Five Tips For Buying A Used Vehicle

March 20th, 2015 by

Buying a used vehicle can be tricky. You want a quality vehicle, in good shape, that will serve as a reliable source of transportation. Unfortunately, because used vehicles previously belonged to another driver, you don’t always know what they have been through and what may lie ahead for you if you bring one home. However, there are some things you can do to ensure you are making a smart purchase and to help you avoid ending up with a lemon.

Do Your Research

If you are looking for a specific make and model, do some research on the vehicle. Find out whether it has any known defects or problems that are likely to arise. Look at reviews and find out everything you possibly can about the vehicle.

Take It For A Test Drive

Most car shoppers realize the value in taking a vehicle out for a test drive. But when it comes to used vehicles, the test drive should be done with a more careful eye (and ears) and should be a bit more extensive. Take the car out onto the highway as well as local roads. This way, you can discover how the car performs at higher and lower speeds. Take the vehicle around some turns, check the brakes and listen to the engine. Make a note of any strange noises or any indicator lights that are on.

Check For Leaks

When you take a used vehicle out for a test drive, allow time to park the vehicle and see if anything is leaking. Park the vehicle in a clean spot, let it run and then move it and see if any spots were left behind. If you see pink fluid, the transmission may be leaking, if there is a black fluid, the vehicle may be leaking oil, and if there is green fluid, there could be a leak in the anti-freeze. A leak is never a good sign and may indicate that a repair is necessary.

Get The Vehicle Inspected

It’s a good idea to have the used vehicle you are considering buying inspected by a professional. Although it may result in an additional cost, it may save you from spending even more down the road because a professional mechanic may catch things that you missed. A mechanic can tell you if there is anything currently wrong with the vehicle or any areas that need to be repaired, adjusted, or addressed. If you choose to inspect the vehicle yourself, do so during daylight, with the car parked on a level surface, at least one hour after the car was last running.

Get A Vehicle History Report

If you want to know more about a used vehicle’s history, including any accidents and service points, order a vehicle history report. These are available online or from your dealership. These reports will give you some additional information about the used vehicle you are interested in and may offer some clues about any problems that it may have.

Posted in Car Buying Tips