Buying a used car can be a complicated process that comes with serious risks, including the possibility of driving away with a ‘lemon.’ Getting a good deal involves more than a low price tag. To be truly satisfied long term, you’ll need to weigh your options carefully. Thankfully, there are ways to avoid a rotten used car purchase and drive away with the (slightly used) car of your dreams. The first: asking the right questions before handing over payment or signing the title. By asking specific questions, you can ensure that your search for a used car goes as seamlessly as possible. Not sure of what to ask? Keep reading.
First Things First
Although some car salesmen will be interested in helping you find the best vehicle possible, its safe to assume that many are just looking for a sale. Though they might not purposefully mislead you, they probably won’t offer information that would threaten the sale either. This is why it’s important to come prepared to ask the tough questions that will reveal important information about the used car you want. Not every question will apply to your particular purchase, but for starters, you should ask:
- How many previous owners are there and is there a clean Carfax?—If the number is too high (first question) or the answer is no (second question), proceed with caution. A used vehicle that has been involved in a collision isn’t necessarily a lemon, but you will want to make sure it was repaired by a five-star auto body professional and that the replacement parts were OEM-original manufacturer pieces.
- Was regular maintenance performed? You can tell a lot about how a person cares for their car by checking to see if they got regular oil changes and tune ups. Sometimes this information won’t be available, but often it is. If the salesman isn’t forthcoming, see if a sticker is on the windshield or if old paperwork is still inside the used vehicle.
- Has it ever been repainted? Again, not a biggie but you will want to know if it was a professional or ‘DIY’ paint job. It might not seem like a huge issue but chipping paint six months down the road will be a big headache.
- Does everything work on the inside? Ask if you can test the windows, locks, lights, wipers, stereo, signals, defrost, and cruise control. Slide the seats back, pop the trunk, and the hood. If there are any broken pieces or things out of order, that can be a price negotiation point.
- What condition are the tires and brakes in? Squeaky brakes might seem like a minor problem, but constant brake issues can point to an alignment issue. The same thing goes for tires that constantly wear. When test driving a used car, test out the brakes a few times. When you exit the vehicle, be sure to check out the tire tread as well.
Looking for more questions to ask before purchasing a used vehicle? Check out this link! Already purchased a used vehicle? Bring it to Orlando Auto Body and let one of our professionals take a look. If it is need of a fix, we can assure you quality repairs at a fair price.