Don’t Be Shy! You Need to Know the Answers Before You Make a Purchase
Shopping for a used car can be a stressful experience. You don’t want to be taken advantage of, and you want to leave the used car dealership with a vehicle you love.
To make sure you know as much as possible about the vehicles you’re considering, you must ask questions. If the salesperson you’re working with can’t answer them to your satisfaction, it’s a red flag.
No question is too trivial when it comes to investing in a vehicle. Here are a few things you can ask when you’re shopping for a used vehicle.
Does it have a clean title?
Always verify that the used car you plan to purchase has a clean title. Salvage titles or titles with liens against them can cause you problems during the course of your ownership. A clean title means the car has never been totaled, and no one owes money against it.
Can I see the vehicle history report?
A vehicle history report, like a CarFax, details a used vehicle’s life. It includes a history of wrecks and body work, major mechanical repairs, and even general maintenance. Although a vehicle history report doesn’t always list absolutely everything, it can give you a good idea of the overall condition of the vehicle you’re looking at.
How many owners has this vehicle had?
Multiple owners isn’t always a bad sign, but it can be when it’s coupled with a history of mechanical failures. You’ll want to ask yourself why someone would purchase a vehicle and then resell it only a couple of years later. Usually there’s a reason.
However, consider that many people purchase a new car, pay it off, and then trade it in for something new. And many people who buy used cars still upgrade to newer models after a few years. It’s still worthwhile knowing, because a lengthy list of owners should prompt you to look into the quality of the vehicle.
Does this used car come with a warranty?
Some used cars are still under their factory warranty; this is the automaker’s guarantee for repairs to certain vehicle systems. And sometimes a used car dealer will provide their own, short-term warranty for vehicles they sell. A warranty that covers repairs for a period of time can be a reason you prefer one vehicle over another.
Can I take this car to my mechanic?
When you’re shopping for a used car, it’s wise to get it checked over by someone you trust. A used car dealer should always be OK with you taking a test drive to your mechanic’s shop for a once-over. A used car dealer who won’t allow it, or who hesitates to allow you to do it is probably not the best place for you to be shopping for a used car.
Do you offer financing?
Auto loans are not created equal! Be wary of high-interest loans that require multiple payments per month, or that punish you for making an extra payment toward your loan principal. Many reputable used car dealers, including the Ford dealer in Dallas, will help you find a bank loan, while others handle all their financing in-house. Your credit score may influence the type of loan you can receive.
Now that you know a few questions you should ask when shopping for a used vehicle, you’re ready to start looking for your next new-to-you ride. Stroll into the dealership with confidence, and you’ll leave with the keys to an awesome used vehicle!