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6 Things To Look For When Buying a Used Car

The problem with buying a used vehicle is that many people don’t know where to start to find the perfect one. Getting used comes with a certain level of risk, but being diligent in your search should get you a vehicle that lasts for many years. Below are six things to look for on your used car quest.

1 – Do Your Research

The first thing to narrow down before going used car shopping is determining what kind you want. Research the important details like gas mileage, maintenance cost, and how well particular vehicles stand up over time. Base some of the decision on the use your vehicle will have. It’s useless to buy a small sports car if you have to transport kids back and forth to school.

2 – Determine Your Mileage Window

The lower the mileage is on a used car, the more you’ll have to spend. Determine what your mileage acceptance levels are and find out if they will fit within your budget. You may have to compromise some or be prepared to look harder for the perfect deal. Remember that mechanical items like serpentine belts need to be changed every few thousand miles. If it has higher mileage, try and get a maintenance log.

3 – Take the Vehicle for a Test Drive

Never buy a vehicle you’ve driven for a test and hate. Walk away if you don’t love the vehicle from the start. As much as you tell yourself you can get used to the quirks, don’t risk wasting your investment dollars. Try driving it on side roads and the highway to get a feel for the overall performance.

4 – Look Closely at the Interior and Exterior

Accidents will not always be disclosed to you. Inspect the outside of the vehicle carefully. Look for areas of damage that have undergone repair. Make sure all of the doors, the hood, and trunk are operational. How well is the interior kept? Is the wear you see normal for the age of the vehicle?

5 – Get an Inspection By a Qualified Mechanic

Ask if they will allow you to take the car to a qualified mechanic for a quick inspection. It only costs a few dollars to get this done. A professional mechanic will know what to look for when it comes to fluid leaks, odd noises, and obvious problems. An inspection can save you a ton of money and keep you from buying someone’s problem or a money pit.

6 – Look for Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles

You can rest a little easier if you search for certified pre-owned vehicles. All certified pre-owned cars, trucks and SUV’s have been looked over for problems and repaired before sale. Companies that sell certified pre-owned are willing to back the quality of their vehicles, which takes some of the risk out of buying used.

The purchase of a used vehicle can save you thousands of dollars over a new one and be a wise investment if you’re careful in making your choice. Take the time to research the brands and models of vehicle you like so you know exactly what you’re looking at with price and condition. Make sure it’s a vehicle you enjoy driving from day one.

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