Buying a car is a huge investment that requires considerable financial planning and research, before walking into a dealership. New cars with the latest features and technologies tend to be incredibly expensive, especially if you want a vehicle like an SUV, crossover, or minivan for accommodating your family. Where some have the cash reserves to buy a new ride, others may face significant trouble. This is where buying a used ride proves to be a smart choice.
Besides, with the state of the economy, price of gas, and cars losing their value the minute you drive it off the lot, shelling out that extra cash for a brand new car is rather unwise decision. Used cars can be just as fuel-efficient, safe, and secure. It also saves you from tossing your cash into the car’s fuel tank. You can easily buy a vehicle in good condition from renowned dealers like Allentown Kia for under $20k or even $10k! However, it is imperative that you do all your homework before reaching a final decision.
So, look at these top 7 questions to ask before buying a used ride (from dealers or private sellers).
1. “Can you tell me why you’re selling this car?”
If you’re buying a used car from a private seller, it is imperative that you ask them why they want to sell the car. Used car dealerships often do not know the reason, but all private sellers you find through car classifieds, Craigslist, or eBay are bound to provide you an answer. It’s sometimes rather interesting to learn about why a person might want to sell a particular car. Mostly, people sell their old cars for cash, but some vehicle owners might have registration issues, unpaid taxes, etc. Make sure you know if the price is fair and understand what you’re getting into.
2. “How many miles has it been driven?”
If the mileage is lower than say 5,000 per year or higher than 20,000, make sure to ask why. Bear in mind that car mileage plays an important role in determining the value of a used car. However, don’t think that high mileage necessarily means the vehicle is in poor condition. If mileage is high because the owner had long highway commutes, it’s actually better than stop-and-go driving and short trips. Low mileage is good, but not a guarantee of proper vehicle care. In addition, odometers of cars can be tampered with. This is why you must always ask about mileage.
3. “Will you allow a test drive? “
When it comes to purchasing a used vehicle, it is highly advised for you to take a test run. This should go without saying that if you do not drive a car; you never know what issues/problems it might be give after you purchase it. Used car dealerships shouldn’t have any problem in letting you test drive the vehicle around town to get a better idea. Private sellers, however, might be a little hesitant of the idea. This is why you must ask them to accompany you on the short test drive. This is essential for noticing problems, while also ensuring if the car is a good fit for you.
4. “Will you allow me to make my own inspection?”
Most dealers like Allentown Kia ensure that each vehicle added into their inventory undergoes a rigorous and thorough inspection process to highlight any existing/potential issues and fix them immediately. Therefore, if any vehicle doesn’t meet the quality standards, they aren’t added to the list. However, not all dealers or private sellers follow the same protocol. This makes it crucial for you to bring your own licensed and trusted mechanic to conduct a thorough visual and mechanical analysis of the vehicle’s condition, engine, features, accessories, chassis, and other vehicle parts. This way, you can ensure the car you’re buying is in good condition, or requires certain repairs, which should be reflected in the overall price of the car.
5. “Is there a warranty on the car? “
If you are planning to buy a used car from a dealership, look for certified vehicles. Dealerships like Allentown Kia offer a 172-multipoint inspection process on vehicles that are under five years of age and have been driven for only 20,000 miles. Most of these cars can be purchased with extended warranties and roadside assistance. However, if you’re buying a used car from private seller, unless there’s an existing factory warranty, the car is typically sold as-is. This makes it crucial for you to find out whether the car you’re buying has warranty or not.
6. “What is the vehicle’s history? “
Regardless of whether you are buying from a dealership or private seller, it is imperative that you ask for a complete vehicle’s history. Private sellers might have trouble providing you with the vehicle’s history. This is where you have to use the assistance of sites like Autocheck and CARFAX® to get a complete history report using the VIN# of the car. When you purchase from dealerships though, you do get a complete history report, minus the hassle.
7. “Are you the original owner of this car?”
If you want to leverage quality, then make sure to ask this question from private sellers. It’s always best to choose a vehicle that is first-owner. If a car has been used by different owners over a short period of time, consider looking for another vehicle. First-owner vehicles guarantee that the vehicle is driven by only one person, meaning it would be better maintained. Dealerships like Allentown Kia offer an entire inventory of first-owner vehicles. Make sure to check the list out and find a vehicle that best suits your needs and requirements.
Also, make sure to ask about what features the car comes equipped with, does it have complete maintenance or service records, and if the car has ever been in an accident (think twice about buying a vehicle that’s been in a serious crash).