what to ask when buying a used car

Have you ever heard anybody tell you how easy it is to buy a used car? Did they tell you about their experience of simply walking onto a lot, finding their gem, and getting correct and honest information from the dealer?

No. They didn’t.

The reason why you have never heard a story such as this is simply because it never happens. And while finding a great deal on a used car is not an impossible task, it certainly isn’t always an easy one.

If you are looking to buy a used car, below are some great questions to ask any seller.

What Can You Tell Me About the Previous Owner and Their Usage?

What you are looking to find out from this question is how well the car was likely treated and how often it was used. For example, if the previous owner was a stay-at-home mom who mainly used the car to take kids to appointments or to visit the local post office to collect their deliveries from the Groupon Coupons page for Torrid, then the chances are that the engine will be in good shape.

However, if the previous owner used the vehicle primarily for work then the chances are that the engine has seen a fair bit of stop-and-start driving, leading to an increased likelihood of engine damage.

Whatever the answer, put yourself in the previous owner’s shoes and imagine how you would treat the vehicle.

What Is the Maintenance History Like?

If you aren’t able to glean a solid idea of the vehicle’s previous use, ask to see any information which shows how often the vehicle was serviced and what type of products were used in it.

Your best answer will be a log book filled with entries showing that the vehicle received regular maintenance and only high-quality parts were used.

Your worst answer is going to be a no. If this is the case, ask if you can have your mechanic inspect the vehicle for any issues or concerns which could cause serious problems down the track.

Can I Take It for a Ride?

Huh? Why would this be a question on this list? While it can seem natural to expect to take a car for a test drive, there are many sellers or dealers who will only allow you to be a passenger in the vehicle while they drive.

If you come up against one of these situations, your best option is to walk away. There is no reason which the seller can give you to justify not allowing you to test-drive a vehicle before purchasing it. While their intention may not be to lead you into a bad deal, it’s simply not a good idea to make such a large purchase without first trying out the vehicle for yourself.

When it comes to buying a used car, there is no real way to guarantee satisfaction. When looking on the lot and speaking with sellers, follow your instincts and let common sense guide your decisions.

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