4 Questions to Ask When Buying a Used Car

If you’re in the market to buy a used car, you’ll need to ask a different set of questions than when you are buying one that just rolled off of the assembly line. A new vehicle doesn’t have any previous owners, so you will have a warranty and can be more certain that you won’t have any problems for at least a few years. But when you’re buying a vehicle that someone else has already been driving, you won’t know what kind of maintenance they have done on the vehicle, and you won’t know if there are any hidden lurking problems. Whether you’re buying a vehicle that is only a year old, or if you’re buying one that is 10 years old, there is a list of questions that you should be asking.

1. Condition of Interior and Exterior of Vehicle
When you’re buying a used car, make sure that you inspect both the interior and exterior of it. Although many small things are merely cosmetic, some could lead to maintenance issues. Also, you have to ask yourself if you are willing to live with the cosmetic problems. Leslie Pritchard has a few suggestions that she created on the Huffington Post in the article, “Buying a Used Car? Use This Checklist!” She suggests that you do a walk-around of the vehicle, checking the paint, tires, and other visible features of the exterior. Also, ask questions about when the tires were last replaced, and other maintenance that has been done on the vehicle. The same is true for the interior of the vehicle. Take a look at the instrument panels and all other areas of the vehicle. If there is something looks slightly damaged, you can ask them about it.

2. Under the Hood
You should also do an inspection of what’s under the hood. Find out if the belts and hoses are in good condition and the battery terminals are in good condition. Also, ask about what has recently been replaced on the vehicle. How old is the battery? Have they needed to replace any belts recently?

3. Driving History
Consumer Reports also has a few tips on what you should be learning about the vehicle. They suggest that you ask about the driving history of the vehicle. Ask about how many miles it has been driven, especially if it is an older vehicle. But also ask about the type of miles that have been put on it. Are they highway miles or in-town miles? This will affect what is worn on the vehicle.

4. Accidents, Service Records, and Recalls
Consumer Reports also suggests that you find out if the vehicle has been in any accidents, and they say that a fender bender might be okay, but a major crash is cause for concern. If they have service records, this will help you decide if the vehicle has been taken care of. Finally, you will want to make sure that all recall issues have been addressed.