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Making the Most of Your Used Car

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Making the Most of Your Used Car

Levi Quinn
April 1, 2011

Levi Quinn

Have you ever gone to a car dealership looking for your next vehicle, only to be confused by the plethora of options and limited by an already thin budget? Have you ever wondered how you can get all of the features you want in a car without having to pay an arm and a leg for them? For many people, purchasing a new car is the only way to gain access to the latest technology offered by the automotive industry. Others have figured out how to make the most out of a used car-- while still being able to pay the bills. Used cars are cheaper and older, true, but despite these faux handicaps they have just as much potential as any new car on the lot. The secret to getting the most out of your used car lies in knowing what features you can install yourself and what features need to come with your vehicle. The first step to this, though, is to determine what features you really want. Most popularly, people look for navigation systems, CD players, MP3 capability, and, especially parents, entertainment features that allow kids to watch their own movies and play their own games. Fortunately for car buyers who are on a budget, all of these features can be installed either by the buyers themselves (if they know what they are doing) or by automobile experts for a fraction of the cost that dealerships charge.

• Navigation. GPS systems are extremely popular these days, and it's no wonder. The driving public has access to more places than ever before, thanks to the infrastructure that allows people to travel all over the country by car. Navigation systems are taking this ability to the next level by making it not only possible, but easy to find your way around a new place. Aftermarket navigation systems are much cheaper than the ones installed in the dashboard and are portable, allowing you to use your GPS system no matter what car you drive!

• CD players. Many electronic stores sell upgraded CD players and can even install them for you for a low price. Going this route will be much cheaper than paying for a car that has all of the audio upgrades.

• MP3 capability. With the popularity of MP3 players, it makes sense that drivers are demanding cars with the ability to play this format of music. Many CD players sold at electronic stores have a plug in designed for MP3s, making it easier than ever to take your digital collection with you on the road.

• Entertainment features. Small televisions are extremely popular with parents and many minivans come with them already installed in the backseats. By adding these features to a used car, instead of purchasing a new one with them already installed, you can not only choose which brand you like best, you can choose where you want the screens located and where you would like the controls to be placed.

New cars may have all the high-tech gadgets, but the truth is that used cars have the capability to be just as technologically advanced. In fact, making the most out of your used car by installing these features yourself may be cheaper, and is certainly more convenient, than paying for them at the dealership.

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