Buying a brand new car is expensive, and is certainly not an option for everybody. Nevertheless, you can still get a great car if you buy it secondhand if you’re smart about it.
The research required when buying a used car is just as important as when buying a new one. A secondhand or thirdhand vehicle may be cheap, but it will still be a huge waste of money if you don’t check it carefully before you buy it.
If you’re looking to buy a used car, here are some of the things you should do before you seal the deal at any used car franchise:
1. Check the exterior
Before anything else, inspect the car’s interior and exterior carefully. Look for imperfections that may be deal-breakers for you, but also make sure that the entire body is up to par. If you have experience with cars, you should be able to tell if a vehicle went through an accident and was poorly repaired. Otherwise, have a more knowledgeable buddy come with you to inspect the car.
2. Inspect the interiors
Is there an unpleasant smell coming from the inside of the car? Are there stains on the seats that look difficult to remove? Don’t forget to check for lumps, tears, and rips that you can use as a reason to negotiate the price as well.
3. Test drive
The best way to get a feel for how the car runs is to test drive it. Drive at different speeds and on different types of roads. Listen for weird sounds or any vibration coming from the pedals and steering wheel. If you see, feel, or hear anything unusual, you may want to have a mechanic look over the car’s issues before you buy it.
4. Look underneath the car
Check the undercarriage of the car and see if there is a buildup of rust. Although rust in small amounts is a minor issue, excessively corroded undercarriages are potentially dangerous since rusted parts can break off and drop on the road while you’re driving.
4. Take a look at the tires
Make sure that the tires aren’t too worn out or unevenly worn. The wear on each tire should be even. Otherwise, it may mean that the tires were not rotated correctly, or there is a much bigger issue with the car’s suspension or steering.
5. Check the engine
Pop the hood and inspect the engine closely. Look for any leaks, poorly-installed performance mods, low oil levels, and other signs that may indicate that the engine was poorly maintained.
6. Consider the car’s mileage
There is no ‘good’ mileage for a used car because its maintenance and usage are far more important. High mileage doesn’t necessarily mean that the car is bad. At the same time, low mileage doesn’t always mean that the car is a good deal. Although low mileage may mean less wear and tear, make sure that the plastic and rubber parts haven’t dried out due to infrequent use.
Buying a used car can save you tons of money than buying a new one from the dealership. If you want to make sure you get a great deal for your money, take these tips to heart when looking at used cars for sale.