Dan Perkins Used Car Superstore's automotive expertise is a product of our sustained interest in industry trends and characteristics. We are privileged to share the latest news, promotions and events with you and hope the information will enhance your shopping experience. As you know, there are many new cars from which to choose, and we believe an informed customer is the best customer.

Used car buying guide

Finding the right balance between value and risk

Two- and three-year-old used vehicles are often the best values. Not only is the price lower than a comparable new car's, but continuing ownership expenses such as collision insurance and taxes are lower, and a two- or three-year-old used vehicle has already taken its biggest depreciation hit. In addition, buying used is a way to get a nicer car than you'd be able to afford new.

But buying a used vehicle means finding the right balance of value and risk. Following are some issues to consider.

Reliability. One thing that has made used cars more appealing is their improved reliability. In an analysis of Consumer Reports' annual sub­scriber surveys over the past few years we found that five-year-old vehicles had one-third fewer problems than the five-year-old vehicles we looked at in 2007. Years ago rust and exhaust-system problems were common, but that's no longer the case, and major engine and transmission problems have also decreased, making late-model used vehicles far less of a risk. When properly maintained, today's vehicles should easily surpass 100,000 miles without a major overhaul, and many could reach 200,000 miles.

Warranties and repairs. Although used cars are more reliable than ever, maintenance and repair costs are important considerations. In the first two or three years of a car's life, it has fewer problems and is typically covered by a comprehensive warranty. An older used car, however, is usually out of warranty or close to it. You can expect not only more problems as time goes on, but more costly ones as the years and miles pile up.

This means that owners will have to pay for repairs and for wear parts like tires, brakes and batteries. But even if you replaced all those things the moment you bought a used car, the savings over a new car would more than compensate.

There is always the risk that you'll buy a lemon. Even a car with a great reliability history can be a poor example, or have been abused, neglected, or damaged by a previous owner. By having the vehicle thoroughly inspected by a qualified mechanic, you can protect yourself against nasty surprises.

Depreciation. A major disadvantage of buying a new car is its rapid depre­ciation. Models typically lose about 47 percent of their value in the first three years, com­pared with 24 percent over the next three. But this varies greatly among models.


Dan Perkins Used Car Superstore

2 Boston Post Road
Directions Milford, CT 06460

  • Sales: (203) 783-6313


  • Monday 9:00AM - 7:00PM
  • Tuesday 9:00AM - 7:00PM
  • Wednesday 9:00AM - 7:00PM
  • Thursday 9:00AM - 7:00PM
  • Friday 9:00AM - 6:00PM
  • Saturday 9:00AM - 5:00PM
  • Sunday 11:00AM - 4:00PM