What to Look for When Purchasing a Used Car

Sun Devil Auto Expert, published on 03/30/2016

Many people opt to purchase a used car instead of a new one because used cars usually tend to be less expensive. However, one major difference between buying a used car versus a new car is that with a new car you can be relatively certain it will work as described because no one else has owned it. Whether you are buying a used vehicle from a car lot or an independent source, there are certain steps and precautions you should take to ensure you purchase a quality used vehicle.

Common Issues With Used Cars

You should obtain a car history report to make sure the used vehicle you are considering buying has not been involved in any major accidents. It is also a good idea to have a trusted mechanic inspect it to make sure everything appears to be in good working condition. Odometer rollback can be a potential problem with used vehicles; it is when the seller rolls back the vehicle’s mileage to convince you it has not seen as much use as it actually has. Also, some previously owned vehicles could potentially be missing airbags, so you should make sure the car has those if that particular make and model is supposed to come with airbags.

Something else to find out is how many prior owners the vehicle has had. For example, if a car has had four owners in the last five years, then that should raise a red flag. Even if nothing appears wrong with the vehicle, the fact that is has had so many owners could indicate that there is a severe problem.

What to Do Before Buying a Used Vehicle

To make sure you are getting a solid deal, you should take the vehicle for a test drive. Drive it through city streets as well as freeways to make sure it handles smoothly no matter where you are going. While you are driving, it’s a great idea to pay attention to anything that feels or sounds off. You should also inspect the interior and exterior thoroughly. Any overlooked damage could possibly affect the ultimate resale value.

You should also do your homework beforehand to figure out how much the car costs brand new and how much used models might cost you. This will give you an idea if the seller is asking for too much or too little.

Again, most used cars are likely to be fine to purchase. However, not every used vehicle nor seller is quite so trustworthy. If you’re considering purchasing a used or new to you car, Sun Devil Auto proudly performs Pre-purchase Vehicle Inspections and can inform you on the condition of the vehicle so you can decide if it’s the right choice for you. With 20 Valley locations, you’re sure to find a location near you!