Buying a Used Vehicle
Buying a used vehicle has the potential to be intimidating. This is why taking your time, and picking the right shopping strategies is important. By following these tips you will be on your way in a “new” vehicle in no time.
Pick a Budget
When buying a vehicle of any kind new or used, you must consider how much you can actually afford. It is not sensible to buy a vehicle that will not allow you to support yourself and your other needs.
Pick your Needs and Wants
It is very easy to get distracted and shop for vehicles with features you want but lacking the features you may need. It is important to list out the features you need in a vehicle (All Wheel Drive, large storage capacity, etc*), and the features you want (Heated steering wheel, Bluetooth Radio, Heated Seats, etc*). Buying a vehicle that has features you want but not the features you need can be the difference between a smart and regretful purchase decision.
Visually Inspect the Car Inside and Out
Starting with the exterior look at the paint, look for any dents, scratches, or dents. In the interior look for damage as well such as ripped seats, stains, or cracks in plastics (Dashboard, radio, etc*). A vehicle that has been kept in good physical condition most likely has been taken care of throughout its life.
Take a Good Smell
Once in the vehicle smell the interior for any oil smells or cigarettes, these smells are hard to mask up. Smells such as oil, gas or exhaust smoke should not be in the cabin, any of these mean the car could need serious repairs. Cigarette smoke, although not fatal to a vehicle is unpleasant and can deteriorate the value of any vehicle.
Pop Open the Hood
Pop open the hood and take a good visual inspection, any visible oil could mean expensive repairs are necessary. Looking under the vehicle for oil should also be a step of precaution.
Ask for Maintenance Documents
It is impossible to know how a used vehicle was treated while it wasn’t under your ownership, but it is easy to assume when you have read its maintenance history, a well maintained vehicle will almost always be treated better than a vehicle that has not had proper maintenance.
Take it to a Certified and Trusted Mechanic
Not everyone is an expert with vehicles, and its totally okay! That is why it is important to take it to a certified mechanic before committing to the purchase, that way the mechanic can inspect the vehicle for any damage and wear that you should be concerned about.