Buying a used car is a bit different than purchasing something new. New cars go from the factory to the dealership, but used cars have a long history. Other motorists have driven them and could have gotten into accidents or failed to provide necessary maintenance. Fortunately, you can protect yourself and find the right vehicle by following some pre-owned car shopping tips.
Check the Maintenance Records
Because well-maintained cars last longer, you want to make sure the previous owners took care of the vehicle before making an offer. If the dealership serviced the car, you could ask the staff to pull up the records. If not, look inside the car for a maintenance folder or paperwork.
Find Out if it’s Been in an Accident
It’s also vital to determine if the car was ever in an accident by checking the vehicle history report and discussing the history with the seller. If it was, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad purchase. However, you should assess the damage and repairs before moving forward. If the damage was too great or the mechanic made shoddy repairs, it’s time to move on to another pre-owned car.
See if Everything is in Working Order
If you search for pre-owned cars at a dealership, the team can go through each feature with you. The staff can also tell you if any features or components no longer work or don’t work as they should. Again, this isn’t necessarily a dealbreaker. For instance, you might not care if the CD player isn’t working. However, it might be another story entirely if the air conditioner is out, and it will cost a bundle to fix.
Gauge the Seller’s Trust
Because you want a reliable car, it’s a good idea to see how much faith the seller has in it. Ask the seller or the team at the dealership if they would hesitate to drive the car from New Jersey to California and back again. This is a fun question because they would not expect it, meaning you’re likely to get a direct, honest answer. If the seller says no, ask to see something more reliable. After all, if you can’t drive it cross country, how many commutes to work will you get out of it before it breaks down?
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Has a Mechanic Checked it Out?
Finally, ask the seller or dealer if the car has undergone a thorough inspection by a mechanic. If the seller cannot show proof of the inspection, ask to take it to your mechanic to have it checked out. If you want to skip taking the car to a mechanic, consider getting a certified pre-owned vehicle. Manufacturers put these cars through extensive inspections before listing them.
While buying a used vehicle might seem stressful, Garden State Honda in Clifton, New Jersey, makes it as easy as possible. First, you can look through our Certified Pre-Owned Hondas. Each one has passed a 182-point inspection, allowing you to buy with confidence. We also have other used vehicles and a lineup of new cars. Head over and let us assist you in finding a vehicle.
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