What Makes a Used Car Valuable

best used cars Ever since the Recession, the U.S. has seen a steady increase in the sale of used vehicles, with last year's used car sales totaling nearly 41 million units. Knowing what you're getting with a used vehicle can be difficult to determine, which is why it is important to know what to look for when your shopping around. What, then, separates the best used cars from the worst?

What Affects the Value of a Used Car?
There are many factors that can either add to, or take away from, the value of a used vehicle. Below is a list of some things that can make a big difference:

  1. Mileage - The more miles a car has on it, the less it is worth. This is due to the fact that more miles means more wear and tear on the vehicle. That said, a car could have racked up a lot of miles but still be in relatively good shape, which brings us to the next factor.

  2. Condition - The condition that a car is in also has a lot to do with how much it is worth. The owner might have put a lot of miles on the car but still might have taken very good care of it. If this is the case, the vehicle will be worth a lot more. On the other hand, a car with less miles but more damage will obviously be worth less. The previous owner might not have driven a lot, but when they did, they put their car to work. The best used cars are those that have been well taken care of buy their owners.

  3. Car Features - The features that a car comes with, or doesn't come with, affect its value as well. More basic car models will generally have more basic features, while higher end models generally come with more features. Things like extra car safety features, a moon roof and Bluetooth capabilities all add to a vehicle's worth. There are also certain basic features that are expected in a car these days, and their absence can take away from the car's value. If a used car is not equipped with power locks or windows, for example, it loses value.

  4. Extras - Any little personalized extras that an owner added to a car can actually hurt its overall value. This is mostly due to the fact that, since it is not a standard feature installed by the manufacturer, it is hard to say if it was done well or not. Also, what one person deems an attribute, another might see as a downside.
The best used cars will have low mileage, be in good condition, and have favorable features. Keep in mind this also means you will be paying more for such a car because these factors all increase its value. Local used car dealers usually have a variety of used cars, with a variety of different features. By knowing what you want in a used car and knowing how it affects the car's value, you can improve your shopping experience and ensure you end up with a vehicle you are happy with.
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