It’s common knowledge that buying a used car can enable you to get a better model car for less money, avoid a steep hit in deprecation and pay less in insurance premiums and taxes. Weigh in the fact that vehicles manufactured in the last decade are receiving fewer consumer complaints than ever before, and the case for buying a used vehicle from the last ten years can make even better financial sense. For those in the market for an affordably-priced used car that delivers premium value in terms of reliability and low-cost repairs, there are plenty of great options to consider. But if you’re looking for suggestions to start your search, here are some recommendations from the experts:
Consumer Reports Weighs in on Reliability
Picking a model that subsequently spends an inordinate amount of time in the shop can potentially erode the cost advantages of buying used. Even warranty-covered repairs can prove stress-inducing, time-consuming and even hazardous depending on the circumstances. As a nonprofit focused on unbiased product testing and consumer-oriented research, Consumer Reports is about as credible a source as you can find when it comes to identifying a vehicle that can go the distance.
In a February 2018 article titled “Best Used Cars for Under $20,000” Consumer Reports identified a number of vehicles that had consistently demonstrated multiple years of much-better-than-average reliability records for the 2008-2017 model years. These vehicles were listed under five categories, including Small Cars, Midsized and Large Cars, Luxury Cars, Sports Cars, Wagons, SUVs and Pickup Trucks.
The winning brand across the board for CR’s top selections: Toyota and its luxury division, Lexus. A Toyota or Lexus make and model occupied 16 out of 35 spots on CR’s top picks. Vehicles ran the gamut from the Toyota Corolla ’08-17 to the Lexus ES ’08-12. Other brands represented multiple times on this list were Honda and Mazda, including the Honda Fit ’09-13, Honda Accord ’08-15, Honda CR-V ‘08-14, Honda Ridgeline ’08-10 and the Mazda3’09-17, Mazda6 ‘09-15 and Mazda CX-5 ’13-15.
Looking for more choices of affordably priced, pre-owned vehicles highly rated for performance and reliability? Get the full list of Consumer Reports’ top picks here.
Forbes Offers Insight on Those Vehicles Deemed “Cheapest to Repair”
Drawing on the research of automotive diagnostic industry leader CarMD, Forbes published a still relevant article in 2017 on “The Cheapest-to-Fix Used Cars.” More specifically, they name ten cars and trucks that are least expensive to repair when the check engine light on the instrument panel illuminates. In terms of vehicle brands, Forbes reports that Hyundai was determined to have the lowest check-engine-related repair cost at an average $306 per visit, followed by Mazda ($310), Kia ($317), Chrysler ($336), Dodge ($341), Infiniti ($352), Jeep ($352) and Chevrolet ($353). Among specific vehicles, the number ten spot on the countdown is held by the 2015 Chevrolet Camaro at $172 for average check-engine light-related repairs, and the discontinued 2012 Mazda5 “mini minivan” held the top position at $109.
For a rundown on other vehicles that made the top ten in terms of average lowest costs for check-engine-related repairs, check out Forbes’s slideshow. Of course, prices will vary according to variables such as where you live and how diligent the previous owner(s) were with maintenance and care. Forbes also cautions that vehicles with finicky gas caps will often show very low average repair costs since this is a common problem which can be resolved for $10 or less.
Looking for a great deal on a pre-owned vehicle and want the confidence that comes from knowing that the car you choose has already been tested and certified in all major technical areas, along with the ease of shopping haggle-free? Join us for our pre-owned car sale with Enterprise during the weekend of October 19-21 to find a hand-selected collection of certified low-mileage cars, trucks, vans and SUVs in a wide variety of models. Finance with SFPCU at any of our four sales locations in the Bay Area, and you can get a 1.25 percent APR* discount and no payment for 90 days! Find details at http://bit.ly/SFPCUOctoberUsedCarSale.
*APR = Annual Percentage Rate. Example rate of 1.24% APR with 36 monthly payments = $28.31 per $1,000 borrowed, assumes .25% discount for enrollment in automatic payments, a 1.00% off current SF Police Credit Union rate with a max loan term of 60 months, and .25% discount for SFPCU members who purchase a vehicle at Enterprise Car Sale locations on October 19-21, 2018 (fully indexed rate of 2.74% APR). APR is based on an evaluation of credit history, so your rate may differ. Rates, fees and terms are subject to change at any time, visit our website for current rates.
Used vehicles were previously part of the Enterprise rental fleet &/or an affiliated company’s lease fleet or purchased by Enterprise from sources including auto auctions, customer trade-ins or from other sources, with a possible previous use including rental, lease, transportation network company or other use. All vehicle inventory is available by visiting enterprisecarsales.com or a dealership where a Sales Consultant can help you find vehicles available in our nationwide inventory. Delivery of vehicles outside local area may require transfer fee.