Questions to Ask When Buying a Used Car
Posted by Frank Gogol in Auto | Updated on August 23, 2022
Buying a car is usually seen as a significant investment or a “next step” in one’s life. While some may prefer a brand new car from a dealership or the showroom, others might be in a situation where a used car is more in line with their current situation.
Now that you’ve decided to get yourself a car, let us help you come to a fair deal by discussing all the points you need to focus on before going forward with a purchase.
Table of Contents
Why Should You Ask Questions When Buying a Used Car?
We usually use caution in even the most basic activities, like double-checking that the front door is locked, turning back to see if the stove is off, or checking the expiration date on our milk.
The same thing applies to big decisions, like buying a house or entering a new investment, you need to be thorough to make the best possible decision.
Then why not take the time and understand this expensive new product you are about to bring into your life? For a car to be bought and used properly on a daily basis, it is crucial to know as much as possible about it before buying it from anyone.
Nine Questions to Ask When Buying a Used Car
Many private dealers or individuals try to directly sell their used cars to other individuals, hoping to get a better deal, as the general public may not ask more questions or be thorough before buying.
And that’s why we’re here with a few very important questions you need to know the answers to before buying a new vehicle.
What Is the Car’s History Report?
It is essential to know how the car has been used and how well or how poorly has it been serviced, indicating if that particular model or that particular car is worthy of buying or not.
Knowing the car’s record also helps in knowing what problems the car had previously and if those problems might cause issues for you in the long run.
Is the Car’s History Report Available?
Be sure to check the paperwork regarding how well the car has been maintained because you do not want to go only based on the word of the seller. However trustworthy a seller may seem, be sure to look at the records because it will give you a clear view and unearth any other information possibly omitted by the seller.
Was the Car Involved in any Accidents?
This is a very important question. Some cars may have undergone minor bumps and bruises, with only some dents and scratches, others may have been through bigger accidents and required fixing or replacing crucial interior or exterior parts. You need to know beforehand if any such repairs have happened and if those particular repairs are in good shape or will cause trouble in the future.
Some accidents may have been hidden by the seller and not intended for you to find out. So get that information to avoid any sudden and questionable future change in the car’s performance.
Does the Car Have Any Features That Don’t Work as Intended?
This is another crucial detail to inquire about. Be sure to ask and, if possible, thoroughly check all the important features that can be deal-breakers. For example, you can maybe make do with a broken radio but not with broken air conditioning or seat reclining feature.
Generally, used cars may not have all of their features working perfectly. So it is up to the buyer to ask and decide if they are comfortable with the condition of the car.
How Many Previous Owners Has the Car Had?
It is important to get a grasp on the amount of previous owners the car has had to get an idea of its working condition, longevity, and performance. You must be sure to think twice if the car has had many owners. They may not have cared for it well, or the car may have outlived its service span and may cause a problem when it falls into your hands. Be careful with sellers looking to get rid of a very old car.
Why Is the Car Being Sold?
This right here is the most critical question. This question can help you get a better picture of the car’s condition from the dealer’s point of view if asked correctly. The seller may have faced multiple repair issues and been fed up, opting to rid their hands of the car, in which case it’s a very big NO, or the seller may just have other answers like moving to a new place, buying a new car, trying to grow their family and needing a bigger car and so on. But beware of the ones trying to trick you into buying what may be a practical piece of junk.
How Was the Selling Price Decided?
Private sellers often try to set a selling price based on the price they initially bought it for, but you must be sure their price is ideal based on the quality and performance of the car at that moment, the market price, and also its service throughout the years.
Certain pricing charts are also available to help you come to a better and fairer deal with the seller.
Can I Take the Car to Be Inspected?
This question can put off your seller if they are trying to trick you. It is also a step that can just decide if the car is worth buying or not. If the seller and the car are genuine, then the seller will have no problem letting you take it to a professional, but you have to take a step back here if the seller seems to disagree.
Is the Title Available to Review?
Here is the last but equally important question to ask. It does not matter whether you are buying from a private seller or a dealership to be thorough about checking the title. Private sellers should provide you access to the title, but it may be a red flag if the seller or dealer denies access to the title.
The title is essential to know if all the previous loans on the car have been cleared or not and if the car is salvageable in case of an accident or mishap. You do not want more on your plate than you already have, so make sure the car doesn’t have any lingering debts or issues.
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A bold and big decision like buying a used car will require you to be very careful about the product you are purchasing, the seller you are purchasing it from, and its worth.
Therefore, it is a good idea to be educated about the basics of buying a car, its maintenance record, its performance history, its current state, and its financial aspects. It will help you pick the right car for your needs and one that you’ll hopefully be able to own for many years.
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