Buying a used car when you haven’t done proper research can be a disaster. You could end up paying much more than the vehicle is worth and you may end up buying someone’s past troubles. It’s important to know what to look for when purchasing a used car and if your car can’t pass these three tests then you should walk away from the deal.
Check the Value Before You Commit to Buy
There are numerous websites that allow you to check the value of a used car. Take your cell phone with you and look up the value at the lot or at home doesn’t matter. But if the price is higher than the value for a dealer then you’re paying too much. Everyone expects their car to lose value when you drive it off the lot but certainly not before you buy.
Do a Basic System Check
Even for those of us who are not mechanically inclined it’s important to look over the car for previous damages. Look for doors or fenders that don’t line up. Also check for dents under the hood. If it appears the car has had damage before it will take away from the value of the car. For lines that don’t quite line up it may have frame damage. A car with frame damage may wear tires unevenly and much faster than normal.
Don’t Baby a Test Drive
Although you don’t need to spin the tires at each stop sign you will want to put the car through a real test. After all, if you’re planning on driving the car consider how you would drive it if your wife was pregnant and you needed to get her to the hospital. It should stand up to this type of driving and if it doesn’t or it starts to sputter or makes other weird noises then it’s best to pass on this one.
These tips should give you a basic idea of what you should look for when purchasing a used car. Remember to always get the price of the car before you mention anything about a trade in or financing of the vehicle. In other words, make sure you only give information when it’s absolutely needed for best results. Another thing you can do is run a history on the car. There are a few places online that can give you this information if buying from an individual and most dealers provide this