What Are the Best Tips for Buying a Used SUV?

Felicia Dye
Felicia Dye
The number of miles on the odometer should be considered when buying a used SUV.
The number of miles on the odometer should be considered when buying a used SUV.

Before an individual begins shopping for a used SUV, he should outline his needs so that he knows what size vehicle to look for. Once the search begins, he should focus on vehicles that are two to four years old. The number of previous owners, the number of miles on the odometer, and the maintenance record should be considered. Unless a private owner is offering a used SUV for a bargain price, it is usually best to purchase the vehicle from a dealer.

A used car should have a good maintenance record.
A used car should have a good maintenance record.

Individuals who consider buying a used SUV are likely doing so to save money. This means that they should avoid unnecessary costs, which are likely if a person gets a vehicle that is bigger or has a larger engine than he needs. Like other vehicles, SUVs have varying sizes, so a buyer should consider how many people he is likely to transport and the types of items that he will carry. He should consider the terrain where the vehicle will be used. Focusing on these factors will help to determine the most appropriately sized SUV.

Off-road SUVs tend to be smaller and lighter than those built for mostly on-road driving.
Off-road SUVs tend to be smaller and lighter than those built for mostly on-road driving.

It is best to try to select a vehicle that is between two and four years old. This should allow a person to experience significant savings when compared to the prices of new or slightly used vehicles. At the same time, it can reduce the risks that a person may face if she purchases a much older vehicle. When considering a particular used SUV, an individual should consider the number of previous owners. Consumers are generally advised to try to select a vehicle that has only been owned by one person.

The amount of miles that a vehicle has been driven is a factor that should never be overlooked. Consumers are generally warned to exercise caution when purchasing used vehicles that have been excessively driven. Although there is no exact measure of how many miles is best, as a general rule, individuals may want to look for a used SUV whose mileage will average out to approximately 12,000 to 15,000 miles (19,308 to 24,135 km) per year.

The maintenance record is also important. This is a document that details when the vehicle was serviced and the types of services that were performed. A good maintenance record suggests a previous owner who took care of his vehicle, which increases the likelihood that it is in good condition. Before selecting a vehicle, this document should be compared to the manufacturer's service recommendations.

It is also important to consider the vehicle's reputation when selecting a used SUV. Consumers should be cautious about purchasing a SUV when there are large quantities of that particular make or model on the market. This suggests that they may have given their owners some type of problem that prompted mass trade-ins or sell offs. Even if there do not appear too be many of a particular type of vehicle available, it is still wise to review the consumer reports before making a purchase.

Unless the deal offered is an extreme bargain, it is generally best to purchase a used SUV from a dealer instead of from a private owner. One reason for this is that dealers are more likely to inspect the vehicle before the sale and make needed repairs. More importantly is that a dealer is more likely to offer warranty, which should be a priority for individuals who are purchasing a used vehicle.

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Discussion Comments

anon1004491

I totally disagree with the age of buying a used car! Usually, people who are looking for a used car are looking for a deal, good price, and many times for something they can outright pay for so there is no note. Often people are looking for something to utilize at a bargain and buying a car only two years old is not going to do it!

You can get great cars at even 10-12 years old, so your advice on only buying a used car that is 2-4 years old is ridiculous and will make many people miss out on great deals! I've only bought used cars that were at least 6-10 years old and never a problem. Not good advice! If you can buy a used car that's only 2years old then hell, you might as well buy it new!

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    • The number of miles on the odometer should be considered when buying a used SUV.
      By: emmeci74
      The number of miles on the odometer should be considered when buying a used SUV.
    • A used car should have a good maintenance record.
      By: Tom Wang
      A used car should have a good maintenance record.
    • Off-road SUVs tend to be smaller and lighter than those built for mostly on-road driving.
      By: Robert Wilson
      Off-road SUVs tend to be smaller and lighter than those built for mostly on-road driving.