If you're in the market for a used car, you'll probably find yourself scouring the Internet, local paper and other ads, looking for a great deal. If you decide to buy a used car, there are several questions you may want to jot down and take along with you to ask the owner or salesperson. One should never be afraid to ask questions or go with their gut feeling when it comes to purchasing a new vehicle.
Here are a few questions you may want to ask the seller when looking at their car...
#1- Has the vehicle been in accidents or incurred any damages?
From bump-ups to major repairs or even water damage, the seller should be able to give you an honest answer to this question. Accidents or previous damage to a car can decrease the value, or can lead to more problems for the car in the future. It's best to find out if the car was owned by anyone else, and if so, what the car may have gone through during that time of ownership.
#2- How many owners has the vehicle had?
Depending on how many times the vehicle has changes hands, this may be a deciding factor for whether or not you'll want to purchase it. One or maybe two previous owners might be something you're okay with, but if the vehicle has already had several owners, you may want to spend time thinking about whether or not the purchase will be worth it. You may also consider asking the reason behind the sale of the car, if you are going through a private owner.
#3- Was the previous owner a smoker or pet owner?
Due to so many allergies and sensitivities, not to mention sanitation concerns, it's a good idea to find out if the previous owner of the vehicle smoked inside the car, or if pets were allowed to ride in the car. If you're okay with purchasing a vehicle that has been smoked in, or may have pet dander in, you may want to consider a very deep cleaning, or ask it of the owner before purchasing the vehicle.
#4- Are service records for the vehicle available?
If you're able to see the previous service records for the vehicle first hand, you will have a much better idea of what you might be in for down the road. You should be able to see the last time the fluids were changed, the last big scheduled maintenance, major repairs, etc. If the vehicle has a history of winding up in the auto shop frequently, you might want to ask the reason behind it, or you may want to steer clear and avoid the potential expenses in the future.
#5- Is the vehicle a certified pre-owned vehicle?
Purchasing a certified pre-owned vehicle can certainly have some advantages, so it's a good idea to ask whether or not the vehicle is a certified pre-owned vehicle, up front. Certified pre-owned means that the vehicle may very well come with a warranty, and that it has been through a thorough inspection. You can even ask to see the inspection, before making your decision as to whether or not you'd like to purchase the vehicle.
As with any major purchase decision, it's a good idea to take good old fashioned pen and paper with you when you're meeting with the vehicle's seller. Jot down any questions you might think of, and don't be afraid to ask them. Smart shoppers ask questions, so they don't wind up getting scammed. It's also a great idea to take someone you trust as an authority on cars with you when you're shopping around- they might think of a question that you didn't think of, or notice something about the car or seller that you might not have.
This post brought to you by Thomson Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram.