What to Ask When Buying a Used Car

Posted on Posted in Automotive Info

What to Ask When Buying a Used Car

When most people think about buying a used car, they often think about a sales agent trying to sell them a bad vehicle for an inflated price. And while this is true in some cases, it’s also important for a buyer to ask the right questions.

 

Who Was the Previous Owner?

Let’s start with the obvious question. If they immediately tell you that the owner was an elderly lady who only took the car to the local grocery store then you know they aren’t telling the truth. However, pay attention to the details they give you and ask more pressing questions if you feel they are glazing over details.

 

How Was the Car Used?

Just because you enjoy the Groupon Coupons page for Orbitz and flying to your vacation destinations doesn’t mean that everybody does. In fact, many drivers will use their car to get to their vacation destination. As you can imagine, these types of drives mean a lot of work for a car. This could result in an engine that needs a lot more work than will be apparent.

 

Was the Vehicle Well Maintained?

The best response from the sales agent will be the logbook full of service dates and details. However, this isn’t going to be a likely scenario. In addition to asking the agent, look around the car for any stickers or stamps that indicate when it last saw the inside of a service garage.

 

Can I Take It for a Drive?

A strange question to put on the list, no? Believe it or not, there are sales agents who are reluctant to allow potential buyers a test drive of the vehicle. Instead, they offer to drive the vehicle themselves while you sit in the passenger seat. If you think that this seems strange, it’s because it is, and is a big sign that there is something wrong with the vehicle that the agent doesn’t want you to find out about through a test drive.

 

Can My Mechanic Check It Out?

As good as you are with auto mechanics, it’s always a solid idea to get your mechanic to inspect the vehicle. Of course, if this presents a problem to the sales agent and they are reluctant then, similar to the tip above, it’s a good guess that there is something wrong with the vehicle. More importantly, it’s likely to be a large problem that would only be noticed by a mechanic.

 

Has the Vehicle Ever Been in a Collision?

Sometimes this will be apparent, and other times you won’t be able to notice any damage or repair work. It’s always important to ask this question, as a vehicle that has been in a collision is considered to be less safe than one that that hasn’t. More so, it could affect your insurance. Always check with the agent if the vehicle has seen any damage, and what the result was.

The last tip comes in the form of your instincts. Sometimes you can’t explain how you feel, you just get a bad vibe from the sales agent or even from the car itself. If this happens, don’t discount it as buyers nerves. Consider that something may not be right and ask a few more questions or take a more extensive look before you sign the papers.