A recent article by Forbes points out that while buying new has its advantages, buying used ultimately will get you the better deal – even though used car prices have jumped more than 4% in the last year.
The biggest reason you’ll get a better deal buying a used car compared to a new car is the depreciation. A new car can lose up to 50% of its resale value within just three years of ownership. This means that a three year old car could cost at least half the cost of an average new one. With a used car the depreciation rate is much, much slower.
When buying a used car make sure to have a trusted mechanic check the vehicle out before signing any papers. You may also want to run its VIN through a title-search service, like Auto Check to make sure the vehicle hasn’t been previously wrecked or flood-damaged.
This top 10 list (in no particular order) of used cars is currently the industry’s best used cars, based mostly on results from the latest J.D. Power and Associates U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study of three-year-old models.
- Honda Fit – performs well, gets great fuel economy and is reliable
- Scion xB – delivers athletic handling abilities, powered by a 158-hp 2.4-Liter four-cylinder engine
- Ford Fusion – agreeable performance, comfort, and utility
- Ford Edge – five-passenger crossover offers a quiet and comfortable interior, V6 engine
- Honda CR-V – great fuel economy for its class, 2.4-Liter engine with 166-hp, and impressive safety features
- Lexus RX350 – best-seller in Lexus’ lineup and most popular luxury SUV in the industry
- Toyota Sienna – 3.5-Liter, 266-hp engine, offers all-wheel drive, and available seven- or eight-passenger seating
- Mazda MX-5 Miata – peppy, nimble, best sports car value among new or used vehicles
- Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class – performs well, comfortable interior, contemporary look
- Chevrolet Tahoe – top pick for a large and powerful vehicle for hauling and towing
With the exception of the Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class these vehicles are all available brand new, but for each of them there have been no major changes since the 2008 model from three years ago.