What to Check When Buying a Used Car?

Buying a used car has many advantages. With the state of the current economy, many people are opting to buy a used car. Even though the common reason many people opt to buy a used car is it is cheaper, it also offers environmental advantages by reducing the carbon footprint new cars impose. As we have just stated, the cost of a used car is lower, but other fees, such as your insurance premium, are also low. 

To top it off with a new car, in case of an accident, the insurance company will pay the car’s current market value and not what you paid for the car. Furthermore, with a new car, you will have to pay shipping fees, and sometimes you will pay for hidden ad costs. Such fees can accumulate quickly, making the car more expensive. But the most important thing to remember when buying a new car is how quickly it can depreciate. Experts argue that as soon as you get your new car off the dealer’s parking lot, you may not be able to sell it at the same price even if you just drove home. Therefore, by buying a used car, the bulk of the vehicle’s depreciation has already occurred. Meaning that if you do decide to buy a vehicle from the used inventory of the car dealer, you are more likely to sell it closer to the amount you purchased it. 

As you can see, there are many advantages to buying a used car. However, if you are not careful, you could get a bad deal creating more problems than solutions. Therefore, before purchasing a used car, there are certain things you should look at. 

Vehicle History

The good thing about cars is that they are all properly documented and can be traced. You can look at the car’s history if you have the VIN. You can check previous owners and determine how often the car has been sold. Ideally, you want a car with as few previous owners as possible. This is because the fewer hands the car has passed through, the higher the probability it has fewer issues. Think about it: if a car is sold many times over a short period, it could have issues that the previous car owner does not want to deal with. But most importantly, running the VIN will determine if the vehicle is stolen or has any accident history. 

Rust and Paint Damage

The fact that a car is exposed to wear and tear through driving it and exposure to environmental conditions should not be a reason for it to be covered in rust. Of Course, as a used car, you should expect some level of rust. But you should be alarmed if the metal pipes and sheets have rust running through it. This could be an unsafe car to drive even after repairs as the internal parts could be too deteriorated. 

Check the paint damage as well. This can quickly show you the age and, to some extent, how well the previous owner took care of the car. 

 Frame Issues

Check and make sure that the car is well leveled. Again this shows how well maintained a vehicle is and if it is safe to drive. A car that is not well leveled can have steering issues and parts grinding against each other, making it hazardous. Look out for any parts hanging in the undercarriage, and see if there are any leaks as well. A good way to determine if a car was recently involved in an accident is by checking the hood’s exterior, pumper, and trunk for new bolts. Ideally, you do not want to own a car that was in a serious accident, as you could be involved in a constant repair battle. 

Under the Hood

Now that you have inspected the car’s exterior, the next step is to check under the hood when the car is off. Visually inspect the engine for any signs of damaged hoses and belts. Check to see if you can spot any leaking around the engine. Look at the dipstick for the oil level and watch out for any fluid discoloration. If the Oil is discolored, there is a good chance that the vehicle is not properly maintained. 

Tire Condition

Even though it is not uncommon to buy a used car with worn-out tires, check the consistency of the tire threads. If some tires are more worn out than others, it may be an issue with alignment, suspension, or steering. 

Once you look at all these things, ensure you close this process by checking the car’s interior. Look at the seats and see if the car’s electronics work. Check the AC by switching it on and off to determine if it works. Listen to any noises when you put on the engine and while you perform a test drive. Finally, ensure that you have the car inspected by a professional mechanic who will be in a better position to spot any underlying issues you could not. By following these steps, you will be in a better position and avoid any mistakes many make when buying a used ca

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