How to Get a Used Car Rating

1.

Visit the Edmunds website by clicking the link in the Resources below.

2.

Cick on the button labeled "Used cars."

3.

Enter your ZIP code if prompted to get localized information. From the list provided, find the make of the car you wish to research. For example, for a Mazda Protege, click "Mazda."

4.

Click on the year of the vehicle.

5.

Click on the appropriate model from the list. Notice the used car ratings in the upper right-hand portion of your screen. On top is the Edmunds.com editors rating, which was given when the model was first produced. Beneath that is the consumer rating, which individuals provide after owning the vehicle.

6.

Click on the editors rating to read the model review, overall score and specific ratings of the vehicle.

7.

Click on the consumer rating to read detailed private reviews. These reviews provide numbered ratings for the performance, comfort, fuel economy, interior and exterior design, build quality and reliability of the vehicle.

Tips and Warnings

  • Consider a vehicle history report from Carfax. The seller may have a report on file, or the seller may pay you to acquire one.
  • If you can't find enough information, try searching Internet forums for specific reviews of your car. In some cases, you'll find whole websites dedicated to the year, make and model of the car.
  • Since most new cars lose 30 percent of their value within the first two years, buying a used vehicle makes a lot of economic sense. But buying used cars doesn't come without risk. It often is difficult to know if that used car dealer or individual seller is trying to take you for a ride.