Four Details to Keep in Mind When Purchasing a Used Car

Purchasing a brand new car is not always worth your while. Not only do they immediately depreciate the minute they are driven off the lot, they can be costly and set you back thousands — when you can get an almost identical vehicle for much cheaper.If you’re thinking about heading to the used car dealers in your region, keep this list in mind of four things to look for when purchasing a pre-owned vehicle.

  1. Take it on a test driveThere are plenty of one-owner vehicles that look perfect on the lot, but fail to perform when they go on the road. So when you take any car out, make sure to drive it both on the highway and side roads. This way you can see how the car accelerates on the highway, and if the engine runs smoothly on bumpy roads. To see if it is leaking any fluids, idle the car on a side road for a few moments, then pull up a few meters and see if there are any telltale puddles. Keep your eyes and ears open for any vibrations and/or squealing as well.
  2. You are getting the right bang for your buckWhile you may not know exactly what car you’re going buy when you head to the pre-owned dealership, it is important to do some research on potential used cars you may be interested in. This way you can make sure you are getting a fair price! In general, the most frequently searched price range for a used vehicle is under $5,000. Whether you have more to spend than that or not, it is always a good idea to have a price range in mind when you go to the used car dealership.
  3. Open the hoodNever, ever consider buying a used car if you haven’t looked under the hood for an engine inspection. You should look for any broken or cracked engine belts, holes, leaks, or smoking. If you don’t know a carburetor from a catalytic converter, don’t hesitate to ask your mechanic for their point of view before signing on that dotted line. A reputable used car dealership will not have any problems with this request.
  4. A Carfax reportBefore you purchase a used vehicle, you will want to know its history, which is where a Carfax report can be helpful. These reports are given on used cars so the new owner will know about everything from a minor fender bender to flood damage to a full-blown t-bone accident.

Looking for used cars can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be complicated if you keep this list in mind!