The idea of purchasing a used vehicle sounds risky for some people. Not knowing how the original owner treated the vehicle and what type of maintenance schedule was followed sounds like a mishap waiting to happen. However, even if you are not an auto expert, you can confidently purchase a used vehicle that is in good condition.
Too good to be true is a real thing. The cost of a specific make and model will not be the same from lot to lot, but the variance is rarely drastic. If you find a used vehicle that is listed drastically lower than similar options, investigate. Sometimes, it is an indication that the condition of the vehicle is in a lower category than the other vehicles.
Car sales professionals are not just there to make a sale; they are also there to help. Ask the dealer to let you know all the vehicle details they have. Sometimes, the dealership has access to the number of owners, the vehicle's maintenance record, and an in-house diagnostic report that shows what, if any, issues there are with the vehicle.
Inspect the Vehicle
Look over the entire vehicle. You cannot detect mechanical damage at a glance, but you can sometimes spot other things that may indicate the type of work that has been performed on the vehicle. For example, a slightly discolored bumper could indicate that the vehicle was involved in a prior collision.
Car dealerships aim to provide their buyers with quality vehicles, but sometimes a test drive can highlight an issue that has arisen while the vehicle has been sitting on the lot. As you drive, be on the lookout for any unusual sounds, a jerky ride, or an odd smell. If you notice anything, the dealership can send the vehicle for an inspection before you move forward with a purchase.
Find out what vehicle warranty options are available. The vehicle may still be covered under the original factory warranty if it is a more recent model. If you want to extend the remaining coverage or if it does not have any warranty left, you may be able to purchase a new warranty. This extra bit of coverage keeps you protected and helps minimize out-of-pocket costs for certain repairs.
Always keep these tips in mind as you search for a used vehicle to ensure you can make an informed decision.