One of the most significant issues with buying a preowned car is that someone else owned it before you. You will never honestly know how they treated it and if they kept up with all the maintenance and repairs that should have been done. Too often, a person will end up with a lemon. A car that breaks down shortly after you drive it off the lot.
There are numerous ways to help prevent you from buying a lemon. The vital thing to remember when looking for a used car is never letting emotions overrule your set limits. It does not matter if you absolutely love the Corvette sitting on display; if it is out of your budget and needs, you want to pass it up. With that in mind, let’s look at some steps you need to take to ensure you drive away with a reliable car, not a lemon.
- Research – There is nothing more important than doing your research. If you are unsure what kind of vehicle you want, it is a great way to check out the different styles and models and get to the nitty-gritty of what works best for your specific needs. Once you know what used car you are looking for, you will want to research that vehicle. You want to know the good, the bad, and everything in between. Do not skip over this part of the process because if you do, you may end up in a great-looking vehicle with nothing but problems from the start. You need to ask yourself one question; why are you looking for a used car? Suppose you need to transport a sizable family. In that case, you will want a bigger vehicle with room to carry them all, with some extra space to haul groceries or backpacks.
- Test Drive – After completing your research, it is time to go down to the car lot and start looking for one of the models you have picked to drive. You can often do this part from home because most car lots have an online presence of some kind. You want to check all the lights and safety devices before starting the engine. You do not want to get caught test driving a used car that is a cop magnet. While walking around the car, glance underneath as well to ensure that there are no enormous puddles of oil or other fluids under it. Once you get behind the wheel, you want to drive the car at average operating speeds, in city driving, highway driving, and at an idle, after it gets up to operating temperature. Listen and feel for anything that is not right while driving, such as a jerky transmission or a noisy engine.
- Take It To Your Mechanic – You always want to make sure you have a mechanic you trust to check the vehicle out while test-driving it. You should let the salespeople know what you are planning. That way, they do not stress too much when you are not back within an average amount of time. The mechanic will put the car through a series of tests and let you know if anything is wrong with it. They should also be able to tell you about some of the routine maintenance needed and any significant problems they see on the horizon. You can use this information in two ways. One is to decide to not purchase it, or you can use the cost of the repairs to haggle the asking price down.
These three tips must be ingrained into your head before you buy a used car. You do not want to end up driving home in a lemon. Having it checked out by a professional is crucial because that alone will reduce your chances of getting a vehicle better left in a junkyard. Do not ever take the seller’s word about the car’s condition. Remember to verify everything before you sign on the dotted line.