Buying a Used Toyota

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used toyota tips and tricks

Before buying a used car, always carry out a basic inspection:

  • Check interior for wear and tear.
  • Check exterior for rust, dents, and scratches.
  • Inspect windows for cracks.

Used Toyota can have a heavy usage history. So it’s always a good idea to check its VIN and get a full car history report.

What You Should Know Before Buying Used Toyota 

Used Toyota’s are one of the most popular used cars in the US. This brand is always on demand by businesses and private consumers. Many taxi drivers around the world choose Toyota as well as many militaries choose Toyota pickup trucks.  

Popularity and praises are well deserved. Toyota cars are known for their reliability and longevity. Engines and chassis are very reliable. Many popular Toyota models can drive for 200-250 thousand miles without any major repairs. One of the most durable car brands in the world. So used Toyota is always a good choice.

Most Toyota models are very affordable and don’t require expensive maintenance. Due to popularity, there are lots of spare parts, junkyards are full of older used Toyota’s. 

Of course, cheap and reliable comes with its drawbacks. Toyota is a workhorse and rarely is an exciting drive. Many drivers say that Toyota’s are boring and comfort level is mediocre. The Interior is made from cheap-looking plastic and is… a bit boring.

Summarizing used Toyota is a reliable and affordable choice but comes with a lack of character on the road and cheap-looking interior.  

Most Common Problems With Used Toyota cars

Toyota has a history of recalling cars. Before buying used Toyota you should google certain models for recalls and specific problems. And as all brands have their common problems.

  • Transmission problems. There are many reported cases that Toyota Camry has a problematic transmission. While a significant number of Toyota Tacoma owners reported issues with automatic transmission.
  • Oil leaks and problems with brakes. Several Toyota models, including Camry, are known for various oil leaks and issues with the brakes system.  
  • Exterior design. Not all consumers find it an issue but many Toyota models just don’t look good and lack excitement.
  • Problems with Intelligent Power Module (IPM). Transistors in IPM could be affected by high thermal stress. Studies show that constant high- load driving style (e. g. applying almost full throttle from a stop and then gradually accelerating to full throttle) can damage transistors in the IPM. Those problems were indicated with Toyota Prius (ZVW30) and Prius+ (ZVW41) models (2014-2016). A significant number of cars were recalled and issues were solved.
  • Popular heavy duty cars. Lots of businesses and consumers use Toyota’s for taxis and heavy-duty work. So wear and tear can be significant. It’s always a good idea to check the used car’s history and get leverage in price negotiations.

Most Popular Toyota Models

Toyota Prius

Used Toyota Prius is becoming a legend in itself. It was a sensation when first appeared on the market and still is the most popular hybrid. Taxi drivers all over the world choose Toyota Prius for its reliability and fuel efficiency.


  • Reliable. Cheap maintenance. Very high mile per gallon.  
  • Lots of space inside for passengers and cargo.
  • It keeps value pretty well. A price drop is not as significant as with other models. The reliability of Toyota keeps that price. So it’s a good and bad thing when buying a used Toyota Prius.


  • Lacks real acceleration. Not fun to drive.
  • The Interior is boring and plastic looks quite cheap.
  • Exterior design is a questionable one. Because some love it some hate it.

Toyota Corolla

Used Toyota Corolla is built for a daily driver. But don’t expect anything spectacular from this car.


  • Really good price in its class.
  • Very reliable as most Toyota models are.
  • Low maintenance costs.
  • Newer models have exceptional standard safety features: eight airbags, pedestrian detection sensors, lane departure alerts.


  • But as you expect, all those pros come with a price. Toyota Corolla is very basic and nothing fancy.
  • As many Toyota models interior looks and feels cheap.

Check Toyota Car History

Before putting money on the table, it’s a good idea to find out about the car as much as you can. The best way to check a car is to get a car history report. Reports are detailed and come with an extensive list of information.

  • Real mileage.
  • Accidents and any damage.
  • The number of owners.
  • Information from stolen car databases.
  • Car history in photos.  

You can buy such reports from service providers like carVertical or carfax.

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