Should I Buy a Used Toyota? – Smart move!


When shopping for a used vehicle, you don’t want to take any chances. You want to make sure that you purchase a vehicle that is reliable and has a low cost of ownership. 

Toyota is an excellent choice for a used vehicle because of the automaker’s reputation for making rock-solid, reliable vehicles. However, you should expect to pay a little more for that reliability. 

One of the most popular used vehicle choices is a Toyota. But is a Toyota a good choice when it comes to a used vehicle. Here, we will take a look at this top-used vehicle choice.

Toyota Corolla dashboard

Should You Buy a Used Toyota? 

There are a number of reasons why a used Toyota is a great choice. Here’s a look at the top reasons why you should consider a used Toyota as your next purchase. 

1). Excellent reliability

Toyota is known for creating some of the most reliable vehicles on the road. It is not uncommon to find a Toyota that has 200,000 or even 300,000 miles on the road. Therefore, if you purchase a four-year-old Toyota with 50,000 miles on it, you can expect to easily get another 100,000 miles on it with the proper maintenance. 

2). Inexpensive to repair and maintain

Because Toyota sells so many vehicles, replacement parts are easy to find. Also, it’s affordable to repair and maintain most Toyota models. Because of that, you can expect to have a low cost of ownership during the life of the vehicle.

It is possible to buy an extended warranty for a used car however as Toyota are well known for their reliability, driving an out-of-warranty Toyota isn’t a hugely risky strategy.

3). Many models available 

Toyota has a number of different cars, trucks, and SUVs available. That means you should have no trouble finding a Toyota that’s right for you. If you are looking for a compact sedan or a full-sized truck, you are sure to find a used Toyota that fits your needs. 

4). Excellent resale value 

Toyota’s hold their value better than most of its competitors. That’s because a six or seven-year-old Toyota will still have years of serviceable life left in the tank. It’s nice to know your Toyota is still worth part exchanging when you are looking to trade-in or resell your Toyota in the future. 

Possible Downsides of Buying a Used Toyota

Toyota Showrooms

While used Toyota is one of the best choices you can make, there are a couple of downsides to consider. Here’s a look at why a used Toyota may not be the best choice for you: 

1). More expensive to purchase

Toyota vehicles are known for their near bulletproof reliability. You can expect to pay more upfront for a Toyota when compared to an equivalent Nissan for example. Take, for instance, a four-year-old Mazda6, with 50,000 miles. You’ll pick one up for about $13,999. The equivalent Toyota Camry will go for quite a bit more than that, about $17,500.

2). Certain models may be hard to find 

Toyota vehicles are among the most desirable in the affordable vehicle market. Finding certain Toyota models may prove challenging. You need to be tenacious, you’ll likely need to check multiple dealerships or even consider shopping for a used Toyota outside of your home city. 

What Used Toyota Models Should I Consider?

If you’re on the hunt for a used Toyota, then you should check out the top models available from the automaker. Here are the top five used Toyota models that should be on your shopping list. 

1). Toyota Corolla

The Toyota Corolla is known as one of the most bulletproof small cars on the road. If you are looking for simple transportation at a low price, then a used Toyota Corolla is going to be a really solid choice. They are available in hatchback, sedan, and estate body styles.

2). Toyota Camry

Camry

The Toyota Camry is the best-selling sedan in America. It’s a great all-around vehicle and a solid midsized used car choice. It is spacious, attractive, and will go on and on. With the Toyota Camry, you have a choice of the standard four-cylinder engine or the most potent six-cylinder V-6. If you do consider a used Camry, then consider the smaller four-cylinder engine. You’ll get better gas mileage and they and costs less to maintain.

3). Toyota Prius

The Toyota Prius is of course the Toyota popular hybrid model. It’s one of the most successful and reliable hybrids on the road. Depending on how you use your vehicle, a hybrid may be an excellent buy. But be mindful of having it checked out by a professional first, Hybrids can be expensive to maintain. That said, the Prius is inexpensive to maintain when compared to other hybrid vehicles. 

4). Toyota RAV4

The Toyota RAV4 is the top-selling small SUV that offers you lots of space, great fuel economy, and low maintenance. With lots of trim levels available and upgrades like navigation systems, you likely find a very nicely spec-ed used example.

5). Toyota 4Runner 

Toyota 4Runner at lake

If you like to go off-roading, then the Toyota 4Runner is going to be your “go to” SUV. The Toyota 4Runner is one of the most desirable used SUVs available. The bad news, a used 4Runner will be hard to find. However, if you can get your hands on one, you’ll have a reliable and fun SUV that will serve you faithfully for many years to come.

6). Toyota Tacoma 

Toyota Tacoma on mountain trail

You are looking for a tough midsize truck that can last years? Then you have to consider the Toyota Tacoma midsize pick-up truck. While the Tacoma is not as popular as F150, Ram, or Silverado, the Toyota midsize pick-up will give you years of reliable driving.

Toyota ModelCost New3 Year Old (2018)7 Year Old (2014) 10 Year Old (2011)
Corolla$22,400$16,576$12,349$10,136
Camry$28,131$19,993$12,577$8,934
Prius$28,081$19,576$11,800$8,758
RAV4$30,373$23,284$15,171$11,062
4Runner$45,185$33,075$24,526$18,783
Tacoma$37,718$30,936$22,944$17,803
Caredge.com

Getting a Used Toyota 

A used Toyota may be your best choice when looking for an affordable and practical vehicle that will statistically go the distance. Yes, you will pay a little more for it. However, a good Toyota will save you money with its lower repair bills and long-life performance. 

Before buying a used Toyota, or any vehicle, it’s always worth investing a few dollars to check the VIN number against a database. An audit with a company like VinAudit (links to VinAudit) will guard against Mileage fraud, Salvage rebuilds, Title washing, and Vin cloning.

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How long do Toyota Camry’s last?

John Cunningham

John Cunningham is an Automotive Technician and writer on Rustyautos.com. I've been a mechanic for over twenty-five years, and I've worked for GM, Volvo, Volkswagen, Landrover, and Jaguar dealerships. My passion is cars. I use my knowledge and experience to write articles that help fellow gear-heads with all aspects of car ownership, including buying advice, maintenance, and troubleshooting.

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