What to Look For When Buying a Used Car: New cars are costly, and they lose value quickly. More and more people are looking at used cars because they offer more value. But you still need to make smart choices. Some used car dealers will sell used cars with hidden damage that cost you more money in the long run.
Inspect for Mechanical Issues
When you look at a used car, you can quickly inspect it for mechanical issues, even if you don’t know much about cars. You should look carefully at the exterior and the insides of the car for anything that raises a concern. A dirty, dented, or otherwise unkempt used car could indicate poor care or maintenance.
Going for a test drive is an excellent way to test the car for mechanical failures, leaks, or other problems. Drive on both local roads and highways. Pay attention to how the car responds to you and listen for unusual noises.
You can also have the car test driven by a trusted mechanic before you make the purchase. It may cost some money to have it inspected, but it’s well worth it if they find something wrong. If a used car dealership is reluctant to let you use your own mechanic, that’s a bad sign.
If the car passes a mechanical checklist, then do your research. You can read reviews on the model to determine what others like (or don’t like) about it. This will give you a better idea of how it will work for you and your family.
Look at fair purchase prices for similar vehicles. Check other dealerships, Kelley Blue Book, or online. You need to consider condition, mileage, and features, but this will give you a general idea of what to expect.
Go through the VIN for a vehicle history report. Some used car dealerships even provide a CARFAX report for you. You can identify title problems, service points, previous accidents, and ownership history.
Taking your time doing this research will help you eliminate buyer’s remorse. You will know without a doubt that it is the vehicle for you and that you can trust its drivability. You need to make sure you are getting the reliable car you need for a fair price above all else.
Trust the Dealership
If at any time, the people you are dealing with give you a bad vibe, you should probably trust your gut and walk away. The people at the dealership should be friendly, knowledgeable, and confident. They should be able to provide you with the information about the vehicle that you ask for.
Many dealerships perform their own quality checks and can offer an inspection report as well as a CARFAX . If they can’t ease your mind about any damage you find to the vehicle, you should go somewhere else.