As you may well know, buying a used car can prove to be quite a challenge. There are far too many people who have not researched their options well.
Such actions have resulted in them buying a really bad used car. The good news is there are many resources that you can check out to help you buy the best-used car.
The more you know about what to look for when buying a used car checklist, the easier it becomes to make an informed decision.
Here is a look at a used car checklist that can help you buy the right used car:
1. Research used cars
Even before you actually check out a dealer or start your hunt for the best used car, you need to do some general research on used cars.
It means you must check out car models and learn what kind of defects and costs of repairing are involved.
After researching such information, you can put yourself in a stronger position to bargain for the best price.
2. Learn the current cost of the used car you are interested in
The value of a used car depends on factors like mileage and additional features.
This means that two cars of the same brand and same model will have different selling prices depending on mileage and features.
If you want an idea as to how much to pay, then you must make it a point to check out the Kelley Blue Book pricing tool.
3. Don’t be afraid of asking questions
When you speak with the owner or dealer of the used car, you must try to elicit the maximum amount of information about the vehicle from the seller or dealer.
You need to get answers to questions like the reason for selling, the condition of the car, mileage, previous collisions and what kind of damage does the car suffer from, especially in terms of its electrical connections.
4. Check the vehicle’s physical condition
It pays to thoroughly check the car’s physical condition. Once this has been done, you need to take the vehicle for a test drive.
Be sure to check the vehicle in the parking lot as well as on the road. Also, make it a point to try and drive it above sixty miles per hour on the road.
Be sure to take your time when assessing the condition of the vehicle and look for things like alignment of the steering wheel, the condition of brakes, windshield wipers and whether the A/C/heating works properly.
Also, check that the power windows work and do the same with the headlights and indicators as well as taillights.
Also, check to see whether the vehicle makes any odd noises as they indicate something is wrong with the vehicle.
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5. Ask for the vehicle’s history
It is reasonable to suspect the seller won’t disclose everything about the vehicle to the buyer.
To help you out, it pays for you to note down the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) of the vehicle and check it on a site like CARFAX or you can also get a complete report of the vehicle by checking the VIN on Autocheck.
6. Be prepared to bargain
You can safely assume the buyer is quoting you a high price for their used car. This means that you should be prepared to bargain. It certainly makes sense to start with a low offer.
However, you also have to be ready to stick with your original budget and you should be ready to pay only what you can afford.
If the seller asks for more than you are willing to pay, then you can look elsewhere.
7. Look around for the best deals
There is more to learn about what to look for when buying a used car checklist than checking out a few dealerships.
There are other options worth checking out as well like checking out a local public auction and you can also expand your search by checking out websites that specialize in selling used cars.
Each different source has its own set of good and bad points.
So, if you are concentrating on dealerships, then the good side is they have a very wide selection of vehicles for you to check out.
In addition, dealerships are also likely to offer an extra or two like a set of new tires and a substitute key for your car as well as accessories like floor mats.
If you concentrate on online sites that sell used cars, then you will come across listings from individuals from different parts of the country.
You can narrow your search to your local area and there is always a chance that you will come across a gem.
Individuals are also more prepared to bargain and so are a good option.
Local public auctions are another good option as you can get a good discount through the vehicle you end up buying won’t come with any warranty.
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8. Trust your gut instincts
It pays to go about buying a used car by using your common sense.
You need to look at whether the seller is trustworthy and you also need to learn a few techniques that can help you spot a bad deal.
For example, if the vehicle you want to buy has the smell of deodorants, then you should suspect the seller is trying to hide some flaws such as bad odor or a tampered odometer.
Do not attempt to buy the used car on impulse.
Instead, you need to closely check the vehicle and not fall for any high-pressure sales tactics.
If the vehicle seems to be too good to be true, then it probably has some problems that are being hidden from you.
9. Check the engine
Another thing you need to know about understanding what to look for when buying a used car checklist is you have to check the engine.
There are a number of things you need to check including a leak and oil level as well as the condition of the head gasket.
Also, look for signs of exhaust smoke.
10. Check the gearbox
It pays to check out the gearbox and clutch. If they are not smooth, then you have a problem and also make sure you check the clutch biting point.
11. Inspect the body
It pays to check the used car on the outside and also under the body. Be sure to use a torch when checking under the body.
12. Wheels and tires
It makes sense for you to check the depth of tire treads and also look at the condition of the rubber and be sure to look at the making of each and every tire.
13. Check the interiors
It is a good idea for you to check the boot and also look at the dash and more particularly, the mileage and whether any warning lights are on.
Be sure to give the electronics of the vehicle a thorough checkup.
14. Documentation should be checked
It is important that you also check the vehicles V5c and service history as well as MoT.
If you are buying the used car privately, then it is your responsibility to spot all signs of trouble.
The seller is not obliged to reveal everything to you and so make sure you ask all the right questions.
If you are shopping for the used car from a dealership, then you have a number of legal rights.
The bottom line is you should follow the above checklist and only buy a used car that is fit for the purpose for which you are buying it.
The best way is for you to buy from a dealer’s used approved scheme.