Things to Look for When Buying a Used Car

Things to Look for When Buying a Used Car

When you’re hoping to buy a car on a tight budget, choosing a used car is a great move to land the best bargain and still score a high-quality ride. One potentially significant issue, however, is figuring out how to verify the claims made in a pre-owned vehicle ad. Regardless of where you buy, it is essential that you take the time to properly inspect the car you want before driving it off the lot.

Check The Car’s Interior And Exterior

Take a closer look at the car’s exterior for dents, rust, and scratches. Smaller scratches and dings may not pose concerns, but large damaged areas should serve as a significant warning sign for potential buyers. The body panels must line up evenly. Uneven panels signal that the vehicle was not properly repaired after a prior accident. Open and close the trunk, hood, and doors to make sure the motion is smooth.

It may even be a good idea to check for paint overspray on the inside of the trunk, doors, and hood. Any mismatch in colors on any parts of the vehicle may imply that they were repaired and repainted. Check the interior for comfortable seats as well as upholstery wear and tear. If you detect a musty smell, check the floor mats and carpet for water damage or further evidence of a leak.

History Check

Run the VIN (vehicle identification number) through a paid service to check for any outstanding financial issues, records of being stolen, accident history, model recalls, or previous write-offs. Driving your car home only to find out that it is registered as stolen is a pain that no car-owner wants to endure. That being said, a used car check is undoubtedly worth the small fee you pay to verify the credibility of your vehicle.

Ask For a Test Drive

A test drive is necessary for determining a car’s worth and deciding if it will be a good fit for your individual needs and lifestyle. When you start the engine, listen closely for any clicking or tapping sounds that indicate a problem within the engine. Drive the car on different types of roads and at varying speeds so you can feel whether the transmission shifts smoothly or harshly.

Note any unusual brake or engine noises and check for the proper functioning of all electronic equipment. The brakes should be in exceptional condition if the car is ready to drive off the lot.

Have the Car Inspected by a Mechanic

Before you close the deal, have your vehicle inspected by a mechanic for diagnostic work. Insist on an independent inspection even if the dealership guarantees checks from its end. This will help you unearth any issues that can only be spotted by a professional eye. Pre-purchase inspections by most auto service stations are done for a fee.

However, this cost is well-worth the price given that it helps buyers avoid major post-purchase issues. You may even be able to negotiate the purchase price if you uncover any issues that require fixing during the process.

Check the Mileage

It is important to proceed with caution when choosing a car with high mileage since not every vehicle component and engine part is going to last forever. Your vehicle may display great potential based on the maintenance practices of its previous owner. Low-mileage cars are certainly appealing, but a low mileage count does not necessarily guarantee that the car will be in excellent shape. While low mileage vehicles often come with a longer life expectancy and minimal wear and tear, rubber and plastic parts on the vehicle may get brittle if the car was driven infrequently or erratically.

Purchasing a used car requires plenty of research if you want to land a vehicle that fits all of your requirements. Applying your investigative skills is a sure-fire way to find a trouble-free used car for you and your family.