More used vehicles are problem free, Consumer Reports finds

March 28, 2012 2:21:55 PM PDT
When it comes to used cars, there's good news.

According to Consumer Reports, today's used cars are more reliable than ever. Ten years ago Japanese auto makers were considered the best bet with about 80-percent of cars showing no problems after 3 years. Now, the gap has narrowed.

With the average new car losing 47 percent of its value in the first three years, buying used is an affordable way to get the safety and comfort features you want at a far better price.

Consumer Reports uses three years as its benchmark because the value of new cars has depreciated and many are off warranty and off lease.

While today's cars are more reliable than ever there are always things to keep in mind when buying a used car. A misaligned hood or doors could be signs the car was in an accident. Check the oil for grit or froth which is a sign of a leak in the engine block, but most importantly get a second opinion.

Even if the car is fine mechanically, there still could be problems. Bottom line experts say shop around. Don't fall in love with one specific vehicle--since there's no shortage of used cars around.

For more information, please check out the April issue of Consumer Reports magazine or visit the website at

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