Investing in a vehicle, whether new or used, is a big decision. Knowing how to buy a used car is important if you decide that the heightened expense of a new car isn’t right for your financial situation. Before you make a decision either way, there are a few things that you will want to consider.

In order to purchase a dependable used car, you need to know the general history of the make and models that you’re considering. Every car is different. For example, a 2009 Toyota Corolla may have different features and reliability ratings than a 2010 Toyota Corolla. The year is just as important as the make and model, as the parts used in each year of car does vary. When you are learning about the cars you’re considering purchasing, you want to look at its reliability rating, the cost of repairs, average lifespan (in miles or kilometers) of the vehicle, the car’s history, and its rate of insurance. All of these things factor into how much it costs to keep the car after its purchase. While a cheaper car may look attractive initially, it may come with a much higher maintenance cost, which can make it a more expensive vehicle in the long run.

When you’re purchasing a dependable used car, you will want to confirm the car’s history. Checking the car’s history can confirm whether or not the vehicle has been involved in a major accident, been stolen, or was repossessed. While most cars do not have anything wrong with their history, avoiding vehicles that have been in a major accident that might have compromised its structure can prevent repair costs and stress for you later on.

With the basics out of the way, you need to pick a vehicle that is practical for your needs. There are a few questions that you can ask yourself about each car to help narrow down whether or not the vehicle will be a good choice for you:

• Does it have enough space for you and your family?
• Does it have good fuel economy?
• Are the estimated repair costs within your budget?
• Is the car near the end of its lifespan?
• Are there any known issues with the vehicle?

While there are many questions to ask about the vehicle, especially in terms of whether or not you like how it handles, it is important that you make a practical selection that will let you get the use out of it that you require.