Whether you are an experienced motorist or a newly licensed driver, buying a used car can be a challenging experience. In some ways, it’s a gamble to purchase a previously owned vehicle –it can be difficult to know exactly how much road time a vehicle has had or to know its history of accidents. There are a number of horror stories that exist in the used car market, most of which feature unscrupulous sellers and automobiles that fail after a small amount of time. While some of these stories may be fictitious, it is increasingly important to make sure you have your wits about you when making a big purchase such as this.
Some common sense rules to keep in mind while shopping for a used car involve meeting your potential vehicle in-person. This means that you should make sure to avoid online-only sellers. When choosing a used car, it’s important to use most of your senses to examine it. You need to look at in-person (not just pictures) both inside and out: are there any obvious signs of wear, is the paint new (could mean it was recently detailed), suspicious stains, marks on the interior as well as exterior? What does the car smell like: is there a strong chemical scent, smoke, pets, oil or gas, cleaners? You want to feel to see if there are any scratches or tears as well as any sort of residue on the interior of the vehicle. Unless your plan is to sell the vehicle for parts, it is best to examine all aspects of your potential vehicle.