July 9, 2008

Buying a Good Used Car

With rising gas prices, a different car might be a good idea for the family budget.

Would the monthly cost of the car payment, with lower gasoline costs, outweigh your current gas bill - even if the current vehicle is paid off? As prices rise, that answer may be "yes" a lot more often.

If you want to investigate a used car (why not new? simplicity folk don't pay for the depreciation cost of driving a new car off the lot), check out the following sites:

1. Consuler Reports.org

You can read the alphabetical list of best, and worst, used cars for 2008 without cost; for details (like rankings), Consumer Reports wants you to subscribe. (Check out the ratio between foreign and domestic here, it's just sad.)

2. Forbes' Best and Worst Certified Used Cars for 2008

Forbes ranks certified used cars - those that have been retooled by the manufacturers and get extended warranties - and the Honda Accord, Toyota 4Runner, Acura TL, Subaru Impreza, and Lexus GS come out on top. Oh, and here there not "used," they're "pre-owned." Right. To be really hip, call them "CPO" - certified pre-owned.

3. The Car Connection. These are car guys and they report regularly on all things automotive. Their picks for used cars (they don't go for CPO) are: Toyota Corolla, Toyota Solara, Honda Accord, Chevy Malibu, Ford Crown Victoria/Mercury Grand Marquis, Infiniti I30, Lexus LS400, Mazda Miata, Lexus RX300 ... and because you're following a simplified lifestyle, you won't buy a Corvette or a Porsche, but you still might like to know they made the list.

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