For many folks, buying a new car doesn’t always mean buying a NEW car. Purchasing a used car is usually a more affordable option but doing so comes with its own challenges. If you’re looking to buy a ‘new’ used car, consider these tips.
Before seeing the car, ask these questions to get a basic indication of what shape the vehicle is in.
1. How many miles does the car have on it?
2. How many owners has the vehicle had?
3. What sort of condition is the car in? What needs to be replaced? Are there any warning lights on?
4. Is there a salvage title on the car?
5. Has the car been in any accidents?
The answers to these questions will give you a general idea of if the car is worth taking a look at.
A vehicle with countless miles on it may have parts wearing down, while a vehicle with just a few thousand miles could be a risk if it’s been in a lot of accidents.
If you like the answers you get to the questions above, then it’s time for the next step.
When you actually get to see the car in person, you’ll get a closer look at the vehicle, but this should also be an opportunity to speak to whoever is selling the car.
Here are a few key questions to ask them.
1. May I see the title and maintenance records?
2. Is there a warranty on the car?
3. Are there any recalls for this model?
4. May the car be looked at by a mechanic of my choosing?
5. May I take the car for a test drive?
These questions will help fill in the blanks and give you a fuller version of the car’s history. If the seller refuses to provide you with some of this information, this could be a red flag. If the vehicle is in the shape that they claim it is, the seller shouldn’t have to hide anything.
However, remember that the car isn’t your property, and no matter the situation, you should be courteous and respectful.
In addition to these questions, here are some other things you should take note of when viewing the car.
1. View the vehicle during the day.
2. Take note of the brakes. How responsive are they? Will they need to be replaced?
3. Make sure to test the car at multiple speeds and (if possible) on several different types of roads.
4. Do you notice any vibrations or strange noises coming from the car?
5. Check for rust, dents, and scratches? Take a look at the treads on the tires too.
6. Check under the hood. If you don’t know what you’re looking at, ask a friend who does to come along.
7. Is there any physical damage inside the vehicle? Do all the buttons and knobs work?
It’s rare, if not impossible, to find a used car that is perfect. Why would an owner sell their vehicle if it was flawless? Still, there are some used cars that are a little too used. It’s good to know what you’ll be getting yourself into if you do buy the car.
Finding the used car isn’t always a walk in the park, but if you follow these tips and ask the right questions then you’ll be a lot more confident with your decision on the vehicle.