I'm getting very close to needing another car. My Cavalier has been great but time is taking its toll. The question is should I buy new or used. Credit.com reports that Americans are driving their car longer than ever and that is good new for used car buyers.

Americans are driving their cars on an average of 10.9 years which is a year longer than just 4 years ago. The economy and more reliable cars with longer warranties are two of the most prominent reasons. So why is this good news for used car buyers?

“As inventory increases, particularly inventory of more late-model used vehicles out there, the potential value of the vehicle comes down,” said Melinda Zabritski, senior director of automotive credit for Experian. “It could lead to slightly less expensive used cars.”

via Americans Are Driving Their Cars Longer | Credit.com Blog.

If you are buying or considering buying a used vehicle Credit.com has some suggestions.

Order the title history--Order a car title history report from the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System, which shows the full history of a vehicle.
Inspect the outside--Walk around the outside of the vehicle and look for any dings, scratches, rust or mismatched paint. Open and shut all doors, the trunk and the hood. If you see rust, the car might have flood damage.
Check the fluids--Open the hood and check the engine fluids. The oil should be a golden or amber color. Dark or clumped oil is a warning sign. The brake fluid should be clear, and the coolant reservoir should have color-tinted coolant or antifreeze up to the “full” line.
Ask a professional--Finally, if the used car passes all of the other tests, have a professional mechanic check out it.


There are more things to look for when buying used so be wary.