Buying a Used Vehicle
Purchasing a used vehicle can sometimes save you a lot of money. There are many used cars with low mileage that are in good condition. They can give you years of repair-free driving without having to pay the “brand-new” dealership prices.
There are many things that you should remember when buying a used car:
- Do your research. Learn about the car model you are considering. Know what the suggested resale value is. Find out how other cars that model and age have worked. Read used car reviews.
- Know the dealer. If you are purchasing from a used car dealer, ask around. Have your friends/relatives purchased a car from them? How is their customer service?
- Look at the maintenance records. Has this car been in an accident? Is there any evidence of excessive body repair that could lead to problems/complications later in the life of the car? Ask the dealer about the car’s history.
- Go for a test drive. Take the car out for a long drive. Take it on the highway, and different types of roads. Do the shocks absorb bumps easily? How did it sound when starting? Is the wheel shaky when driving? Test all the interior accessories - radio, air conditioning/heater, windows, lights and horn. What about the bright lights and windshield wipers?
- Take it to an independent mechanic. Have a mechanic check the car. Choose a mechanic who has no association with the dealer, and who is known to be honest and reliable. Can they tell you anything about the car’s history? Does it match what the dealer has said?
- Make sure it isn’t a stolen vehicle. Be sure the serial number on the car matches with its registration serial number.
- Get everything in writing. If you are serious about a purchase, make sure all warranties and statements the owner has made are documented in writing. If they have said that it is a new engine, have it documented and signed by the seller.
- Try for a 30-day money back guarantee. Have the seller agree to a 30-day guarantee (documented and signed) stating that if anything major goes wrong with the car within the 30-day period after purchase, you have the right to return it.
- Have a witness present for the purchase. Get a receipt from the seller as proof of the transaction, especially if you are paying cash.