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Cars - It is the Season to Save Money
            by Kyle Busch, author of:    "Drive the Best for the Price ..." 

Summer is the season when many people purchase transportation. The weather is warm and there is plenty of sunlight. The cost of new transportation is expensive. However, there are several used vehicles that you might want to consider. The following vehicles all have good ratings and current market forces have made them available at very reasonable prices.

Four vehicles worth your consideration:

1. The Toyota Camry has been one of the best vehicles  in America for years. New Camry LEs cost $18,500-$25,000.

Now that the redesigned 2002 Camry is circulating in  the market, you can buy (if you shop carefully) a used  2000 Toyota Camry LE with 25,000-30,000 miles for about  $10,500-$11,000. I consider this car to be an excellent value  for this price. The vehicle should still have at least 6 months  remaining on the manufacturer's bumper-to-bumper warranty  and 2.5 years remaining on the power train (engine and  transmission) warranty. This vehicle can be driven for  hundreds of thousands of miles.

2. The Honda Accord has also been one of America's best  selling automobiles. New Accord LXs cost $18,500-$26,000.  The Accord was redesigned for 2003 (the new model arrived in showrooms during September). 

You can buy (if you shop carefully) a 2000 Accord LX with  25,000-30,000 miles for about $11,000-$12,000. This vehicle  should also have at least 6 months remaining on the  manufacturer's bumper-to-bumper warranty and 2.5 years on  the power train. This vehicle can also be driven for hundreds  of thousands of miles.

3. The Mazda 626 has also been a reliable vehicle. New 626 LXs  cost $17,500-$24,000. The 626 will be redesigned for 2003  (renamed the "6").

Mazda does not quite have the name of the Toyota or the  Honda.You can buy (if you shop carefully) a 2000 Mazda 626 LX  with 25,000-30,000 miles for about $9,000-$10,000. This vehicle  should also have at least 6 months remaining on the manufacturer's  bumper-to-bumper warranty and 2.5 years on the power train. This  vehicle can provide many years of dependable transportation.

4. The Nissan Altima is also a pretty good value. New Altima 2.5s  cost $17,000-23,000. The 2002 Altima was redesigned to be a  much larger car than the previous model.

If you are on a transportation budget, you can buy (if you shop  carefully) a 1995 Altima GXE with 60,000-75,000 miles for about $3,500-$4,000. At this age and mileage, the vehicle will likely not  include any remaining manufacturer's warranty, however, the Altima  is quite reliable and economical to drive. This car can provide a  number of years of good transportation service.

If you are in the market for a vehicle, do your homework. Consult  Consumer Report's automotive issue (April). Also, be sure to read  a couple of archived new vehicle road tests (review road tests that  were conducted at the time the vehicle was new) on the used vehicle  of interest in auto magazines (many are archived at your local library)  or Internet sources such as Car and Driver, Motor Trend, Road & Track,  or MotorWeek. Information from the road tests will allow you to zero in  on which of the vehicles discussed above will be the best for you. 

For example, if you prefer a softer ride consider the Camry; if you  prefer a stiffer more European ride, consider the Accord; and if price  is the major consideration, consider the Mazda or the Altima. Last,  but not least, if you are going to buy a 2 to 3 year-old vehicle, try to get the 2000 model rather than the 199... model. Years down the road  when you sell the vehicle, the 2000 model will be worth more than the  "past century" vehicle.

More Kyle Busch articles:

Transportation - enjoyment not a financial burden

Lowering the finance costs on your next vehicle purchase

Tips to make your vehicle go the distance

Summer - Its the season to save money
Questions and Answers for saving money on Transportation 
Lowering Vehicle Repair Costs
Identifying the Vehicle That Really Meets Your Driving Needs 
Learning to Drive a Manual Transmission Made Easy
Some Good SUVs for your money 
Fuel Efficient Vehicles

Driving in the UK -- by Linda Byard Take your life in your hands



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