What questions to ask when buying a used car.
When it comes to buying a used car, you want to be as informed as possible. Granted you are somewhat at the mercy of the honesty of the seller, but you can often cut through the bull by asking a series of pointed and powerful questions. Here are five of the best questions you should ask to get the answers you need to make an informed buying decision:
*This article assumes the obvious questions have been answered…(price, mileage, etc) It instead focuses on the less obvious things that are often overlooked.
1. What paperwork do you have?
A lack of paperwork is a red flag but it is not necessarily a deal breaker. When a person has very few maintenance records or repair records, it could simply be because they do the work themselves or they have had great luck with repairs. Whatever the case, a nice stack of records will show that they have kept up the vehicle and are paying attention to the details. These are good signs if the car is still in great condition.
2. How many times has it been wrecked?
Used cars that have been wrecked are also not deal breakers but cars that have been wrecked secretly are. Many sellers will omit or outright lie about the history of a car and the only real way to know is to ask. When you get your answer, compare it to what your mechanic has to say when he checks it out. (see the last tip for more on that) If you find the to be lying, forget it and move on. Don’t even bother bringing it up. Just pass on the car and move on.
3. Why are you selling the car?
This is also a big tell when you are buying a used car. If they are selling their mom and dad’s car and they have a pile of paperwork, there is a pretty good chance the car is taken care of. If they are selling it for a kid at college or someone else, that can be a sign that they are a tough negotiator. When they don’t have a reason to have to sell, they are less likely to take less. Knowing why they are selling the car will tell you a great deal.
4. What kind of oil do you use?
This is the greatest thing ever. Ask this question and you will quickly get a feel for the situation. If they know right off the top, they probably take good care of their baby and do it themselves. If they have no clue, chances are they will have some type of records to find out. If they don’t know and have no records, you can reasonably decide to buy a different car. Sure they might simply be clueless about oil. Most people can still prove they got oil changes on a regular basis.
5. Can I let my mechanic check it out?
This is the deal breaker of them all. If you are buying a used car of any kind and they will not let you take it to your own mechanic before buying, you should not buy the car. Period. No exceptions to this rule should ever be allowed. Check the car out completely and get a pros stamp of approval.
With these tips and questions, we hope that you can get a reliable used vehicle that will help you find the best option for the best price and make your used vehicle last as long as possible!
Don’t forget to read up on “7 Steps to Get The Best Deal on a Used Vechicle” HERE
See more on Frugal Living Tips and Articles HERE