When we decide to buy something second-hand – whether as simple as a dining set or as complex (and expensive!) as a car, we need to know that what we are getting has value and that we can still get several years’ use out of it. But a car is a decidedly more complicated purchase, especially if it has certain features or there is a lot of competition for that particular make and model. Aside from ensuring that the car is all it says, there are technical aspects to consider – not to mention test-driving the vehicle itself. For instance, should you do an inspection, and what should you look for in the first place? Here’s how to select the best used car for your requirements and budget.
- Take it for a test drive
You should take the vehicle for a test drive – and this is why it’s better to choose a local dealership (such as used car Utah companies like Youngautomotive.com), so you can easily schedule your test drive on a weekday or after work. And before you test drive it, walk around the vehicle and do an inspection – are there any signs of damage that have been repaired, or are there any dings or scratches around the car? Afterward, you can go on a test drive, but make sure it follows your typical driving scenario. While you are test-driving the vehicle, check how the car fits and if it’s comfortable enough. Is there good visibility and good acceleration? How about the turns and brakes? Are there any rattling or squeaking sounds? Don’t forget to check the passenger area and the back seat for comfort and roominess, and check the car’s storage area or trunk as well.
- Do an inspection
It’s one thing to inspect the vehicle yourself – but it’s a whole other thing to have it inspected by a qualified mechanic. Yes, it may set you back a hundred dollars or more, but in exchange, you’ll have complete peace of mind that the vehicle you’re getting is in good shape. However, the car will not require an inspection if you’re looking at a CPO (certified pre-owned) vehicle at a dealership.
- Check for records and ask for the VIN
First things first – if the dealership or seller is honest with you, they won’t hesitate to give you the VIN or vehicle identification number. Then, it’s an easy matter to check it with Carfax or Autocheck and get a vehicle history report. With this report, you can see the vehicle’s history and see if it has been involved in any accidents or had any violations. It’s inherently useful to find out this information because you can use it as a negotiating tool or find out if the vehicle is worth owning! You should also ask for the vehicle’s service records to see if it has been maintained correctly.
- Try to negotiate a reasonable price
Before you make an offer on the vehicle, it’s essential to know its actual value – you should check the value on Kelley Blue Book or Edmunds True Market Value. Then you can make a good offer (begin low but not too low). Don’t be afraid to walk away – there are many used cars out there that would serve you well.