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How To Choose The Right Used Vehicle


Buying a used car, truck, minivan, or SUV is exciting but deciding which one is right for you can sometimes feel overwhelming.  While some people are brand loyal to specific makes or already know what they’re searching for specifically, there are those that aren’t sure just where to begin.  Not all vehicles are equal and choosing the one that’s right for you depends greatly on a few specific factors.  Today, we’re breaking down those factors to help show you what you need to consider in order to choose the right used vehicle for you.



Budget… it’s the word no one likes to think about but that most of us need to focus on first when purchasing a used vehicle.  How much can I afford to spend and how much I’m willing to?  While buying a vehicle tends to involve a rather hefty price, the simple fact remains that they depreciate very quickly over time.  Experts estimate that new cars lose up to 19% of its value in its first year of ownership!!  Yikes!  While some may prefer to buy a brand new car, it’s easy to say why so many prefer purchasing a quality, used car, truck, van or SUV instead.

When considering how much you can afford, decide if you are planning on paying cash for it or if you’ll be financing the purchase.  If you are planning on paying cash, how much money is available to you?  And if you’re financing, you’ll need to look not only at what you’re approved for but also at the bottom line.  Remember that taxes and other fees, such as registration and license plate, will add to that grand total.  Beware of overstretching yourself in your purchase as owning a vehicle comes with its own cost of maintaining it and keeping it insured.



It’s important to understand the purpose of your vehicle before you can accurately assess if you’ve found the right one.  This is where the why, who, where and how come into play.


  • Do you need 4WD or All Wheel Drive?

All wheel drive and 4×4 vehicles tend to cost more than their front wheel drive counterparts so if 4 wheel drive isn’t that important to you, it might be something to pass over.

  • How many people do you need to transport regularly?

Most cars are capable of transporting 5 people, although the middle back seat is typically very uncomfortable for long distances. If you’ll be driving more than 5, you will need to consider moving up to a midsize SUV, fullsize SUV or Minivan which have 3rd Row seating available.  Midsize SUVs have a smaller 3rd Row seat, making them impractical for most adults. While full size SUVs and Minivans have comfortable seating for 7 and sometimes 8 passengers.

  • Will you need to tow things?

A big truck looks great but do you really need all that available horsepower?  For people who work in the construction industry or those who make deliveries regularly, towing is often less an option than an absolute necessity.  As it is for people who own a trailer, boat or other item needed to be towed somewhere.

  • How important is Fuel Efficiency?

If you’re doing a lot of driving for work or you’re busy running kids all over town for their extracurricular activities, you’ve probably thought about not only the miles you’re driving but the gas it takes to do it all.  Decide if fuel efficiency is a big deal for you and your driving lifestyle.  Sometimes, you can’t avoid having a larger, less fuel efficient vehicle but even in those situations, there are typically similar vehicles that have a better average.


Today’s vehicles come with a lot of options available but all those extra gadgets and whatnot’s can cost you more money.  If you need to stay within a certain budget, it’s important to decide which ones are most important to you and which options are simply extra perks.  If you spend a lot of time driving to new locations for meetings or clients, navigation is probably higher on your list than someone who works at the same building every day and rarely travels.  Whereas people living in a colder climate like Western Michigan might rank heated seats as a near necessity, chances are people living in the south do not.  Before deciding how essential each option is, consider how often you’ll actually be using it.  Is it an absolute requirement you need or just fluff that marks up the price without any real value added to your life?

Safety Ratings

Regardless if your vehicle will be used predominantly as a family vehicle or not, safety ratings should definitely play a role in deciding between similar vehicles.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration was established in 1970 as an independent government agency which issues safety ratings based on crash protection and rollover prevention.  Vehicles are given a rating of poor to excellent according to their performance during crash tests and in comparison to similar vehicles.

These ratings are a wonderful starting point but it’s also vital to consider your own personal driving conditions when looking at all safety factors.  West Michigan winters can quickly leave roads covered in a thick blanket of snow for many months out of the year, making All Wheel Drive, 4 Wheel Drive or at the very least, Front Wheel Drive vehicles often a safer bet than a Rear Wheel Vehicle.


Finding the right car, truck, SUV or minivan can be challenging but it doesn’t have to be.  At Broadmoor Motors, we specialize in finding the right used car, minivan, truck, or SUV to fit your personal or business needs, all while giving you the best deal we can on both your purchase and trade in.  Our family has been in the car business for over 60 years and continues to be family owned and operated in both our Caledonia and Hastings locations with financing available to those who qualify, we will find you the right vehicle to fit both your budget and your needs.

Let Broadmoor Motors save you time and money when buying your next quality, Pre-Owned Car or Work Truck and on your next Car Rental.  Whether you need a short term car rental, long term car rental, a replacement while your vehicle is getting serviced or simply need to replace your car, minivan, truck or SUV with a great used vehicle, we can help you out.  Broadmoor Motors is here for all your Car Rental, Car Sales, and Auto Service needs in the greater Grand Rapids and Barry County area.  Give us a call at 616.698.9595 in Caledonia  or 269.320.6304 in Hastings to see how we can get you back on the road!

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