  • Driving around and browsing models on used car lots
  • Visiting a Volvo dealership that sells certified used Volvo models
  • Searching online classified listings to find vehicles offers for sale from owners and dealerships alike

the best volvo used cars to buyNegotiating a Great Price

Many buyers think that buying a used car automatically ensures they will get a great deal on their purchase, but this is not necessarily true. A seller can list a used car for sale at any price he or she chooses. Some sellers may choose to list a car above its value to get more money out of the sale. Others may choose to list a car below value simply to sell it more quickly. To get a great price on your next purchase, follow these steps:

  1. Research the car’s value. The car’s value will be based on its engine type, special features, mileage and more. So the value of one vehicle may differ considerably from the value of another vehicle of the same make and model. With each vehicle you look at buying, take time to research the value on a website like NADA or Kelley Blue Book. You can determine if a vehicle is listed below market value with this step.
  2. Use the car’s value strategically. It is possible to get a great deal on a used car even if its list price is higher than the value. You have to know the car’s value first. Then consider how a seller may have valued the car. For example, the seller may have the car valued in “excellent” condition when it is not in such high quality condition or with lower mileage than the vehicle actually has. You can use the true condition, mileage or other factors of the vehicle to negotiate a better sales price. The seller doesn’t have to accept your offer, but it doesn’t hurt to make an offer.
  3. Have a mechanic review the vehicle. Any time you buy a used vehicle, you should have your own mechanic review the car. The mechanic can provide you with an itemized invoice of repairs that are needed and that will be needed very soon. These costs can be used to negotiate a reduction in the sales price.
  4. Research the vehicle’s history. One of the factors that affects a used car’s value is its history. The more owners a car has had, for example, the less value it will have. Other factors, such as if the vehicle has been involved in an accident, can be identified through a search of the vehicle’s VIN history. You may discover information that can be used to further negotiate a lower price after researching the vehicle’s history.

Finding a great used Volvo to purchase isn’t difficult, as there are many quality Volvo models available to choose from. By following these steps, you can most easily get a great deal on your upcoming purchase. Before you make your purchase, be sure to enter your ZIP code into a car insurance rate comparison website to find decent auto insurance rate quotes.

Where is the best place to find classified ads for used cars?

Posted on: May 7, 2012 | In FAQs

Buying a used car makes a lot of sense. New cars lose value almost instantaneously as the buyers drive them off the car lot. Cars continue to depreciate in value through the components of time and miles added to the odometer reading. While a car’s value may have depreciated significantly since its original purchase, many used cars are still in great condition. You may be entering your ZIP code into a car insurance rate comparison site online looking for the most affordable car insurance on your new car, but you also are trying to find some great classified listings for used cars. So where is the best place to find classified ads for used cars?

is the best place to find classified ads for used carsOlder Methods

A common but rather dated method for searching for classified ads for used car listings is to look in the local newspaper publications that service your town or city. Smaller towns as well as larger cities metropolises largely still have a newspaper that will accept a car seller’s used car listing. While this was once one of the only ways for a direct seller to list a car for sale, there are now other more popular options.

Sellers List Where the Buyers Are

Used car sellers have become savvy over the years. They know that in order to sell their vehicle more quickly and for top dollar, they have to place their listing where the buyers are. Most buyers are on the Internet, and this means that most car sellers’ listings are also on the Internet. So which types of websites show used car listings? Consider these:

  • Website for local print newspaper
  • Websites that cater to used car classified listings
  • General websites that list all types of merchandise for sale
  • Auction-type websites

Who Uses These Websites?

Posting used car listings is generally a free way to advertise a car for sale, although some of the sites do charge a small fee for a premium ad with multiple photos. Because of how affordable, convenient and effective it is for a seller to list a car on these sites, these sites are growing in popularity. Many different types of sellers will list their vehicles for sale on these sites, including:

  • Car owners
  • Car collectors
  • Car dealerships
  • Smaller used car companies

where is the best place to find classified ads for used carsThis means that searching online allows you to view hundreds or even thousands of vehicles available for sale close to your home.

