Things to know about certified used cars

Jun 11, 2012 10:36 AM EDT | Judith Davis

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When shopping for used cars, there are quite a few things you may need to know.  In fact, it may actually be a good idea do some extensive research before heading out the the dealership. Having a grasp on what you are seeking and some background information on the car of your choice is vital.  

The good news is that opting for a certified pre-owned used car can offer some peace of mine. Cars having this status have normally been checked out and quality approved by the dealer.  This also means that the buyer can get great value for their car.  

First, start by researching and shopping online. Visit informational sites like Edmunds.com or Carfax.com. Even the Better Business Bureau is a viable option. These websites allow you to research and find out as much as possible about certified used cars.  

Also, talk friends or colleagues who have had success with buying pre-owned cars.  People are normally willing to share advice and opinions with you whether they are good or bad.  It is well worth it to listen to both sides as objectively as possible.   

Some of other things to consider are prices or size. How much do you want to actually pay for your vehicle?  Remember, that depending on the brand of he pre-owned car, it can cost as much as a brand new car?  How about size?  Are you seeking a compact car or an SUV?  This is also important to know as well.  

One final thing to consider is that new car dealers are not going to start with the best rate.  Knowing your price cap and budget will help you to get the best deal for your money.  

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