Average mileage is 12,000 to 15,000 miles per year. Fewer miles would be considered “low mileage” and higher would be considered “high mileage.”

Whether a car buy is a good deal depends on two things: 1) price, and 2) condition. You can check used car market prices at KBB.com, Nadaguides.com, and at Edmunds.com. To determine condition, have your car inspected by a professional mechanic before buying.

Maybe. If the trade value of your old car is greater than the amount you still owe on your old loan, then the difference can be used as trade equity (down payment) for a new car. However, if the old car is worth less than your loan balance, you are upside down and may not be in a good position to trade without adding cash to the deal.

One of the best ways to check the reliability of any make/model/year vehicle is to check the annual Auto Issue of Consumer Reports magazine, which comes out in March or April every year. They publish the results of an extensive reliability survey and tell you which cars are best to buy, and which to avoid.

No.  It’s never a good idea to sell a car to someone and agree to take payments, especially if you still have a loan yourself. These kinds of deals have many potential problems and almost never have a happy ending. And if you still have a loan, it violates your loan agreement.

You can advertise on Craigslist for free or on other web sites such as Autotrader or eBay for a fee. You can advertise in a local newspapers or put a “for sale” sign in the car’s window. You can try Carmax or another used car dealer. There are also consignment lots where you can display your car and pay a fee if it sells.

You can get a car loan either through a car dealer or through your own bank or credit union. It’s best to try your bank first by applying for a pre-approved loan. That way you’ll know how much you can borrow and what interest rate you’ll pay. If a dealer can offer a better deal, go with the dealer.

There’s no such thing as cheap car insurance, especially for young drivers. Since insurance rates depend on so many different factors, it’s impossible to say that any single company will always be cheaper. The best way to find the cheapest rates for YOU is to simply call several different companies and ask.

Leasing is best for people who like a new car every 2-4 years, want lower monthly payments, drive only about 10K miles a years, take good care of their cars, don’t mind if they have no ownership value, and won’t want to end the lease early. Otherwise, buying is better.

When buying a used car, mileage is not as important as the actual condition of the car, as determined by an inspection by a professional mechanic before the purchase. Some low mileage cars are junk because they’ve been driven hard and poorly maintained. Other high mileage cars are jewels and will go for another 150K miles easily.

Probably nothing. Used cars are sold “as-is” which means there are no warranties, no guarantees, and no return rights — unless you purchased from a dealer who provides such things. In some states, there are “implied warranty” rights for cars purchased from dealers, but not individuals.

No. There is no “cooling off” period for car purchases, which means you can’t return the car and get your money back.  Used cars are sold “as-is” unless you are provided a warranty or return policy by the seller, in writing.

Generally, no. Used cars are sold “as-is” which means it’s the buyers responsibility to determine the condition of a car before the purchase. If it can be proven that a seller intentionally lied and misrepresented his car, going to Small Claims Court might be a solution.

If the value of your car is less than the amount still remaining on your car loan, you are “upside down.” It means you owe more than the car is worth, which causes problems if you want to sell or trade. Trading might be possible if the deficit is relatively small compared to the cost of the new vehicle. Otherwise, cash would have to be added to the deal.

Generally, there are two ways to get out of a car loan — you either sell the car and pay off the loan, or you trade. However, if you owe more than the car is worth, neither of those solutions would work unless you have cash to fully make up the difference.

If you are having financial difficulty or simply don’t want your car, and you have a loan on the car, you can’t simply return it and walk away. It’s called a “repossession” even if you willingly return the car. The car will be sold at auction and you’ll be sued for the remaining loan balance — and your credit ruined for 7 years.

Maybe. With some lenders, once a loan has gone into repossession status, there is no turning it back. With others, you may be able to get your car back — if you pay off the entire loan balance plus repo costs, in cash. In other cases, the lender might accept all past-due payments and hold the repossession. Only your lender can tell you which of these methods apply in your case.

There only one possible way to lower car payments — refinance your loan. Refinancing is simply a way of getting a new loan to pay off an old loan. Refinancing can result in smaller car payments if the amount of the loan is substantially smaller, if the interest rate is lower, and/or if the term (length) of the loan is extended. However, if you are “upside down” on your old loan, it may not be possible to get a new loan unless you have cash to make up for the negative equity.

Used Car Guide – Expert Tips and Advice for Smart Buyers