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by Tauren Dyson, AARP Bulletin, October 13, 2010
In these tough times, people who once looked down on used cars now view them as a serious alternative to a new vehicle.
"As soon as the economy went sour, people immediately had a mind-shift from new cars to used cars," says Philip Reed, senior consumer advice editor at Edmunds.com, an online automotive information site.
The savings can be substantial, because a car's value drops up to 30 percent the first year it's on the road.
Edmunds.com lists the manufacturer's suggested retail price of a basic-model 2011 Chevy Aveo as $11,965, while a 2008 Aveo with 28,215 miles on the odometer was available in late August for $8,962. A 2011 Toyota Camry LE with automatic transmission was listed at $22,255, while a 2008 model with 55,066 miles could be found for $12,271.
Besides sticker price, there are plenty of other good reasons to choose a used car, according to Edmunds: lower insurance costs, the wide availability of cars covered by warranty, and the ease of tracing a vehicle's history.
But what's the best way to pick a used car? Here's some advice:
Tauren Dyson is an intern at the AARP Bulletin.
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