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Best Deals on Used, Fuel-Efficient Cars

With gas prices averaging close to $4 a gallon, it's more important than ever to consider fuel-economy when shopping for a car.

If you drive 15,000 miles per year, each mile per gallon increase in fuel efficiency will save you around $150 in fuel costs each year.

Consumer Reports recently identified the best used car deals on fuel-efficient small cars for the 2007-2008 model years. These are vehicles that have already depreciated greatly, saving you a considerable amount.

Each model has average or better reliability, scored well in Consumer Reports' tests, and performed well in crash tests. Some of the models have been discounted by up to 40% compared to their original retail price.

Here are the recommended cars:

Make & modelMSRP (new)Selling to dealer avg priceBuying from dealer avg priceDrop in private sale vs. MSRPDrop in retail value vs. MSRP
2008 Suzuki SX4$15,870 $8,175 $10,025 48%37%
2007 Toyota Corolla LE16,3158,96011,07545%32%
2007 Honda Fit Sport15,9709,33011,35042%29%
2007 Volkswagen Rabbit16,0659,50011,60041%28%
2008 Toyota Corolla LE16,4159,81012,02540%27%
2007 Mazda3 i14,79510,01012,10032%18%
2008 Honda Fit Sport16,07010,87513,07532%19%
2007 Honda Civic EX19,51011,33013,67542%30%
2008 Scion xD17,34911,95014,15031%18%
2008 Volkswagen Rabbit18,65011,96014,30036%23%
2008 Scion xB16,60012,18514,40027%13%
2007 Toyota Prius22,17513,22015,47540%30%
2008 Mazdaspeed322,44014,80017,17534%23%
2008 Toyota Prius22,47515,17517,45032%22%
2008 Honda Civic Si29,50015,15017,70049%40%
2007 Subaru Impreza WRX STi33,49522,07025,22534%25%

3 Steps Every Car Buyer Needs to Take to Save Maximum Money

The key to getting the best deal is to gather price or lease bids from as many local dealers as possible. Then shop that best price around until no one can beat it. Here are the steps:

Step 1 Get Prices From My Trusted Network

Select the vehicle you're interested in to see if there are local dealers in my network who will provide you with their best upfront price. You will get direct access to an internet sales manager who you can further negotiate with online (no need to visit dealership).
Select Vehicle to Get Local Pricing

Step 2 Get Prices From TrueCar / CarsDirect

TrueCar, and CarsDirect are my top 2 online price quote recommendations. These services show you pre-negotiated prices from dealers closest to you - and the deals are usually pretty decent. But remember, you can still negotiate further.

Step 3 Complete my Checklist

Follow this up with my checklist to make sure you squeeze out every last bit of savings.
- Gregg Fidan

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About The Author

Gregg Fidan Gregg Fidan is the founder of RealCarTips. After being ripped off on his first car purchase, he devoted several years to figuring out the best ways to avoid scams and negotiate the best car deals. He has written hundreds of articles on the subject of car buying and taught thousands of car shoppers how to get the best deals.

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