Purchasing second-hand cars is for everybody – the clueless first-time buyer, the saver on a budget, and the vintage aficionado. Regardless of what kind of buyer you are, second-hand cars are tricky to buy. Not everyone can tell the full story and history of what the car has been through. Being able to tell the faults and assessing how big of a problem they are can drastically affect the price of the car you are eyeing.
With brand new models, it is easy to accept the price they have; you can either afford it or not. With second-hand cars, the prices are negotiable. That’s the basis of their appeal, but at the same time, this means you have to check a lot more things with the car to make sure you aren’t fooled.
There are different ways you can buy your second-hand car – go online or go for used car dealerships. Going online might show the variety you like, but it gets tricky if you have issues with the car after your purchase. Going with a car dealer provides the security that what you want is what you get.
1. Do your background checks
Before anything else always double check the specs of the car on the manufacturer’s site to get a grasp of what you have to physically check. Read reviews of possible issues with the car whether brand new or a couple of years old. An added bonus for your background check is if you can get the service history of the car. You may either have to trust the word of the previous owner and see if their story checks out or if you are lucky, there will be receipts and reports that detail what servicing has been done to the car previously. The main goal of this is to make sure the car has not experienced major damage.
2. Check the car’s exterior
When you see the car in person carefully inspect the exterior. This means checking under the car for leaks, checking the tires, and the exhaust pipe. When you inspect the car make sure it is on a flat surface. Things you should check for is if the frame is damaged, there is underbody rust, and if the exhaust pipe is where it should be.
3. Check the car’s interior
For the car’s interior, test the seat adjustments, the locks on the doors, and the window controls. Turn on the air-conditioning and the stereo to see if there are any issues. Don’t forget to check the mileage on the odometer. The odometer and time show the true age of the car, make sure that the story, from point of purchase and how the car has been used, matches.
If you have experience with cars, pop the hood and check the engine for any leaks or damage. But if you feel like you are not as experienced as you’d like, call in a third-party mechanic to double check.
Doing all the tests properly guarantees that you have nothing to be afraid about. Second-hand cars can be nightmares when falsely advertised. When you go to trusted used car dealerships in Utah and have your mental checklist in mind, there should be no reason to be afraid of buying a pre-loved car.