Your Guide To Successfully Buying A Used Car

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If you have never bought a used car before, there are some things you should know. Buying a used car is a great way to save money on a vehicle you need – after all, good quality vehicles are built to last. Nevertheless, there’s a big difference between used cars and one that is fresh off the lot. In this blog you will find tips on how to analyze the state of a used car, to determine whether it is worth the cost and will suit your lifestyle. Let’s get to it!

What is the mileage?

A car’s age in years doesn’t tell you much about its state. A car can be ten years old and have only been driven ten times in those years – essentially, it would be like new. On the other hand, a three year old car could have been driven long distances every week of its life, meaning that it would have completed thousands and thousands of miles in a short time. Why is mileage important, and how can you tell if a used car has been driven for too many miles?

The general rule for mileage is that a car is not worth buying if it has completed more than 100,000 miles. The average car drives approximately 8,000-9,000 miles per year – some more, some less, of course – so if a car is more than ten years old and has been driven above average, it will probably exceed the recommended mileage.

Has the car ever been “totaled”, or “written off”?

One vital piece of information to find out about a used car before buying it is if the car has ever been totaled. When a car is totaled, it means that it is damaged so badly that it is declared a “total loss”, and is unfit to be driven again. After a car is totaled the owner can have it discarded, or they can rebuild the car and have it reassessed. This would require extensive bodywork. If a used car has ever been totaled before, it doesn’t mean it is not safe to drive; it does, however, shorten the lifespan of the car. 

Is there a warranty?

If a reputable dealership is selling a used car, there should be a warranty on the car. This won’t be as extensive as if the car were new, but it should last at least twelve months. Before a dealership puts a used car up for sale, they will assess the safety of the vehicle and make any necessary repairs so it is fit for sale. Therefore, there should be at least twelve months of warranty which allows you to return the car to the dealership or have it repaired free of charge, if a fault arises that is not caused by driver damage. 


Overall, buying a used car can be a cost-effective alternative to a brand new one. Make sure you check these three key factors before you go ahead with a used car purchase!


Marc Wilson is the Guest Lifestyle Editor of Social Life Magazine, a 2013 Big Apple Award nominee and the Founder and Creative Director of MWD Lifestyles (formerly Marc Wilson Design) and Weddings by MWD Lifestyles. Marc’s company is a full scale wedding, event design, production and planning company with destination partnerships and capabilities and has grown to be the name in the decor and events, weddings and destination industry it is today. Marc’s fifteen years within the events industry has resulted in national and international recognition and, to date, MWD Lifestyles has worked with Rolex, Hugo Boss, Martha Stewart Weddings and MGM Metro Goldwyn Mayer. Marc’s work has been published in Grace Ormond Wedding Style, Design Bureau, New York Weddings, Manhattan, Essence, Weddings by Design, The Knot, Brides and Town&Country. Instagram@mwdlifestyles

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