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.
One of the main things you need to watch for is your seller. It can be pretty easy to tell when someone is trying to pressure talk you into buying a vehicle if you know what to look for. Listen for provocative language –if it sounds a bit like propaganda, it is. You also want to try and get a full history of the vehicle from the time the owners purchased it. Ask if they can provide paperwork, although not everyone will be able to. If the owners cannot show you a record of the vehicles history, ask them questions about it. Of course, if your seller tries to sidestep any of your questions or you get the impression that they are lying, it is best to refuse to buy the vehicle and leave. Furthermore, remember that when you buy a used car, you do not get a warranty. This means that once ownership of the car has been transferred into your name, if anything goes wrong it comes out of your own pocket.
As long as you remember to be warry and to trust your instincts, the difficulties of purchasing a previously owned vehicle can be side-stepped and you will find yourself with a quality car at a decent price.