Used Car Buying Tips

When shopping for a quality used vehicle there are a number of basic but important questions that you should always ask the seller.

Asking these questions will ensure you know what you are buying and can help you avoid headaches later on.

Questions to Ask the Seller

Make sure you ask the following important questions before taking the vehicle for a test drive.

  • Are you the owner or authorised seller of the vehicle?
  • How long have you had the vehicle for?
  • Whose name is the vehicle registered under?
  • What is the reason that you selling the vehicle?
  • What is the mileage on the vehicle?
  • Are there any rust spots on the vehicle?
  • Has the vehicle been involved any accidents or collisions?
  • Has there been any major repair work done on the vehicle in its history?
  • Do the vehicle’s mechanical and electrical systems all work correctly?
  • Is the vehicle available for a professional inspection?

After you ask these questions, make sure that you test drive the car.

Test driving the vehicle helps you to determine any immediate or obvious problems with the vehicle and will help you evaluate the condition of the car and the suitability of the vehicle for you.

When you test drive the vehicle, make sure that

  1. The vehicle doesn’t blow any smoke out of the exhaust when it starts up
  2. The Air-conditioning and heating systems blow cold and hot air out
  3. The engine doesn’t make any unusual noises
  4. All the electrical accessories and features work properly
  5. The car doesn’t get pulled to one side when you apply the brake
  6. That the car doesn’t veer off sideways under regular driving conditions

However, it is still important to remember that just because the vehicle drives well in a test drive, this DOESN’T mean that it hasn’t got any hidden problems. Keep in mind that you will be accountable for all the repair costs after you buy the car.

Negotiation Time

After the test drive, it’s time to Negotiate the best deal!

You can usually find a rough estimate of the price of the used vehicle by

  1. searching on various websites,
  2. joining online discussion forums, or
  3. asking a loan officer for pricing information about the car

But, the estimated price from the above sources will be based for a good condition vehicle with no additional repairs required and no previous accident damage.

The price that you negotiate with the seller should be adjusted for every existing problem with the vehicle.

Any problem items should be deducted as a repair cost amount from the original vehicle price estimate.

And remember; only when you find out the true condition of the car will you be able to know if the negotiated price is a good deal or not. Again, remember that you will be accountable for all the repair costs after the purchase

Vehicle Inspection Report

While these basic but important steps are a good starting point, these alone are not enough.

Once you have decided on a vehicle that suits your needs, to make sure that the vehicle is mechanically and structurally sound and that the vehicle has a good history, it is important that you get the vehicle professionally inspected.

Important Questions Answered

A Vehicle Inspection Report from ACE Mobile Mechanics will provide the answers to the following important questions:

  1. Is the vehicle in good working condition?

    Does the used car have any existing problems or any problems that the current owner is unaware of? Have any parts been tampered with to mask any existing problems?

  2. How has the car been treated?

    Was the car driven sensibly or did the owner treat it poorly and abuse the vehicle? Has the car received regular maintenance and service?

  3. Has the used vehicle been in any accidents?

    If the vehicle has been involved in an accident or multiple accidents, how severe was the damage and what are the implications? How well were the repairs made? Keep in mind that any un-repaired damage or shoddy repairs will compromise the safety of the vehicle. Also, vehicles with a history of any major previous accidents may have a higher chance of serious ongoing mechanical problems.

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