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The Center for Auto Safety is the nation’s premier independent, member driven, non-profit consumer advocacy organization dedicated to improving vehicle safety, quality, and fuel economy on behalf of all drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                              Contact: Richard Eckman, 202-939-1013
July 25, 2018                                                                       Grace Garver, 202-328-7700

Jack Gillis and the Center for Auto Safety Reveal the Best Used Cars in the Market

Over 1,000 Car Book Used Car Ratings Available for the First Time Online at TheCarBook.com

Washington, D.C. — For the past 38 years, Jack Gillis and the Center for Auto Safety have partnered to publish The Car Book, America’s Most Comprehensive Car-Buying Guide. For the first time, the Center is now making multiple years of used car ratings available in one place and at one time. In addition to in-depth ratings of the 2018 vehicles, TheCarBook.com includes over 1,000 used car ratings going back five years.
While new cars get all the advertising hype, the vast majority of us (75%) buy used, as they typically save about 50% on ownership and operating costs. TheCarBook.com enables consumers to choose the peaches from the lemons among the almost 45 million used cars sold every year.  “While buying a used car used to mean buying someone else’s problems, thanks to improved quality, better reliability and millions of leased vehicles hitting the market every year, there are plenty of good choices — if you know what to look for,” said Car Book author Jack Gillis, a noted consumer advocate and auto safety expert.
But how do you know which used car to buy? TheCarBook.com  provides today’s used car buyer with our unique crash test ratings, comparative complaint ratings, comparative safety ratings — all the information needed to make a smart, safe and informed vehicle purchase.
The Car Book’s Best Bets in Used Cars:

2013 Best Bets 2014 Best Bets 2015 Best Bets 2016 Best Bets 2017 Best Bets
Acura MDX BMW 3 Series Audi A6 Audi A6 Audi A6
Audi A6 BMW 5 Series BMW 3 Series BMW 3 Series BMW 3 Series
BMW 3 Series Buick Verano Cadillac XTS Cadillac XTS Buick LaCrosse
Cadillac XTS Chevrolet Malibu Chevrolet Malibu Chevrolet Malibu Cadillac XTS
Chevrolet Malibu Honda Civic Honda Civic Honda Civic Chevrolet Malibu
Honda Civic Lexus ES Honda CR-V Honda CR-V Chevrolet Sonic
Lexus ES Lexus IS Honda Fit Honda Fit Honda Civic
Subaru Crosstrek Mazda 3 Lexus ES Lexus ES Honda CR-V
Toyota Avalon Mazda 6 Lexus IS Lexus IS Lexus IS
Toyota Prius V Mercedes E Mazda 3 Mazda 3 Lexus NX
Toyota Camry Subaru Crosstrek Subaru Crosstrek Subaru Crosstrek Mazda 3
Toyota Prius V Subaru Forester Subaru Outback Subaru Outback Subaru Crosstrek
  Subaru Legacy Subaru Legacy Subaru Legacy Subaru Outback
  Toyota Prius V Toyota Avalon Toyota Avalon Toyota Avalon
  Toyota Avalon Toyota Camry Toyota Camry Toyota Camry
  Toyota Camry Toyota Prius Toyota Prius V Toyota Corolla
  Toyota Prius V Toyota Prius V Volkswagen Jetta Toyota Prius V
    Volvo S60 Volvo S60 Volkswagen Jetta
        Volvo S60

“For 38 years my goal with The Car Book has been to provide everything consumers need to make an informed, safe and reliable vehicle purchase,” said Gillis. “The good news, thanks to The Center for Auto Safety making TheCarBook.com available, buying used is now a whole lot easier. There are plenty of safe, high quality, money saving used cars out there — if you know what to look for.”
Used Cars: Where You Buy Can Make a Difference
There are four major sources of used cars and Gillis outlines the pros and cons of each:

