Tips For Purchasing A Used Car
Searching for the right used car can be a daunting task. What to look for and how to find good information can be a task. Let’s show what to look for, who to trust when purchasing a used car. This article will guide you on how to make a good buying decision and navigate your way to a great car.
Whether you’re buying from a dealer or an individual, you do have the right to ask for as much information as is available. Here are some checks that will help you find the peace of mind that you made a good purchase.
A proper inspection and right questions can save you money down the road. Let’s make sure everything in the car works properly before we make a buying decision. Any repairs the vehicle needs, make sure the seller pays. So take your time before you say yes. Ask good questions like these below:
- Find out what service records you can look at. Does the owner have any information that can help you know what services the car had? Regular maintenance is top on our priority list to check for. If the vehicle has had regular maintenance, oil changes, filters, this is an important part of caring for a vehicle. If it has not been properly cared for, pass!
- Make a good physical inspection of the car. Things to check, take a white rag and check the colour of the oil make sure it looks clean, light brown colour good, black is bad. Is the engine compartment clean, any signs of leaks? Is the engine too clean? When looking at the outside of the car, do the fenders look like they align properly with the car? Any sheet metal look crooked or out of whack? Take your finger and run it down the edges of the doors, fenders, trunk lid, and front bonnet. If they feel smooth that is good. If however you feel a gritty or sand paper type feel, that is signs of paint work. A much closer examination is warranted and a good question “has this car ever had any paint work?” Check the tires for proper wear, also tread depth.
- Make sure that no check engine lights are on. Certainly don’t trust anyone to tell you “it’s nothing”. Have it checked by a reputable mechanic.
- Interior inspection, make sure all the goodies work! Radio, Air Conditioning, Power Windows, Cruise Control, make sure all the compartments open, that the lights turn on, the indicator signals work. Whatever equipment your prospective car has make sure it all works and works properly. Make sure all the light bulbs work.
- Make sure the car has a clean title of ownership. NO Salvage Titles, NO reconditioned titles of any kind. You may pay less for a car with this type of title. Plan on loosing most of your investment when selling or trading in a car with a branded title. Our recommendation is to walk away.
- Test drive the car. Make sure you take the car for a minimum 20 minute test drive. Get the car up to cruising speeds. Looking for anything that seems like vibration, pulling to one side or the other, rattles or the like. Find a parking lot that you can turn the steering wheel full to one side and then the other. Make sure you hear no popping sounds. This can be bad joints and costly. Just as important as the mechanical feel, make sure you love to drive the car. Sit in all the seats make sure it’s comfortable.
- If purchasing from a dealer make sure it’s a reputable one. Check online reviews, ask friends. If buying from an individual we highly recommend you get a trusted mechanic to check the car before you buy.
- If you choose to do so, have a 3rd party or a trusted mechanic give the car a good ounce over. If the seller has a problem with this, walk away. If the seller has no confidence in the car to allow for an inspection don’t buy his problem.
- Check VIN history reports such as REVS CHECK. These reports give you the peace of mind to know the car your purchasing has been cared for. Also lets you know where the car has been and where it first began its service.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If something is pulling at you to ask, then ask.
Take your time when buying a used car. Cars can be made to look very appealing. Don’t let yourself get caught up in emotion. Do your homework before you buy! Take your time to make sure the engine, electrical systems are all in good working order. Ounce you have the confidence that vehicle is in proper working order. Now we can begin making a car buying decision.