What to check when buying used car

It is wise to have the seller sign a contract when selling the car. This is to certify that you are the legal owner of the car. Some scrupulous dealers can sell you a stolen car and insist on paying for it in cash. Have someone you trust accompany you during the purchase. A close friend acts as a witness and will help you detect hidden car defects.

Check the Exterior

Come with an inspection list if you are coming alone. Tick each item as you inspect it. You can find the best car deals from dealerships, private resellers or online websites. Dealers offer lots of customization options and some offer your car loans. However, these tend to be more expensive than traditional car loans. You can find online car sellers located near you from established car websites.

Do not pay for a car online without physically inspecting it.

Tips when test driving a used car

Finally, if you have a gut feeling that the deal is fishy walk away from it. If you notice that the paint has been used to hide dents or the car has an unusual odor walk away from the deal. There many cars available in the market and you can always find another car. Inspecting a car before purchasing is vital if you do not want to drive a dead beat car.

Have your mechanic accompany you during the purchase.

How to inspect a used car - illustrated used car checklist

Check the engine for leaks and always test drive the car. A well-maintained car is silent when driving. Accelerate the car and apply emergency brakes; check the response. Above all trust your gut instinct. Hello I'm Magnus, the owner and the writer of this website. I have been working with cars since I was 16 and I'm specialized with in-depth Automotive diagnostics.

Also been driving drifting for the last 6 years. I'm here to give you answers to all your automotive questions and I hope that you enjoy our content. Leave this field empty. Interior and exterior inspection Most car resellers will give the car a fresh coat of paint and some wax when selling it. Test drive Do not purchase a car without test driving it yourself. Check the paperwork You can check the VIN chart and see whether it responds to what is written on the contract.

Worn out tires A new set of tires is expensive. Raise the car Check the exhaust for any signs of cracks. Research on used cars Before you settle on a particular car, check the market for similar models.

Ask the dealer questions You may want to know from the dealer why they are selling the car, mileage covered and if the car has been involved in a car accident. The used car that you purchase has to be what best fits your lifestyle and your needs. Review the Vehicle History Report. The used car has a back story to it that cannot be ignored. There may be evidence of serious internal damage of the vehicle included in the report. Carfax is one of the best sources for a vehicle history report. Do not hesitate to use it.

Request a Pre-purchase Inspection. This does not mean that the seller is trying to deliberately pass a lemon on to you; the seller may not know about some of the problems. The pre-purchase inspection can uncover some difficulties underneath the hood. Take a Look at Some of the Reviews.

12 Things To Check Before Buying a Used Car

There are number of auto related websites that have reviews of various models, including used cars. Do Not Hesitate To Negotiate.

The used car dealer is willing to negotiate a little bit. Be certain that you understand there is just so good of a deal. Validate Ownership. Make sure that whoever is selling the car to you is in fact the real owner. When you have a loan from a third party or you pay for the used car in cash, you can avoid these additional rates.


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  • Used Car Buying Tips Used Car Buying Tips - Guide for purchasing a used car in USA?
  • How to Inspect a Used Car before Buying.
  • What to check when buying a used car!

Whether you purchase your used car through a dealer or from a private owner on a website such as Craigslist, financing allows you to understand the upper limit of your price range. When you know how much you can spend on a used car, you know exactly what your budget is, which makes negotiating prices easier. Often, when people look for a new car, they think about the monthly payments they'll have to make.

Buying a Used Car - Advice, Negotiation Tips and Avoiding Scams

While a lower monthly payment is good for your monthly budget, a longer payment period means that you end up paying back more money overall. Due to compounding interest , it could make more sense for you to take on a higher monthly payment since it's possible to pay back the principle in a shorter period. Also, don't be fooled by the difference between a lease payment and a car payment. While your monthly lease payments can be lower than your monthly loan payments, you have to return a leased car at the end of your lease.

used car checklist

If you bought your used car, you can sell it or trade it in at your discretion. While monthly payments are an important part of financing a used car through a loan, don't forget about cash. If you have enough funds to buy your used car outright, you can save a lot of money over the long term and eliminate the mistake of buying a used car based on monthly payments. On the other hand, first-time buyers of new cars test drive as many as seven new cars, on average, before making a purchase.

2. Where do you take the car for inspections?

This disparity in statistics might be why there are many third- and fourth-owner used cars on the streets. When you don't test the asset that you're purchasing, you run the risk of experiencing a bout of buyer's remorse. In the case of used cars, it's imperative to test drive a few before making a purchase decision. This protects against buyer's remorse and also ensures that the car is running properly. While many people test drive cars before purchasing, few have used cars checked out by mechanics before finalizing the deal.

Even if you have to pay for the inspection yourself, it could save you a lot of money in the long run. However, it's possible to have the seller pay for the inspection. If the seller is a car dealer, chances are it's already an offer, but make sure it is. If it's a private seller, he probably won't offer, so it's important to ask. If you are purchasing a used car from a dealership, it's going to be the salesman's main goal to get you down to the dealership. Once you're on the dealership property, you are much more likely to leave with the car you're interested in; it's an easier sell for the salesman.

To combat this, ensure that you've done all of your research and comparisons at home, and try to negotiate over the phone or by email.

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