There are many differences between the ways of life in Los Angeles and New York city. One of the biggest differences between the two cities are the modes of transportation. The vast majority of New Yorkers do not own cars because of the advanced subway system. In Los Angeles, we do not have an extensive subway system that can get us from one part of the city to the other in a matter of minutes.
So, it is a must that you have a car to get around in LA effectively and efficiently. The car you purchase doesn’t have to be spectacular, but it should be able to withstand the everyday rigor of the infamous LA traffic and the massive potholes you will encounter from time to time.
You should strongly consider bringing a car to LA that has already been paid off because sales tax is rather high in Los Angeles (around 10%). However, if you don’t already have a car to bring or have shipped upon your arrival, I have compiled a few tips and resources to use when looking to buy a used car in LA:
Kelley Blue Book
Kelley Blue Book is a trusted resource for prices, values, and expert and consumer reviews on new and used cars. It is a must that you look here first to get a general idea on how much you should spend on any particular car.
True Car is a free online tool that can save you some money when looking for a used car. It collects data from about 25% of all car sales in the U.S. and gives you an average of what a specific car should be selling for. I would definitely use this tool to give you some clarity on what you should actually be paying for your car.
If the car you’re seeking to purchase was manufactured in 1998 or before, it will need a smog certificate from the state of California. Click here for details.
Ways to Test the Reliability of A Used Car
- Pump the brakes hard several times to ensure they are even
- How does the engine sound? Rev it up a few times and listen for any strange noises
- Make plenty of starts and stops
- See if the car will drive straight with your hands off the wheel (Briefly of course)
- Listen for noises throughout the test drive
- Check for leaks
If you do not feel comfortable performing these checks on a potential car you’re thinking about purchasing, by all means, I suggest taking it to a mechanic.
A Few Cars that are Ideal in High Traffic Cities
- Honda FCX Clarity
- Honda Civic GX
- Toyota Prius
- Volkswagen GTI
These are just some general tips to get you started on your quest to buying a used car. Good luck!