4 Important Steps To Take When Buying A Used Car

Posted on: 2 December 2016

Used cars come in all shapes and sizes and are available in almost any price range you may be looking for, but how do you find the best vehicle for you? There are a variety of different steps you can take when shopping for a used car to purchase, but here are four vital steps you should always take when buying a used car.

Check Over Everything On The Vehicle

When you see a car that you like and that fits within your budget, you should take time to thoroughly look over everything on the car. You can start by inspecting the outside of the vehicle. Look at the body of the car to see if it is clean, if there are dents, or if you see any rust. Look closely at the tires as well to see if they have tread on them.

After doing that, get inside the vehicle and turn the car on. Test the windows, door locks, and radio. Check to see if the heat and AC work in the car. You can also test the power seats, the rear defroster, and the windshield wipers. In addition, you can test all the lights on the vehicle to make sure they are all in good-working condition. You should also look at the mileage on the vehicle to make sure it matches what you thought it was.

One other important thing to look at is the car's check engine light. If this is lit up, it can represent a problem with the engine.

Look Up The Vehicle's History

One good step to take when buying a used car is looking up the car's history. This can be done through the dealer or on your own, and a VIN history report on the car can reveal a lot of important details you may want to know before you sign a contract to buy the car.  A VIN history report can tell you how many owners the car had, if the car was ever involved in an accident, and if the car has a salvage title. In some cases, these reports will also show maintenance history on a vehicle and other details.

Take It For A Test Drive

You should always test drive a car before buying it too, and when you do this, you should pay attention to the following details:

  • Transmission – Transmission problems are extremely costly, but you can usually avoid buying a car with transmission problems if you pay close attention to how well the car shifts. As you are driving the car, try to carefully feel and hear what happens as the car shifts. If is shifts smoothly, the transmission is probably in good condition.
  • Brakes – Try stopping the car slowly and quickly to see how well the brakes work. As you do this, listen for any squeaks or grinding sounds, as these sounds can be signs that a car needs brake work.
  • Smells – You should also be aware of any strange odors that you can smell when you are driving the car. A strange smell could represent an issue with the car.

Find Out If There Is A Warranty

Finally, you should always ask if there is a warranty on the vehicle. There may not be a manufacturer's warranty anymore, but the dealer may offer some type of in-house warranty on the vehicle. Many used car dealers will offer a 30-day warranty on the vehicles they sell, but there are dealers that do not. It's always important to know about this before you buy a car though.

If you are ready to start shopping for a used car, visit a car dealership like Wright Select today to see what is available. By looking at the inventory and test driving some of the cars, you will hopefully find the right one for your needs.