Living a more frugal life has become the goal for a growing number of Americans over the past few years. For some, this decision is based upon a need to make the most of their income and financial situation. For others, living as frugally as possible is a lifestyle chosen to avoid waste, excessive consumerism, or to meet another personal goal. No matter what your reasons are for striving to live a more frugal life, chances are that the car you drive is part of your commitment and, for most, a used car is the best fit.
Used versus new
Used cars have become something of a status symbol for those who are committed to a frugal way of life. In addition to saving thousands of dollars on the purchase price, most used cars are also much cheaper to repair and insure, as well as being taxed at a much lower rate for annual personal property tax purposes than a new vehicle.
When purchasing a used car, the goal is to find one that has been well cared for by the previous owner or owners. In most cases, the best way to find a car that fits this criteria is to consider both the odometer reading and vehicle history reports.
Since the industry standard for average annual mileage is 12,000 miles per year, a 5-year old car would be considered to have average mileage if the odometer reading was in the range of 60,000 miles. However, if a similar 5-year old used car had been driven 90,000 miles, it would be considered a higher-mileage vehicle and would be expected to have much more wear on the parts and components. So it makes sense to search for cars that have odometer readings that show average or fewer miles driven, based on the age of the vehicle.
Vehicle history reports
Once you find a car that fits your mileage parameters, the next thing to check is the vehicle history report. Most used auto dealerships are happy to provide this information to prospective car buyers as part of their marketing policy.
A vehicle history report typically includes any information recorded about previous ownership, any accidents that the vehicle has been involved in, as well as repairs, maintenance, and manufacturer or safety recalls.
Now that you have some good basic information to help you choose the best used car for your frugal lifestyle, the next step is to find and work with a reputable used car dealer in your area. These professionals can help you locate and purchase a used car that will be dependable, comfortable, and safe for all your driving needs.