Finding a good deal at a used car dealership is about a lot more than the sticker price. When you’re shopping used cars for sale, there are a lot of potential factors that could go into how well the car runs and whether it suits your needs. How many miles are on it? Did the previous owner take care of it? How many more years is it expected to last?
Instead of playing guesswork, there are a number of questions you can -- and should -- ask at every pre-owned dealership before you make a final decision. Follow this guide to make sure you get all of the information you need to drive off the lot with confidence.
Can I See the Certification? Certifications may come from anywhere -- even from the dealer’s in-house mechanic. But if you’re planning to buy a vehicle that is under five years old, you’ll want to consider one that is officially certified pre-owned (CPO). Ask to see the inspection documents and verify that the vehicle identification number (VIN) matches that of the car you’re looking at.
What Service Has Been Done on the Vehicle? The more repairs performed by the pre-owned dealership before you buy the car, the less you’ll have to worry about them after. Find out the last time the engine was serviced, how old the tires are, the condition of the brakes, and other important items that should be part of any routine maintenance list.
Do You Offer Trade-Ins? Perhaps the only thing more tedious than buying a used car is trying to sell one yourself. If you can trade in your old vehicle for a discount on the new-to-you one, you’ll save yourself a lot of hassle and probably find a good bargain in the deal.
Looking at used cars can produce an overwhelming amount of choices, but at the end of the day, finding a car that’s the right match for you should be easy. Ask the right questions at your pre-owned dealership and you’re bound to find a fit that’s just right.