Used Car Shopping: Top Things To Check For Before Buying

One of the most cost-effective ways to purchase a vehicle is to look for used cars instead of brand new models. New vehicles immediately lose a significant amount of value when you drive them off the lot. So, buying a used alternative instead makes sense. However, when shopping around, you want to make sure you’re getting a quality purchase. So, here are our top check-off items to keep an eye out for when used car shopping.

Check the Exterior and Interior

Do a careful walk around of the vehicle, noting any dents, scratches, or rust. Be sure all panels of the body line up evenly and there are no chips or cracks on the windshield. Also, check for any bubbling on the tint of the back window, as well as for cracks or breaks in its seals. Take a look at the tread of the tires and the condition of the headlights and taillights. For the interior, closely inspect the condition of the seats and their coverings. Look for tears, stains or worn areas. Note the condition of the rugs (if any) for the front seats, as well as the steering wheel, dash, and gear shift.

Used Car Shopping: Take It For A Test Run

Driving the vehicle allows you to get a feel for its functional ability and responsiveness. You can see if the engine starts well, runs smoothly, as well as listen for any unusual noises. When driving, you can also see if the car pulls to the right or left, a sign of an uneven tire alignment. Also, test out the brakes, noting if the car stops appropriately or if you have to push on the brake pedal harder to slow down (a sign of worn brake pads). Finally, check the condition of electrical parts, such as lights, windows, A/C and heat, the radio, and the dash display.

Check Under The Hood And Get A History Report

You should also check for leaks, identifying any oil, transmission, brake, and power steering fluids. You may have to pay for a number of costly repairs down the road, so it’s a good idea to check the engine and ask about any mechanical issues that need to be addressed. Relatedly, make sure you get a full report of the car’s history, detailing any accidents and/or repairs that were done.

Come Prepared

If you’re unsure of what to look for, it’s a great idea to bring along a car-savvy friend or a mechanic to help you identify potential issues while used car shopping. And keep negotiations to a minimum while you’re browsing. It’s smart to refrain from mentioning if you have a trade-in or are paying in cash until you are sure you want to move forward with purchasing. And don’t forget to get your auto financing squared away beforehand to keep things easy and stress-free. Visit us online today and you could be approved in minutes!

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