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What to Ask When Buying a Used Car For the First Time

What to Ask When Buying a Used Car For the First Time

What to Ask When Buying a Used Car For the First Time
February 21
13:32 2018

If you’re not sure what to ask when buying a used car, you should take a step back and reevaluate your situation.

Why is it so important to ask the right questions? For starters, getting a good deal is about more just the price. The more you know about a vehicle you’re negotiating over, the more confident you’ll feel about your choice.

In this article, we’ll go over what to ask when buying a used car.

1. Can I take the car for a test drive?

If the answer is no, just cut the interview short and walk away. There is simply no good reason not to surrender the car for a quick drive. In most cases, the seller will be hiding something (for example, the vehicle may not be properly plated).

Also, you should ask for more than a spin around the block. The best way to get a sense of how a car handles is to drive it around for half an hour. While you’re driving, turn off the radio and listen for any unusual noises.

2. How many miles are on the odometer?

If the car’s mileage is higher than 20,000 miles, ask the seller why that is. Also, find out whether those are city miles or highway miles.

In many cases, high mileage will be a byproduct of the owner’s long highway commute. By comparison, city driving involves a lot of stop-and-go and short trips. Highway miles are usually a more promising sign.

3. Can you provide the service records?

When you’re buying from a used car inventory, you want to know it’s been well cared for. Any legitimate seller should have some repair receipts. These receipts often note the odometer reading, which can help you verify the vehicle’s history.

While you’re flipping through the receipts, look for expensive transmission or engine repairs. Pay particular attention to receipts for parts that have been replaced recently.

4. Has it been involved in an accident?

Even if the answer is yes, this doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker. Minor scrapes are not something you should lose sleep over, but serious crashes are another story.

Many sellers won’t be straightforward with you when asked about the collision damage. Fortunately, you can always do a quick inspection for paint overspray. Make sure to examine door and window seals, mufflers, and wheel wells.

5. Are you the original owner?

The ideal answer would be yes. In this case, you’d be able to find out almost everything about the vehicle’s service history and maintenance habits. This is the main reason why single-owner cars fetch a premium on the market.

If the car has changed hands one too many times, there’s probably a good reason for it. This usually points towards a model with an expensive upkeep fee.

What to Ask When Buying a Used Car

Now that you know what to look for, all that’s left to do is get the best deal. If you’re not sure where to start, why not take a look at a car auction? With so many attractive and affordable vehicles on sale, something should catch your eye in no time!

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