What To Look For In A New Used Car For Summer Road Trips

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[AD] Road trips are great fun. Packing the car up and heading off on an adventure either on your own or with friends or family. Making sure you have the car to handle your trip, however, is important.

When planning a road trip, it may become apparent that your current car is not up to the job, and maybe it’s time for a change. While you shouldn’t buy a different car just because of your planned road trip, it may well highlight some things about your current vehicle that you would like to change.

With that in mind, here are some things to look for and keep in mind when buying a new used car for your road trip and beyond.


The first and most important thing when buying any car, new or used, should be your budget. Knowing your budget and keeping it in mind at all times will focus your search and eliminate cars that you simply can’t afford. There is no point spending time looking at vehicles which are out of your price range as you could be missing out on great cars which you can afford. When buying a vehicle knowing you are going to use it on a road trip, your budget is even more important. There are costs which come with any holiday, such as accommodation, food, activities, etc. All of these reasons mean that keeping your budget in mind and sticking to it will help you find a car which is right for you and that you can afford to run in the long term.

Age And Mileage

Having an idea of the ideal age and mileage of the car you’re looking for is very important for two reasons. Firstly, it will relate closely to the price of the vehicle and how this impacts your budget. If for example, you are looking for a 2-year-old car which has only done around 10,000 miles, it’s unlikely you are going to find something very cheap as the car is still relatively new. Secondly, looking at cars which are 2-3 years old at least will allow you to do more research into problems with the car. This is because people have been running the model for several years, and common issues should be easy to find online. Considering you may be buying this used car to do a lot of miles right away on a road trip, knowing about any issues with the make and model is essential.


Knowing exactly what you need the car to do, particularly when embarking on a road trip is crucial. It may well be that storage space in the car has become a vital need and something you’re looking to increase from your current vehicle. Again, as with price and age/mileage, knowing exactly what features you are looking for will help focus your search. Another feature which is important for a road trip and increasingly crucial for day to day living is fuel consumption. On a road trip, you don’t want to be stopping all the time to fill up the car with fuel, and the same is true when you’re not on holiday. Stopping to refill your tank all the time is costly both in time and money.

When buying a used car, there are lots of places to look. Online and national dealerships are often the easiest. However, private sellers and local independent dealerships are often cheaper. Finding a reputable local independent dealership often offers the best compromise between price, ease of use and customer service. It’s also worth keeping in mind that with local independents you have to travel a little outside your local area. If you live in Edinburgh, asking around people you know to see if they have any tips for ‘the best used cars Aberdeen has to offer’ is one example of looking a little further afield which may yield results.


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