A car is one of the biggest purchases you can make, but it can also be one that most easily depreciates in value. The moment you drive a new car off the lot, it’s not worth nearly as much as you paid for it. This begs the question: should you consider buying used when it comes to cars? Definitely, but be cautious.
You have plenty of options if you’re in a market for a used car, but it’s important to ask the right questions. Unfortunately, many sellers have hidden agendas and you want to make sure you don’t fall for their tricks. Here are questions to ask when buying a used car:
Could I See the Service Records?
Ideally, you want to buy a used car that has been properly maintained and well cared for. That’s why you should ask to see any service records. When were the brakes last checked? How old are the tires? How about the muffler? A seller should be able to come up with records or receipts for these kinds of maintenance. If not, you might want to think twice.
What is the Mileage Like?
Mileage is a very good indicator of the wear and tear on a car but it’s also important to dig a little further. For what purpose was this car primarily driven? If a high mileage is due to a long commute on a highway, that’s better than a lot of small trips on local roads which can more easily damage a car.
Has This Vehicle Been in an Accident?
You should also ask if the vehicle has been in an accident. You might not always get the most honest answers but it’s important to pose that question and see what kind of response you get. If the vehicle was in an accident, ask about the extent of the damage and proof of repairs. You can also look into a getting a history of the vehicle through a service like CarFax.
Do You Have the Title in Hand?
Always ask to see the title for the vehicle. Don’t take their word for it. While it’s unfortunate, there are many scams you can run into and you don’t want to find yourself in that position after you’ve already purchased the vehicle. Make sure there’s a clear title.
Why are You Selling It?
If you are working directly with the seller, ask them why they are selling the vehicle. Most sellers can give you a straightforward answer but there might be more to the story if they seem to be vague and beating around the bush. Don’t go forward with the transaction if your gut is telling you there is something to hide.