  • New Car Dealers – Pros: Dealers keep the best vehicles to sell, sending the rest to auctions; stick with the brand of new cars they are selling Cons: Prices tend to be higher; weaker warranties.
  • Independent Used Car Dealers – Pros: Lower prices Cons: Vehicles are sold “as is” or with weak warranties; typically no service facilities; vehicles often from fleets or auctions.
  • Rental Car Companies – Pros: Vehicle history is available; good selection; no-haggle pricing Cons: Unwanted options; higher mileage; higher prices.
  • Private Sales – Pros: Lower prices, friends and relatives know the condition of the car Cons: Time-consuming; beware of pros masquerading as private sellers
  • Used Car Superstores – Pros: No-haggle pricing; great selection; good warranties; non-commissioned salespeople Cons: Higher prices

“Every year since 1980, we have had the great honor of collaborating with the legendary Jack Gillis to produce The Car Book,” said Center for Auto Safety Executive Director Jason Levine. “This year, by creating TheCarBook.com, we are empowering a new generation of consumers with the most up-to-date and thorough information on one of the most critical purchases they will make — and do so in a format that easier to access than ever before.”
Shopping Smart
In order to get the best used car price, here are some shopping strategies to consider:

  • Know the vehicle’s value. You can’t begin to negotiate until you’ve determined the car’s actual value. Cars have a wholesale and a retail value; the range between the two is the bargaining range.
  • Use a notebook. Keep a notebook with you and take notes. Refer to these notes when the seller is telling you about the current car under consideration. These notes will help refresh your memory and indicate to the seller you have other options.
  • Touch and comment. Use the same technique that new car dealers do when they inspect your trade in. While reviewing the car, visibly point out the various problems that you note. An exaggerated touch of some loose part or running your hand along the body can put the seller in a defensive position. In addition to noting the problems audibly, write them down.
  • Start low. When you’ve determined that you like the car, your first offer should be 20 percent below the most you’re willing to pay. Most of the time, your first offer will not be accepted, and the seller will make a counteroffer. Your response–split the difference between your first offer and the most you’re willing to pay for the car
  • Be ready to walk. You must be prepared to walk away if your third and final offer is not accepted. You’ll be surprised how many times you are called back. Remember, if you’ve determined the fair value of the car and it’s not offered, you can probably find a better deal elsewhere.

TheCarBook.com presents all the information consumers need to make an informed car purchase, including: crash test ratings; rollover ratings; maintenance costs; complaint ratings; fuel economy ratings; insurance costs; insights into safety and luxury add-ons; our unique Best Bets in each vehicle category; and much, much more. The independent non-profit Center for Auto Safety is making this critical data as widely available as possible, by providing consumers the ability to use the information on over 1,000 used car models and all of the 2018 new models for just $10 for a full month of access.  By becoming a member of the Center for Auto Safety and supporting their lifesaving work in Washington, a $48 membership fee provides access to the data for a full year.
Learn more about The Car Book 2018. 
History of The Car Book
In 1980, under Jack Gillis’ direction while at NHTSA’s Office of Automotive Ratings, the government published the first edition of The Car Book. It instantly became the government’s most popular consumer guide. But under pressure from the car makers, who didn’t want this information made available to the public, the Reagan Administration killed the book. The next year, to the great consternation of the government and the auto industry, Gillis left NHTSA and continued publishing the book in cooperation with the Center for Auto Safety. The Car Book 2018 marks the 38th annual publication. Since Gillis and the Center began providing consumers with access to this information, the auto industry has been forced to respond: Cars have become safer, warranties have improved, and the government has adopted a simpler system for its crash ratings.
Over the last 48 years, the Center for Auto Safety has successfully led the fight for lemon laws in every state, airbags in every vehicle, and recall repairs being made at no cost to the consumer. The Center is a membership-driven organization headquartered in Washington, DC and is also home to the Safe Climate Campaign, which fights global warming by working for big, specific measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Center is also the publisher of The Car Book, which has for the last 38 years been America’s most comprehensive car buying guide. To learn more about the Center, please visit www.AutoSafety.org.