When you go to the dealership to buy a new car they roll out the red carpet! Billboards with your face on them are draped from the roof of the building while models serve you a plethora of fresh and delicious foods. Of course, this is all before you get a foot massage while having your teeth whitened.
Okay, maybe it isn’t quite as glamorous as that, but you get the idea. Buying a used car is a great experience. Buying a used car, on the other hand. Isn’t.
If you find yourself in the market for a used car, below are some tips which can help you find that diamond in the rough.
Are You Sure You Need It?
The first question that you will want to ask is to yourself, and it’s about whether you really need the car. While there was once a time when owning a car was considered essential, shopping sites like the Groupon Coupons page for Sephora and online grocery stores have changed the way logistics work, delivering almost anything you need to your door.
While this article isn’t here to say that you shouldn’t buy a car, it is just saying that you should give it a second thought. With so many car share options available you could be setting yourself up for financial disaster.
Tell Me About the Previous Owner
If you are certain that you need a car, then the first question that you will want to ask is about the previous owners. The more that the dealer can tell you about them, the better. The reason to ask this question is to get an idea as to what the vehicle was used for.
For example, if the previous owner was an elderly couple then it’s a safe bet that the car wasn’t used for anything too heavy. On the other hand, if the previous owner was a new driver learning how to drive a stick-shift then it’s likely to be a different story.
Whoever the previous owner is, put yourself in their driving shoes and consider what the car has been through before it arrived at the dealership.
Tell Me About the Maintenance History
Of course, the previous driver is only a part of the investigation. How well the car was taken care of is equally as important. A well-maintained car is likely to come with a logbook which will give you all of the information you need to see not only how often the vehicle was given maintenance but the quality of the products which were used during each service.
If the dealer isn’t able to provide you with this information, look for any stickers on the windshield of the car where a mechanic may have indicated any work done to the car or, at the least, the date of the last service.
Let’s Take It for a Test Drive
This one might seem like a strange question to ask, and while you will have likely thought to ask it anyway, this tip comes in the way of preparing yourself to hear a No. Why? Because there is likely something to hide.
If a dealer won’t allow you to test drive a vehicle then it’s a good idea to not only walk away from the car but consider walking away from the dealership. Given the amount of money that you will be spending on a vehicle, it is unreasonable for anybody to expect you to hand it over without a test drive. If they do, then something isn’t right and the can isn’t for you.
Just because you aren’t getting the VIP treatment doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t receive good service. In addition to these questions, base your decision on the behavior of the dealer and only buy a vehicle which you feel comfortable with.