Have you ever bought a new car? It’s a glorious event, with sellers rolling out red carpets and popping champagne bottles as you walk into the store!
Alright, so maybe that’s a slight over-exaggeration, but you get the idea.
Now, let’s compare it to the experience of buying a used car, where you walk onto a car lot and are immediately greeted by a sales agent who is sure that every car they have on offer is perfect. Just for you, they will exclaim!
As you have guessed, the experiences are vastly different. And while we would all love to buy a new car, for many of us, that just isn’t a financial option, leaving us to navigate the used car lot.
If you are in the market for a used car, below are some great questions to ask the seller.
Who Was the Previous Owner?
If they are a reputable car dealership then they will have kept records of the car, including details of the previous owner and their usage of the vehicle. If they aren’t able to provide any documentation and instead tell you about the previous owner, listen carefully and challenge anything which doesn’t seem right.
Of course, the perfect answer would be that the vehicle was used by somebody who only went to the post office to pick up their orders from the Groupon Coupons page for Newegg or to make a few trips to the grocery store and back.
How Well Was the Vehicle Maintained?
This is a great follow-on question to the one above and can help you to flush out any inconsistencies.
For example, if the seller tells you that the car was used by an elderly person, and then tells you that it received maintenance at home form the owner, then it’s grounds to think that their story may not be entirely accurate.
The best thing to ask for is a log book or documentation from the mechanic which can not only tell you how often the vehicle was service but also the type of products which were used in it. This can tell you whether the previous owner was interested in keeping the car in good shape or simply just put in the basic necessities.
Can I Drive It?
While it can seem like a strange question to be answered no to, you should prepare yourself for the event.
Many dealers will tell you that, for insurance purposes, they aren’t able to offer test drives of a certain vehicle, instead of allowing you to sit in the passenger’s seat while they drive.
If a seller tells you this, then your best bet is to walk away and find another dealership. It is unreasonable to expect somebody to pay such a large sum of money for a car without first driving it, and is often a sign that there is something wrong with the vehicle that they don’t want you to find out about.
When it comes to buying a used car, it’s never going to be a thrilling or exciting experience, but it can be less troublesome by using the information above.