It’s not always easy to know if you are getting a good deal when you are buying a pre-owned car. Sometimes, it takes a little brainpower to figure out whether or not you are getting a good used car.
1. Good history of the car
You should learn everything you can about the previous owner including where he bought the car, how many miles he put on it, any major repairs that were made, any accidents, and what the records say about the car’s past.
Definitely take a close look at the history of the car. See how many miles the previous owner put on it. A good used car will have a clean title, no accidents, and very low mileage.
A car’s history is one of the best indicators of its future condition. A car with a good history will have less wear and tear and require fewer repairs than one with a bad history. Therefore, a history of regular maintenance will go a long way in ensuring your vehicle remains in great shape for many miles to come.
2. The car is immaculately clean.
Not only does this signal that the car has probably been in a wreck or had some other sort of major repair, but it also indicates the car has been very well cared for by its prior owner. This is not necessarily a bad thing but it should be a red flag nonetheless. You see, if it’s a clean car and has been well taken care of, it probably hasn’t been taken care of by a pro and therefore might have minor problems which have gone undetected.
Look at the interior and find out how much wear and tear there is on the seats, the floor mats, the door panels, the steering wheel, the instrument panel, and other interior surfaces. Examine the exterior for signs of hail damage, dents, rust, and general wear and tear. If the car is over 4 or 5 years old, check the body for rust.
3. No major mechanical problems
If there are, it’s likely that the car has been in an accident or was otherwise abused. This is especially true if there are any recurring problems like leaking or faulty brakes. A car with these types of problems is not only dangerous but will also severely compromise your enjoyment of the vehicle.
Now you know some of the “red flags” that should make you think twice before buying a used car. However, even if all these signs are present, there is still a chance that the car you’re interested in will be a good buy.
So what makes a used car a good or bad buy? It really comes down to how much the car “speaks” to you. If it’s a car that you love, one that you would be proud to own and drive every day, it will be easy to overlook the fact that it has some minor flaws. On the other hand, if the car does not speak to you, or if it makes you feel uneasy in any way, it probably isn’t a good candidate for purchase.
4. The engine runs strong
A car with an overly tired or sluggish engine will cost more to repair than it is worth. Also, an engine that rattles knocks, or vibrates when the car is driven at normal speeds is a sign it needs attention. An owner with a sense of responsibility will usually take his vehicle to a professional mechanic for an inspection before he drives it off the lot.
5. The tires are in good shape
Over time, tires lose their grip on the road due to wear, age, and weather conditions. If you are buying a car that has more than 50,000 miles on it, make sure the tires are in good shape by checking the tread depth. Also, check for any bulging or uneven wear. Also, look at the tires themselves and see if they appear worn and dry rotted or cracked and brittle. This will make it less likely you’ll get stranded.
With all of the above information, it’s easy to see that buying a good used car is not as difficult as some make it out to be. Just remember to take your time and don’t rush into anything and you will be on your way to owning your very own pre-owned car!
In summary, there are many good used cars that you can find. The price of the car, the mileage, and any damage that may be on the car are all important factors in deciding if that car is good for you. The car that is best for you may not be the same car that is best for others.