Sorting Through the Options

Because of the incredible number of listings you have access to through an Internet search, it can be difficult to sort through all of the options available to you. Somehow, you will have to narrow down the choices available to you so you can find the right car to buy. Consider these steps:

  1. Think about what you are looking for in a car. Is it more important for you to purchase a vehicle that is affordable to drive with low gas mileage? Do you need a vehicle that has passenger seating for 5 or 7 people? Does your vehicle need to have a certain towing capability? This can help you to narrow down which vehicles meet your functional needs.
  2. Review consumer reports and reviews on different vehicles. Of the types of vehicles you are looking for, which of these vehicles are highly rated for safety, dependability, fuel efficiency and value? You can further narrow down the list of options you are considering by taking this step. Consumer reports and reviews are readily available online by simply searching for them.
  3. Define your budget. Every vehicle has a different cost of ownership, and if you are like most, you can only afford to pay so much money in your automotive expense each month. Consider the cost of gas, car insurance, car payment and vehicle repairs and maintenance when defining your budget. You can then research the cost of ownership for the remaining vehicles on your list. If you are like most, you may only have a couple of different makes and models left to choose from.
  4. The car’s style should then be considered. Function, safety, dependability and cost should be considered first before you consider a car’s style. However, the fact is that you will have to drive around in your vehicle every day, so you should choose a car that has a style you enjoy and that complements you in some way.

best place to find classified adsBefore You Buy

The above steps can help you to narrow down the choices available to one or two different makes and models. After completing these steps, you can then shop online and browse used car classified listings. Before you make a buying decision, consider following a few more steps to ensure you get the best deal on a car:

  1. Have a mechanic review a vehicle that you are interested in buying. Most mechanics will charge you for this service, but the cost can be well-rewarded as it ensures you buy a high quality vehicle in good condition.
  2. Shop for financing before you make an offer. You always want to make sure the monthly payment is affordable with your budget, so get pre-approved before you make an offer.
  3. Shop for car insurance rates online.

Used car classified ads a great resource to turn to when searching for a used car. Consider following these steps to get an affordable vehicle that meets your needs. By entering your ZIP code into a car insurance rate comparison website, you can quickly compare rate quotes. This can help you to keep the cost of ownership on your vehicle down.

What are the best Honda used cars to purchase?

Posted on: May 6, 2012 | In FAQs

what are the best honda used cars to purchaseIt is not easy to find the right used car to purchase. There are so many different makes and models to choose from. Each has a unique sales price and features, and this is coupled with a vehicle’s mileage and overall condition to give car buyers a range of factors to consider. Many people narrow down their used car search to just one type of vehicle, and Honda is a popular manufacturer to consider. You may want to enter your ZIP into a car insurance rate comparison website to compare insurance rate quotes, but you also want to find the best vehicle to purchase. So what are the best Honda used cars to purchase?

Places to Buy Used Cars

When you make the decision to buy a used Honda, you can choose to buy a Honda from the following sources:

  • Direct from a current owner
  • From a Honda used car dealership
  • From other used car lots

You may have a preference for buying from one of these sources. For example, some people simply have an aversion to working with car dealerships. Others may prefer a more professional car buying experience that comes with buying a car from a dealership or used car lot. There are, however, other benefits associated with some of these options that should be considered.

The Benefits of Buying Direct From the Owner

You can find Honda used cars listed for sale on various Internet classified websites, in newspaper classified listings and more. When buying a vehicle direct from the owner, you may enjoy a number of key benefits such as:

  • A greater ability to negotiate the sales price in some cases
  • The ability to save money on your purchase by cutting out the “middleman” expenses of a dealership
  • The ability to get first-hand information about the ownership history and maintenance history of the vehicle

You may still want to research the title history and vehicle history with a VIN search through your state’s motor vehicles department, but talking to the owner can prove to be beneficial and convenient.

What Are Certified Used Cars?

are the best honda used carsMany Honda dealerships that offer Honda used cars offer certified used vehicles. There is some confusion among drivers about what the “certified” label implies. This is a label that means the vehicle has been reviewed by the in-house service department. It may have been re-conditioned or received certain repairs and maintenance services for make-ready.

Many of these vehicles have either a full warranty still in place that is transferred from the original owner or a limited warranty. While these vehicles can provide you with peace of mind with your purchase, all vehicles should be reviewed by your own mechanic before you make a purchase.

Most Popular Honda Models

While you may have a preference regarding where you purchase your Honda used vehicle from, the most important thing is buying a quality used car that meets your needs and that is affordable for you to own. You may start by considering how some of the most popular Honda models fit your needs and budget. These models include:

  • Honda Accord
  • Honda Civic
  • Honda Odyssey
  • Honda CR-V

Honda also has other cars in its line-up, including trucks, SUVs and other cars.

Taking Advantage of Car Depreciation

One of the key benefits associated with buying a used car of any make and model is that you can take advantage of car depreciation. A new car loses approximately ten percent of its value when it is driven off the dealership’s lot on the first day of ownership. It will continue to lose value with time, and it will depreciate at a faster rate as more miles are put on it. As a used car buyer, you can find a quality vehicle that has lost value due to time but that otherwise is in good condition. Consider looking for a vehicle with lower mileage and that perhaps is still covered by the manufacturer’s full warranty.

