Search thousands of topics on CostHelper

BROWSE ALL TOPICS >> babies & children  cars  consumer electronics health & personal care home & garden personal finance  pets  schools small business sports weddings
CostHelper > Cars  > Used Car

Used Car Cost

How Much Does a Used Car Cost?


Road and Travel magazine provides tips for buying a used car[1] .

Typical costs:

  • Once you've determined which used car you wish to purchase, use multiple car pricing services such as Kelly Blue Book[2] , Edmunds[3] and VMR Auto Guides[4] .
  • Next, you can review recent ads for used cars at[5] , in your local newspaper's classified ads, and at[6] .
  • Once you've gotten several examples of local listings, you may want to consider comparing prices at your local car dealerships.
Related articles: New Car

Shopping for a used car:
  • Tip: After you've chosen a car, have a mechanic inspect the car and the engine.
  • Tip: Review your state's lemon laws so you know your rights going in.
  • Tip: Get the car's VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) to research the car's history.  Carfax[7] offers a vehicle history report for $20.
post Post   Comments (15)  
CostHelper News

7 Lesser-Known Discounts for the 50+ Crowd
As they age, members of the Baby Boomer generation don't like to admit that they're senior citizens, but they love getting discounts. It's kind of a quandary, because some of the best deals available are reduced prices for older folks. || Posted October 21 2013

7 Ways to Stretch Your Reduced Food Budget
End of the year budgets are tight for everyone, especially in this economy.It's especially hard for the millions of Americans who depend on government programs like food stamps to help make ends meet. || Posted November 11 2013

‣ All CostHelper Blog Posts

What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
Everyone is out to screw the consumer
Amount: $15,000.00 before taxes and fees
Posted by: melby in Plymouth, MA.Posted: May 5th, 2014 06:05AM
Car Make: toyotaCar Model: prius
Dealer: Sullivan Brothers, MA
They saw me comin'. Off my bipolar meds and impulsive I bought a used Prius when there was nothing wrong with the car I had. I only wanted to look around and they got me. One month after I had car the radiator needed to be replaced(never buy from dealership when you have to show mechanic where leak is) $550 later I realized I paid too much for the car and was stuck with it had other repairs done plus regular maintenance and new tires and brakes. After trying to keep up with payments and maintenance I went broke couldn't afford it anymore and had it voluntarily repossessed. On credit report shows involuntarily repossessed and that I owe just as much as I already paid and they sold it at auction for pennies. I remember when you could buy a junkbox for $300 to $500 and beat it into the ground for 3-5 years before it died. Now we pay too much for a used car that needs too many repairs and dies within a year.
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
Used 2011 Jeep Laredo
Amount: $20,000.00 before taxes and fees
Posted by: RNJ in Atlanta, GA.Posted: December 11th, 2013 04:12AM
Car Make: JeepCar Model: Laredo
Leather seats, no navigation, full audio with Bluetooth
55k miles
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
Subaru Legacy
Amount: $11,900.00 before taxes and fees
Posted by: pace in Mountain Home, AR.Posted: October 10th, 2013 05:10PM
Dealer: Jacks Auto Sales, Mtn Home AR
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
Gotta Be Quick On Craigslist
Amount: $1,200.00 before taxes and fees
Posted by: CL Shopper in Portland, OR.Posted: June 18th, 2012 08:06AM
Car Make: ToyotaCar Model: Camry
Dealer: Private Party
1991 Camry, brand new tires, good records, needs a little maintenance but what do you expect from a 21 year old car. 195K miles. We think it was a good deal.
