Here’s a bet you can make with your friends. If you drove a car nonstop at 60 miles per hour directly into space, how long do you think it would take you to reach the moon? The answer, surprisingly, is only 157 days. Of course, down here on earth, sometime you’re lucky when your car even gets up to 60 on the highway. The United States is one of the most car-heavy nations, and we rely on shiny new Nissan rental cars and beat-up, rusty Chevy pickups for everything. Getting to work, picking up food and having any kind of social life is usually fairly dependent on a working automobile, which is likely the reason why we tend to have to replace our cars every decade (if we’re lucky) or five years (if we’re not). Obviously, new car sales are enticing, but the best used cars can end up being just as good — if only lacking the spiffy factory paint job. Finding a quality used car can be one of the most rewarding experiences because it’s almost like finding a dollar that fell out of someone’s pocket. They probably won’t know what they’ve lost, and you’ll be all the richer for it. Of course, before you dive head-first into the buying process, you’ll want to ensure the used car you’re looking into is up to standard. Ask for a car history report. You might not be purchasing a used car from a dealership. You might have simply found someone online who was willing to sell. No matter the situation — no matter if they’re offering flashy new Nissan rental cars or old Saturn station wagons from ’97 — ask about the car’s history. It pays to know exactly what troubles the car has had in the past so you can prepare to face them in the future, or get them fixed right away so you won’t have to worry. Figure out how you’re going to finance it. One of the biggest mistakes a used car buyer can make it assuming they’ll be able to afford it right off the bat. It might be “used,” but it’s still a car, and cars are a huge investment. Look up a free online cost calculator to help you plan out your payment options and decide whether you can buy it outright or if a monthly installment plan will work better. Plus, use your resources as best you can. Talk to friends who’ve bought used before and don’t be afraid to ask for their input. Take it for a test drive. At its most basic level, a good car just feels right. You’ll figure this out once you hop in the driver’s seat and put it into drive. While you’re out cruising around, listen for rattling and squeaking noises and other troublesome signs as they’ll help you determine whether or not that particular car is a worthwhile investment. Sometimes, the cheapest new car still can’t top an old reliable used one. Whether you’re going after flashy new Nissan rental cars or a simple, trusted old Honda minivan, it helps to do your homework. Your future inside your ride depends on it. Read more blogs like this.