Buying a car is an exciting time. A used car is often the smartest decision, since new cars instantly lose value once you drive it off the lot, but it certainly comes with some risks. There are several things to do before buying a used car to ensure that you are selecting a quality vehicle rather than a money pit.
Take a Test Drive
You should never buy a car without test driving it first! The mechanics of a car are just as important its looks. Listen for any strange sounds, pay attention to how it feels as you speed up, slow down, or take turns, and test important features. Test drives can tell you a lot about a car, if you pay close attention and use your senses.
Ask a Mechanic to Inspect It
If the test drive went well and you are moving closer to making a purchase, have a mechanic take a look and give you his/her opinion. An experienced professional can tell you if there are any signs of a previous accident, whether or not the car has been maintained properly, or if there are signs of potential issues. Make sure the mechanic has nothing to gain from the transaction, as some in-house mechanics and car dealerships may benefit from you buying the vehicle from them. Also, expect to pay for the mechanic’s time. It’s well worth the cost to know you’re buying a quality car.
Pull a CarFax Report
A vehicle history report can include a wealth of information, often beyond what a salesperson or mechanic can tell you about a car. The report will include records of previous incidents and maybe even maintenance records. The combination of a Carfax report and a mechanic’s review will give you the most accurate picture of a vehicle’s history and condition.
Check Pricing Sites
The last thing to do before buying a used car is to research prices. This is actually easy to do nowadays with websites like Kelly Blue Book. Simply enter the year, make, model, and condition of a vehicle and receive a report on average selling prices and estimated value. This information allows you to be an educated buyer at the negotiation table.
Summary of Things to Do Before Buying a Used Car
Buying a used vehicle gets you the most for your money, assuming you don’t end up spending more than you should or incurring expensive future repairs. Completing the above steps before buying a used car is a great way to perform some due diligence and to protect your interests. Once you’re selected that perfect car, don’t forget to insure it! Contact Eagle Trust Insurance for a free quote.