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
extended warranty nd dealer auctions
Amount: $0.00 before taxes and fees
Posted by: tiger_xox in tacoma, WA.Posted: April 29th, 2012 11:04AM
Car Make: oCar Model: o
Dealer: o
Extended warranties and factory warranties do come with rules such as regular maintenance ie: oil changes; 15k 30 k maintenance etc. Or it will void them. If you keep up on them they're worth their weight in gold. The guy aboves brother no doubt kept up on his. As for dealer auctions , dealers also and up with some lemons as the other guy above stated. It just buyer beware.
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
buying a used car
Amount: $900.00 before taxes and fees
Posted by: Luvmycar in Langley, BC, Other.Posted: March 7th, 2011 09:03AM
Car Make: HondaCar Model: Civic (1989)
Dealer: private sale
Good car with a few problems to fix. It should go for 400,000km and more with adequate maintenance.
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
buying another used car
Amount: $1,200.00 before taxes and fees
Posted by: Dylan ABrunzo in Tampa, FL.Posted: March 20th, 2010 07:03AM
Car Make: hondaCar Model: crx
I purchased this car as my first car and for the first week it ran fine and evreything.Then a week later it broke down and has been sitting in my drive way for about two months now.So if I sell this car and get 1200 dollars back from it and bought another used car how much would I have to pay the tag office and my insurance company for switching everything.
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
used car in
Amount: $7,100.00 before taxes and fees
Posted by: NarutoV2On my fisrt car in Mckeesport, PA.Posted: September 3rd, 2009 10:09PM
Car Make: Chevy 2000Car Model: Monte Carlo LS
Dealer: Tom Clarks
On my first car purchase I used a wrecked town and county van to trade and got 450 dollars trade in according to blue book. SO now it was 6500 or so before plates, one month warranty etc, and total of 7100 AFTER TRADE IN, would have been 7600 or so. It has 85000 miles on it. Had everything the ls model would have. I found out I could have save a thousand if I waited a month or so in a different place for similar but without the sun roof. I really need a car at the time, so oh well, now the car could be brought for 5000 dollars or so. I guess it was just because I brought the car at the wrong time. I spent about 2200 dollars on this car in a year because it needed two water pump repairs, left mirror fell off, all 4 tire rods were messed up ,need new brake lines and 4 new brakes, like 3 or 4 oil changes, inspection, PC check and a shitload of labor costs. People say it could be just because I brought the wrong car or maybe it is just because it is getting near the 100k mark and the dealers probably knew about the starting of the wear and tear. So overall, FCK dealers, IF YOU WANT A CAR look in craiglist for private sellers because they probably had more recent fixes than a car dealer, and from research car dealers will only fix parts in major need of fixing and leave out the rest.
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
Extended warranty
Amount: $11,900.00 before taxes and fees
Posted by: MB Coupe in Garfield, NJ.Posted: July 19th, 2009 10:07PM
Car Make: MercedesCar Model: c230 coupe
After the fact realized, I could have got it from owner direct on Craigslist for $10000. Anyways, 3 days after I bought the car, 74000 miles, the sunroof wouldn't work. Car dealer says sorry, as is. Mercedes dealership wants a crazy $2500 to fix it. Extended warranty( I paid 2K to the car dealer for it)wouldn't fix it cos' it happened within 30 days. My mechanically gifted buddy opened that little panel on the roof, figeted with the wires a bit and now it works great.