Other Factors to Consider

The price you pay for your vehicle is important, but other factors should be considered as well. The best Honda used car for you is one that meets the following criteria:

  • Affordable to insure
  • Affordable to drive with a high fuel efficiency rating
  • Rated highly for passenger safety
  • Meets your needs for passenger seating, towing, storage and other functional needs
  • Qualifies for affordable financing

The Importance of Internet Research

the best honda used cars to purchaseIt can be fun to drive around from used car lot to lot to view vehicles in person and test drive a few models. However, before you make a buying decision, it is important to do some Internet research on the vehicle you intend to purchase. By searching on the Internet, you can learn more about a specific vehicle’s fuel efficiency rating and safety rating. You can also shop around for car insurance rate quotes by entering your ZIP into a car insurance rate comparison website.

Further, you can shop for car financing quotes as well. Keep in mind that some of these factors may vary even among the same model vehicle. For example, insurance rates, fuel efficiency and safety ratings may change based on the type of engine in the vehicle. So use as specific information as possible when researching a vehicle on the Internet.

The right Honda used car will vary from driver to driver. Each driver has a unique budget as well as functional needs and style considerations in mind when buying a vehicle. Consider these points carefully as you shop around for your next vehicle.

How do I find out the loan values on used cars?

Posted on: May 5, 2012 | In FAQs

how do i find out the loan value on used carsSome car buyers will save up their pennies and pay cash for their next car purchase. Most, however, will finance their car. Obtaining a car loan requires you to apply for a loan through a car financier. This can be done through a dealership you are working with, or you can apply for a car loan directly by contacting the financiers on your own. When you are buying a used car, there are many cost factors to consider.

For example, you may be entering your ZIP code into a car insurance rate comparison site to research insurance costs for a specific vehicle. You may also be wondering how affordable financing on a certain car may be. The loan value on a car is a key component of how much financing is available to you. So how do you find out the loan value on a used car?

What the Loan Value Is

The loan value essentially is the value a car financier places on the car. When buying a used car, the loan value typically is the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price, otherwise known as the MSRP. When buying a used car, however, other factors come into play in determining the value, including the age of the vehicle, its mileage and more. A lender will then apply a certain LTV ratio, or loan-to-value ratio, to the value to determine the loan amount that may be offered. The down payment a lender will require on a vehicle equates to the sales price minus the lender’s loan amount. So a higher loan value equates to a lower required down payment.

How a Used Car Loan Value is Calculated

The loan value of a used car is calculated through analysis of several different components, and these components include:

  • The Kelley Blue Book or NADA valuation for a trade-in price
  • The original MSRP of the vehicle less a certain rate of depreciation for each year the vehicle has been in service

Typically, the original MSRP less an annual rate of depreciation will be applied for newer vehicles that are only a year or two older. Other factors, however, such as a vehicle’s mileage and number of owners may affect the valuation.

Calculating Your Loan Amount

do I find out the loan values on used carsThe valuation of a used car is not difficult to determine, as a car buyer can easily visit the Kelley Blue Book or NADA websites to research the value. However, it can be more difficult to determine what loan amount you can qualify for. This is because most lenders will not lend up to 100 percent of the loan value. When buying a new car, many car lenders will lend over 100 percent of the loan value. This is designed to help those car owners who are upside down in their current car or who have no down payment funds to afford a new car.

A new car price includes sales price, taxes and other fees. With a used car, however, a lender may only offer 80 or 90 percent of the loan value as the loan amount. The loan-to-value will vary from lender to lender. This is complicated by the fact that some lenders may place a different car value on the vehicle as well. So it is possible to apply for a car loan with three different lenders and be approved for three different loan amounts.

Calculating Your Down Payment

Once you have determined the loan amount you may be approved for, you can then more easily determine the down payment required. Keep in mind that the down payment is the difference between the sales price and the loan amount. However, you may wish to negotiate a lower sales price based on the loan amount you were approved for. There are different strategies available for negotiating a sales price, including:

The more significantly you can lower your sales price, the less money you will have to pay out of pocket to purchase the vehicle.

Other Costs to Consider

Before you finalize your offer, keep in mind that there may be other costs associated with purchasing and owning your vehicle that you have not considered. For example:

  • The vehicle registration transfer fees required in many states
  • The required sales tax on your purchase
  • The cost of car insurance insurance, which you may shop around for and compare quotes on before you finalize your purchase

find out the loan values on used carsBuying a used car rather than dealing with the pressure of a dealership’s salesperson may seem like a faster and more simpler way to buy a vehicle. In many cases, it can result in the buyer purchasing a high quality car at an affordable price. However, finding financing and determining the loan amount you may qualify for with a used car purchase can be complicated. While you are getting prequalified for financing, take time to compare car insurance rate quotes as well. You can enter your ZIP code into a rate comparison website to shop for auto insurance rates as an effort to keep the cost of ownership low.