The Smart Way to Buy a Used Car Online

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Buying a used car has some real advantages. Chief among them is the dollar savings you can achieve by letting a previous owner bear the brunt of the depreciation all new cars experience upon being sold.

On the other hand, those savings come with a degree of risk. After all, used cars are almost always sold as-is, with no warranty protections. In other words, what you see is what you get. However, you can also get what you don’t see.

That’s when knowing the smart way to buy a used car online can pay off.

Here’s what you need to know.

Research the Model Online
Once you’ve settled on the year, make, and model of the car you want, conduct a search engine binge to read everything you can find about it. Stick to those specific parameters so you can find the quirks peculiar to that iteration of the vehicle.

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Rental Companies Buy Up Used Cars as Chip Crisis Get Worse

The semiconductor shortage has slashed vehicle production so much that rental-car companies can’t get the new cars they need, so they have resorted to buying used vehicles at auction.

This is uncharted territory for the likes of Hertz Global Holdings Inc. and Enterprise Holdings Inc., which have made their profits by purchasing new vehicles cheaply in bulk, renting them out for as much as a year and selling them at auction. In the past, they have bought some used cars to shore up an occasional unforeseen burst in demand, but rarely for the mainstays of their fleets.

“You would never go into auction to buy routine sedans and SUVs,” said Maryann Keller, an independent consultant who used to be on the board of Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, which is now part of Hertz. “These are special circumstances. There is a shortage of cars.”

The demand is sending used-car costs

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Buy the Car You Loved in High School (Without Losing Your Shirt)

A few decades late, you’ve finally got the cash to buy the car you coveted in high school. You can picture yourself behind the wheel, finally looking really cool. But do you have any idea what you’re getting yourself into?

a man sitting in a car: Here’s how the experts say to make your classic dream car a reality.

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Here’s how the experts say to make your classic dream car a reality.

“I tell people, ‘Cool your heels, you’ve waited this long, find the best one you can,” says John DiPietro, editor for classic car dealer Carroll Street Auto in Manchester, New Hampshire, and former automotive editor at


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Nothing about buying your dream car will be easier than buying a new car. For example, most banks usually don’t finance expensive 20-year-old collector cars. You’ll need cash or a really low-interest personal loan. And without special classic car insurance, it’s valued as just another old beater if it gets totaled.

And keep

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Can you still buy a used rental car at a bargain?

Will a bargain-priced former rental car become yet another casualty of the pandemic?

Rental car companies, which frequently refresh their fleets, have long been a reliable source of reasonably priced used vehicles for those in the know. But tightening inventories of used cars nationwide are driving up prices of many former rental cars to higher than what you might pay at a traditional dealership.

While rental car prices plummeted at the beginning of the pandemic as companies such as Hertz sold off their inventory, prices have rebounded and now are 4 percent above the market average, according to an analysis done for NerdWallet by, a website that aggregates used-car listings.

Although prices have risen, you still might get a bargain on certain makes and models. And there remain many advantages of shopping the used rental car market. Primarily, it’s a good source of late-model used cars, often

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