Do you freeze like a deer in the headlights when faced with a huge choice? Buying a car isn’t an easy decision. Consider these 5 factors when shopping for a pre-owned ride.
The first thing you need to decide is how much you want to spend. Set a budget before you start shopping, and then stick with it. It’s easy to get caught up in the moment and purchase a vehicle that’s above your price range.
You also want make sure that the asking price is fair. It’s important to compare prices of the year, make and model from more than one source, but Kelley Blue Book is a good place to start.
Test-drive the vehicle. You can determine a lot about the condition of a car by driving it around town and down the highway. Some things to pay attention to during a test drive include unusual noises, the quality of the brakes and whether or not the engine runs smoothly.
Get the vehicle inspected. Have an ASE-certified mechanic look over the vehicle to make sure there are no major transmission or engine issues, leaks or other costly repairs that would need to be fixed after purchase. If you are unable to have a mechanic look at it, consider using something like this inspection checklist to help you carefully comb over the entire vehicle.
Check online for possible defects or common problems with the particular year, make and model you’re considering. It’s good to know what potential issues to look out for, and it gives you an idea of how much you may have to spend on future repairs. Online reviews can be found using a simple Google search.
Vehicle History Report
Always ask for a vehicle’s history report. This report will tell you how many owners the car has had, if it’s been in any accidents and if there have been any leans or issues with the title. If the seller doesn’t have one available, you can find the vehicle history report online using trusted sites like CARFAX.
Certified Pre-Owned Vehicle
Lastly, if you want to make sure you’re getting a reliable vehicle for a great price, consider buying a certified pre-owned vehicle. This type of certification usually means that a car is only a few years old and has low mileage. Certified vehicles are typically refurbished and have been put through rigorous inspections before being cleared for resale.