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When shopping the used car sales, your budget may lead you consider later models. In recent years, there have been big improvements to safety equipment thanks to advances in technology (as well as the phase in of new manufacturer requirements that have boosted overall safety standards).
Older car models may not have things such as airbags, which have proven to decrease mortality rates in vehicles equipped with them. Try to find a car that at least has some basic safety features and equipment (including antilock brakes (ABS), front air bags, and, if you will be using a child safety seat, child-seat attachments known as LATCH).