8 Precautions to Take While Buying a Used Car

A car has become a necessity in today’s world to get things done fast. For those who have a limited budget but wish to drive a high-end car, buying a used car is an excellent option and so, used car market has grown significantly in the last decade to cater the buyers’ needs. However, buying a secondhand car is way trickier than buying a new one. You will have to consider numerous factors. Here are some of them which will help you take a correct decision.

1. Choosing the Right Car for You

Instead of just getting carried away with the numerous features of a luxurious used car, think upon whether you really need those features. You should think on what your needs, your budget and your personal preferences are so as to decide which car will be right for you. Regarding features, consider which of them are required and which are just luxuries. Also assess the make/model, fuel economy, price, size, driving experience, safety rating and resale value of the car.

checking features in a car

2. Where Should You Look for a Used Car?

To know about used cars near you, you can check many resources such as consumer reports, online listings, the classified section of your local newspaper, public auctions and print buying guides. Also make sure, you check out the inventory of your local dealership as they keep getting new stock.

3. Find Value of the Car

If you want a peace of mind that you’ve paid a fair price for the used car, you should get a used car valuation done. Find a reliable used car value calculator that will tell you how much similar cars are listed for and it should be the same as what they sell for. You’ll find calculators who don’t show these prices same. So, find a reliable site.

4. Take a Test Drive

It’s essential to take at least a 30-minute test drive to check how the car runs in an actual setting. Find a familiar route for the test drive and test actions you would normally do, such as hitting the brakes, accelerating, putting the car in park, changing lanes etc. Also check the accessories to make sure they are working.

Take a Test Drive

5. Why Should You Perform a Pre-purchase Inspection?

To find out the mechanical, safety and cosmetic condition of a car, a pre-purchase inspection is important. This can be done by a mechanic who can help point out any existing issues and also predict if there would be any future issues. These details are important and can help provide you negotiation leverage.

6. VIN Check and How to Do it?

You should also do a VIN check because it will tell you information about a particular car such as its year, model, make and the place where it was manufactured. While buying used cars, it’s important to know all these details so as to take a proper decision. First find the VIN. It’s usually found on the inner side of the driver’s door jamb and windshield. Then enter it into a free decoder tool so as to decode it.

7. Service History of the Car

Don’t forget to check the car’s service log. From this, you can know whether the car has been serviced regularly and even more importantly, whether it has been met with accidents or has had a significant mechanical flaw or there’s any lien filed against it. The service log should be complete and that will show how well the car has been maintained.

Service History of the Car

8. Questions to Ask

Don’t hesitate to ask questions but the questions should be right so as to get your hands on the right thing. Ask why the seller is selling the car, if it has been regularly maintained and if still its warranty is applicable.

If you follow these tips and take due care while purchasing a pre-owned car, you’ll get just what you wanted and a great mental peace and pride.

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