Used Cars Rating

Consider: Reliability, Depreciation, Whole Life Costs

There are hundreds of official used cars rating systems around the world, and they all have slightly different systems. Since they are carried out by slightly different people they will also offer up slightly different results. In general though, all car rating systems are likely to use the following criteria – reliability, depreciation, whole life costs, market sentiment, practicality, road test reports and drivers feedback.

The reason these criteria are used differ. Depreciation is important because when you buy a car, you may have to sell it again, so you will want to know quickly if the value of the vehicle is likely to go down after they buy it. Whilst you have the car, reliability is a major issue, as when you pay for the car you will want to know how often you might break down or how much you may have to pay for servicing and repairs as this can make a massive difference to the total costs of the car.

Whole life costs are basically about what you could sell it for in the future and how much you have to pay for petrol and miles per gallon and repairs – basically the cost of owning the car over its life. Market sentiment is about what the markets think are going to happen to the value of the car and what cars are fashionable as this helps with judging the value of your purchase. Road test reports are done by many different groups who are able to give either objective scores or subjective opinions and these can be gathered together to give an average score. Driver feedback is collated from the scores given by customers who have driven the cars and can also be scored. In general – if you can get enough people to give feedback then you can pretty much turn the subjective into the objective.

Used car ratings, once carried out – are then often divided into categories for awards. This is because different people want different kinds of cars, and it's therefore important to know what cars get the highest rating in their particular category. Many awards also offer a sort of ‘car of the year' for one particular car, but that can't be as useful when you consider that if the car of the year is a family car and you are 21 years old you wouldn't be interested in it.

So you will see ratings for small cars, superminis, compact family cars, family cars, compact executive cars, executive cars, estate cars, compact MPVs, MPVs, 4x4 recreational, 4x4 off-roader, coupe, roadster, convertible, sporting cars and diesel cars.

At the end of the day though, the most important rating is yours.

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