Now that you’ve decided to save thousands of dollars by purchasing a used car instead of buying one that is brand new, your next step is to make sure the used car you buy is not a lemon. To do so, there will be quite a few things you’ll need to check out prior to signing on the dotted line and driving it off the lot. To make sure you don’t make a purchase you’ll soon regret, here are several things to always look at when buying a used car.
If you are buying a used car from a dealer, always ask for a Carfax report that will give you details regarding prior accidents or other vital information. Should you be buying from a private individual, always ask to see service records to make sure the car is in excellent condition and worth the asking price.
Paint Damage and Rust
Should you be walking around the car and taking a look at it from all angles, always be aware of any signs of rust, paint damage, or body damage that may be evident. If there is one thing many older cars are known for, it’s having problems with rust or body damage that new owners don’t find out about until after they’ve made the purchase. Therefore, should you notice anything that concerns you, don’t be afraid to speak up. If the answer you get is vague or doesn’t sound right, look for another car.
While the average driver will rack up anywhere from 10,000-15,000 miles per year on their vehicle, some may do that and then some. Therefore, always take a close look at the mileage on the car’s odometer. If you find out the car has well over 100,000 or even 200,000 miles on it, you may want to look for something else. If the car has been well-maintained, you may not have any problems. However, chances are someone else has already gotten the best miles out of the car, meaning you may be the one that gets stuck making one repair after another.
Finally, pay close attention to the tires on the car. If the tread is uneven or the tires appear especially worn, this could indicate the car has steering or suspension problems. Not only could this result in expensive repairs, but also could mean the car is not safe to drive.
By knowing what to look for when buying a used car, you won’t have to worry about trying to make lemonade from a lemon.