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  • Updated

False. The truth is there is no magic number. Mileage does play a role in a vehicle’s value, but not as much as you might think. As a general rule, the value of your vehicle will drop slightly with every 10,000 miles you add. But according to Edmunds data, there is no major drop-off at any certain milestone. Even the infamous 100,000-mile mark is not a value-killer as long as the vehicle is in good shape.

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False. Some experts will tell you not to buy your lease at the end of the term for a number of reasons. The price is often non-negotiable, the prices can be sometimes out of touch with the market, and none of your lease payments have counted toward this purchase. But here’s why you should reconsider.

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True and false. The end of the year sales might be the best time for buying a new car, but the trade-in numbers favor a different time of year. Values tend to be higher in the first two quarters of the year, with larger drops in the final two quarters.

NADA Guide

This site from the National Automobile Dealers Association offers a broad range of information to help educate people in the market to buy, sell or trade a vehicle. Use their popular pricing and specification information to find car valuation. Find research, pictures and reviews for new, used and classic vehicles for sale in the Decatur area.

Consumer Reports

Produced by Consumers Union, Consumer Reports is an expert, independent, nonprofit organization offering ratings and recommendations on cars, trucks and other products. Their vehicle summaries include ratings based on vehicle reliability, owner satisfaction, safety, fuel economy, comfort, costs of ownership and more. Note that a subscription is required for portions of the site.

Car & Driver

A companion site to the popular auto enthusiast magazine by the same name, this Web site offers buyers guides and reviews as well as news and video from the auto industry. The site also includes coverage of auto shows and the latest in concept cars. Use it to discover which cars are most popular among Illinois drivers and which are the best selling makes and models in the Decatur area.

Produced by the National Highway Traffic & Safety Administration, this site offers extensive safety information. Find details on defects and recalls for vehicles, tires, child restraints and other equipment. Sign-up for recall alerts and find child safety seat inspection stations in the Decatur area. Learn about airbags and how to survive auto accidents. Get answers to all your questions about vehicle safety ratings.

Federal Citizen Information Center

This useful site is a service of the U.S. General Services Administration. Download consumer guides for buying a new or used vehicle. Learn how you can buy a car from the U.S. government's fleet. Get helpful information on comparing discounts and reducing your auto insurance expenses. Get the facts on vehicle financing--what it is, how to apply, special financing offers, cash back and rebate eligibility.

From the U.S. Dept. of Energy, this site offers vehicle comparisons based on gas mileage (MPG), fuel cost, greenhouse gas emissions, energy impact score and air pollution ratings. Calculate your MPG and learn gas mileage tips for saving money. Learn about hybrid vehicles and electric vehicles.

CarFax Vehicle History Reports

CARFAX Vehicle History Reports™ are available on all used cars and light trucks model year 1981 or later. Using a vehicle's VIN you can pull a report containing information that might impact your decision about a used vehicle. The report includes information like title information, including salvaged or junked titles; flood damage history; total loss accident history; odometer readings; lemon history; number of owners; accident indicators, such as airbag deployments; state emissions inspection results; service record and vehicle use (taxi, rental, lease, etc.). CARFAX Reports do incur a fee, though the site offers some free reports. is the only source authorized by the FTC for the free annual credit report that's yours by law. The Fair Credit Reporting Act guarantees you access to your credit report for free from each of the three nationwide credit reporting companies, Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion, every 12 months. Before your visit the car dealership, use this site to learn your credit score and identify blemishes on your report.

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