When you are looking to buy a used car, it shouldn’t feel like pulling teeth. Have you ever heard the phrase “knowledge is power?” A customer without knowledge can be prey for a salesman looking to take advantage of their ignorance. Check out buy here pay here dealers SeviervilleThat’s why we are here. We recommend the following tips to look for when looking to purchase a used car.
Are you contemplating buying a nearly new car but are not sure what the reasonable mileage is on one you are looking at? An easy way to calculate the mileage is to examine the number on the car’s odometer and divide it by the age of the vehicle. Knowing the mileage on a vehicle is important because it tells you how often the former owner used it. A used car with high mileage can have extreme wear and tear on its internal machinery. If a fairly new car has high mileage, it means the preceding owner used it excessively, and you should exercise caution.
Investigate the vehicle’s history
Before taking a trip to a dealer, it is wise to do your homework on the cars available. The best place to search for cars when shopping is online, and auto dealerships are pretty good at keeping an accurate listing of vehicles. You can check for the model, make, and other specifications of the vehicle you’re looking to purchase. We recommend you research the average sale cost in your area for similar cars at other dealerships. This gives you a negotiating edge with any auto salesman. There are several services and databases out there that can tell you if the car has been in any major accidents. A dealership charging you full sales price for a vehicle that was once totaled in a car accident is ripping you off. Make sure a high mileage car has been serviced well and investigate any recalls or parts/labor warranties that might still be in effect for that model of car.
Go for a test drive
Even though you are looking to obtain a pre-owned car, it doesn’t mean you want a car that isn’t running properly. A nicely washed coat of paint certainly pleases the eyes, but you also want to pay attention to how the car feels to drive in. The most dependable way to know if everything is working properly is to take a test drive; this enables you to inspect the engine, steering, wheels, and cooling, amongst the other parts. Check the oil, the air conditioning, and make sure that features like cruise control are working properly. Test the sound system and the device connectivity features (if any) to make sure they function properly. If you can, check that the defrosters are working properly as well. Also check to make sure the interior has been properly cleaned. I once got a deal on a car because there was an uncleaned vomit stain in the trunk. A discount and a free interior detailing later from the blushing salesman, I had a good car.
There are also some other things to check when test driving a car:
- Is it easily accessible, getting in and out, or do you have to bend your head or stoop?
- Do you smell anything off about the exhaust?
- Are there any burning stenches while the car is running and the hood is up?
- Is your visibility clear enough? Check all the mirrors for functionality and look for potential blind spots.
- Are you comfortable with your driving position?
- Can you tilt your steering wheel for you to fit more comfortably around it?
- Check to identify if the engine check light is on.
- Check the tires for the remaining tread.
- Is there enough room for your legs and your head?
- Check the breaks. Are they squeaking? Are they stopping the car effectively?
- Are the belts under the hood cracked or squeaking?
- Are the seats comfortable enough for you? Can the seat support lumbar adjustment? Can they be adjusted?
- Look at the safety features (airbags, anti-lock brakes, etc.)
- Check to see if there’s enough space in the back seats too.
Lookup the Blue Book Value
There are several databases that determine the value of new and used vehicles of all types. This is often called the “blue book value.” It gives you an idea of what the value of the car is based on its age, model, features, and mileage. When you are looking for financing, whether you are in good credit standing in New York or looking for bad credit car loans in Perth, your lender will want to know the blue book value so that if they have to repossess the vehicle in the future they can get the most out of the resale value. Lenders won’t give you money to cover the cost of a car that’s too high above the book value, so make sure you have an idea of it before you let a salesman talk you into a bad deal.
Don’t Cave to Sales Pressure
While the process of buying a car is stressful enough, having a salesperson who is pushy can make it more disastrous. Part of closing a deal is making the customer feel pressured to buy right away by creating a sense of urgency. They use technical jargon, pressure you to sign a contract even before checking everything correctly, and play pricing games to sway your mind. If you hear lines like “This is a great car and I have a few people coming later who are interested in getting it, so if you want it you need to get it today…” then you know the salesman is putting on artificial pressure. Even if this were true, you don’t have to buy anything until you are fully comfortable with the deal.
Call their bluff. Remember that the salesperson needs you more than you need them. If the deal sounds too good to be true, then it absolutely is. Don’t let your excitement get the better of you. Buying a car you can’t afford because you got excited in the moment means you’ll enjoy it for a shorter period of time.
Buying a car should not be a headache, but when obtaining a pre-owned car, you must take the time to do your due diligence. We hope that after reading this checklist you’ll have a better idea of what to look for when buying a used car.