Ten Things to Check For When Buying a Used Car
When Buying a Used Car – especially if you’re buying it from an individual, you must do your due diligence to ensure that you buy what you think you’re buying. Even if you’re buying from a dealer, always check out these ten things before purchasing the used car.
1. Get the Carfax – You can order a Carfax for the vehicle you think you want to buy by getting the vehicle identification number. The car faxes aren’t very expensive and are an excellent way to avoid purchasing a lemon or a car that has been refurbished after floods and other natural disasters.
2. Ask for Maintenance History – Responsible car owners often keep all their maintenance records. The reason is that it’s the only way to prove what was done to maintain the car in case of warranty issues. But it’s also a great way to get top dollar for a trade-in or private sale to prove regular maintenance.
3. Check for Paint Damage – Especially with the excellent paint and materials that most cars are made with, paint damage is often a sign of a previous accident. If there is paint damage, make sure you find out why.
4. Check for Rust – Like other types of damage, the existence of rust can be a sign of a severe problem. Most cars don’t rust these days. If there is rust, you need to know why so that you can negotiate a fair price.
5. Frame Issues – You often cannot check this yourself, but if you get your car inspected before buying it, a good mechanic can tell frame damage. This can happen from wrecks, so if there is an unreported wreck or problem with the vehicle, you want to avoid it.
6. Look under the Hood – Even if you know nothing about a car, look under the hood to check for cleanliness. Look around the battery to see if there is corrosion or rust inside that you can see. Also, check for leaks, taped-up hoses, and other signs. Please take it to a mechanic before buying it once you feel that you want it.
7. Check the Tire Condition – Buying tires is a significant expense you don’t want to have right after buying a car. Check the tires to ensure they have some life on them. If they have a receipt showing when they purchased the tires, they may still be under warranty, so that information is helpful.
8. Double Check the Mileage – 50K miles will be acceptable for one car, but it might not be so great for another make and model. Always understand how the mileage affects the value of the vehicle that you are looking at. Also, make sure the number matches other information you have.
9. Ensure All Technology Works – Double check the windows, the window washers, the headlights, tail lights, the radio, Bluetooth, the lighter, and every bit of tech inside the vehicle. Please don’t assume it works; check each thing.
10. Look at All the Upholstery and Interior – You can often tell how well a car was cared for by looking at the interior and the upholstery. If it’s stained, ripped, smelly, and so forth, did the person care for this car as much as they could have for the price that they’re asking?
Buying a used car is exciting because usually, you can get a much better deal than if you buy a new one. However, you should always act with caution and double-check any facts by researching the make, model, and actual vehicle by getting the Carfax.