The car runs beautiful but after a year the alternator gives up, spent $900 to replace, extended warranty won't pay, citing lack of maintenance records. That's cos' we did oil changes ourselves. Anyways,what's an oil change gotta do with the alternator? Their contract is iron clad though, so I lucked out.

Then we started thinking, how do extended warranty companies make their money? Every car will need repairs. They'll be underwater all the time! That's when we realised it's all a scam. And dealers get a cut for selling it.

My brother-in-law has a FACTORY warranty on his Dodge, they honor it questions asked.

The whole experience has made me $4000 poorer (2K to the dealer and 2K to extended warranty) but hey, I'm a lot wiser.

Never ever, ever, ever buy an aftermarket extended warranty from a used car dealer - especially if they're called Autosource.
Like politicians, they're full of hot air and broken promises.
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
all kelly blue books or internet car guide
Amount: $0.00 before taxes and fees
Posted by: in any, Other.Posted: June 29th, 2009 10:06AM
Car Make: any makeCar Model: any
Dealer: all of them
Don't take any help from any car guides as they're just helping car dealers
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
engine gone
Amount: $1,000.00 before taxes and fees
Posted by: t jones in virginia beach, VA.Posted: March 2nd, 2009 10:03AM
Car Make: dodgeCar Model: intreptd
Dealer: private owner
purchased a car from private owner and they told me noting was wrong with car in good condition bought the car on a Monday it broke down on me on a Friday.
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
car purchase
Amount: $6,150.00 before taxes and fees
Posted by: Gene in Brooklyn, NY.Posted: February 4th, 2009 07:02AM
Car Make: NissanCar Model: 2002 Altima
Dealer: Auction
Bought 2002 Nissan Altima from the "dealer" auction. On the lot car looked amazing, drove nice too and I though I saved some money. Some time later.. ..turns out that car was buffed out and after couple of washes you could see all the scratches and stuff... than.. mechanical problems started to come up.. so far.. spend around 800 to fix stuff.. still have around 500 to invest in to that car to make it decent. Mechanical problems look like someone took all the good parts out and put shitty parts in .. .. example.. ALL struts had to be replaced! How often does that happen? on 2002 car? come on! paid around 700 in taxes.. on this car too! When I bough the car I looked it's price on Kbb and it turned put to be same thing that I paid for it.. .. meaning that I did not save anything! DO NOT BUY ANYTHING ON SO CALLED DEALER AUCTIONS! buy from private owner.
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
car 05 honda accord
Amount: $17,000.00 before taxes and fees
Posted by: charles in philadelphia, PA.Posted: January 30th, 2009 10:01AM
Car Make: hondaCar Model: accord
Dealer: piazza honda
i paid 17000 and it already had 70000 miles on it tho... but it came w/leather int. and a sunroof
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
used car
Amount: $1,500.00 before taxes and fees
Posted by: bailey in norwood, OH.Posted: June 18th, 2008 09:06AM
Car Make: dodgeCar Model: avenger
Dealer: none
I had no mechanical problem's with my car. It really holds up when you hit a garbage truck in the left rear. Car was totaled, but I was just bruised up a little. Now I am get a 96 instead of a 97 which could not be found, Would recommed this car for anyone. Easy to drive.
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
Amount: $9,000.00 before taxes and fees
Posted by: donald johnson in lawrenceville, .Posted: January 18th, 2008 12:01PM
Car Make: vwCar Model: voltswagon
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam


Comment On Your Experience With a Used Car
Subject:  *
Amount Spent:  * before taxes and fees
Car Make: Car Model: 
Purchased:  Year: 
City:  * State:  *
Information about you:
Email:  * Email addresses are not displayed.
Name:  This is the name we'll display with your post.
me on this computer
*=required field.

External Resources:
More Cars Topics
Check Out All Costs for Cars How Much Does a Limousine Rental Cost? How Much Does Valet Parking Service Cost? How Much Do Brakes Cost?

Search Thousands of Topics on

Today's Featured Cost Articles

About CostHelper
CostHelper is based in Silicon Valley and provides consumers with unbiased price information about thousands of goods and services. Our writers are experienced journalists who adhere to our strict editorial ethics policy.

CostHelper Community
Didn't hurt the pocketbook
Paid: 43.00
I called my dentist because my tooth had been hurting for a week and a half. I couldn't eat or sleep. It was horrible. They got me in the next day. The dental surgeon and staff took x-rays, verified that it indeed needed to come out... [more]
-Anxious in Augusta
Tooth Extraction Cost
Current cost of skirting job 2022
Paid: 2356.00
Purchased material @ mobile home supply store Front/back top trim & ground track 17 each [email protected]$9= $459. 48 [email protected]$17= $816. [email protected]$40 [email protected] $20 tax $121. Total material $1456. 3 guys total $75 hour labor at 12 hours $900 labor... [more]
-Fayard siding
Mobile Home Skirting Cost
Alatel joy tab2
Paid: 108.00
Cracked screen... [more]
-Shawn P Speers
Tablet Repair Cost
Replace 2baths, laundry, and kitchen to the street
Paid: 20000.00
Numerous breaks in 90 year old cast iron and also in the clay pipe. replaced with 4" schedule 40 ABS to the curb and then liner in the clay pipe to the city sewer... [more]
-Steve in 2022
Sewer Line Replacement Cost
Full mouth -Is this estimate too much?
Paid: 16945.00
Extract buttom front teeth, replace with single implant for both teeth. Root canals and crowns needed for 3 molars, fillings needed on 11 teeth. Deep cleaning with 4 spots of Arestin and fluoride treatment. All under IV sedation... [more]
Dental Work Cost
Lockout at front door
Paid: 175.00
I was quoted $29 for a service call. The techniciandidn't give me a price but went ahead with the repair. It took about 10 minutes. Then he told me the charge was because the owner of the business gets most of the money I paid... [more]
-Carla Axelrod
Locksmith Cost