Consumer Reports: What You Need to Know About Buying a Used SUV

Purchasing a used SUV can be a great way to save money on a vehicle. New SUVs quickly depreciate. Buying a used SUV can also have drawbacks. Here’s what you need to know about buying a used SUV.

Buying a used SUV: Know its worth before signing on the dotted line

 Used car dealership on Boucher Road in Belfast.
Used car dealership on Boucher Road in Belfast | Liam McBurney/PA Images via Getty Images

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Buying a used SUV can save you thousands of dollars. However, overpaying is easy to do if you don’t know a vehicle’s true worth. Sites like Kelley Blue Book can help buyers gauge a vehicle’s current market value. Before even showing up to a dealership, consumers should get an idea of the price range their vehicle(s) of interest usually are sold for.

According to Consumer Reports, knowing what the true worth of your vehicle of interest is, is paramount to buying a used vehicle. If you are aware of the true value of an SUV, it’s much easier to get the best deal possible. If you have checked for warning signs and need the opinion of an expert, a trusted mechanic can be a great way to assess a vehicle’s value.

Buying a used SUV: Get the opinion of a trusted mechanic

A navy blue Honda CR-V is parked on the road.
The Honda CR-V | Jonathan Wong/South China Morning Post via Getty Images

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Buying a used SUV without getting a great mechanic’s stamp of approval is one of the worst mistakes you could make when purchasing a used vehicle. If an experienced mechanic gives you the all-clear, your mind can be put at ease, and your bank account will rejoice. Momma always said don’t judge a book by its cover. Judging an SUV by its shiny, clean exterior could lead to some major repair bills in the future.

A good mechanic can be a vehicle-whisperer. They can thoroughly inspect an SUV’s controls and instruments to ensure no significant issues require immediate attention. Mechanics know how to inspect engine-related components, fluids, belts and hoses, radiators, and batteries.

Taking a peek underneath the body could also provide some useful information about the vehicle. Mechanics can safely get underneath a vehicle to check for oil leaks as well as other fluid leaks that could indicate damages. Having a mechanic inspect the model you are considering can be an invaluable part of the purchasing process.

You probably don’t need an extended warranty

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Extended warranties are great for vehicles with reliability issues. The question is, do you really want to purchase something with reliability issues in the first place? Extended warranties on reliable SUVs such as Honda CR-Vs or Toyota RAV4s can be completely unnecessary.

SUVs that are notoriously unreliable such as the Jeep Wrangler or Ford EcoSport reap the most benefits from an extended warranty. Reliability all depends on the make and model of the SUV. Mazda, Toyota, and Lexus are some of the most reliable automotive brands on the market. When it comes to buying a used SUV, informed buyers become happy owners.

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