Questions to Ask When Buying a Used Car

January 27th, 2022 by

Picking out your next vehicle is a big decision. You want to get something you enjoy while also ensuring you’re paying a fair price. This is a little harder with used vehicles, as there are more factors at play that factor into the price. To help ensure you get the right used car, you can ask some questions of the seller.

Importance of Asking the Right Questions

A group of people at a car dealership looking at a blue folder

People Looking at a Blue Folder” licensed under Pexels by Anthony Shkraba

When you buy a used car, you want to ensure that’s it’s in good condition and that you know what you are getting. Because these cars are used, they have more wear and tear on them. In addition, there could be issues underneath the hood that are not noticeable right away. You don’t want to pay for a used car only to realize that it has more problems than expected. By asking the right questions, you can learn more about the vehicle’s history and be certain you know exactly what you’re getting.

What Is the Vehicle’s Accident History?

One of the first questions you should ask is about the vehicle’s accident history. If the car was in an accident it could be more likely to experience problems down the road. You need to factor in a vehicle’s accident history when determining the price you pay for the car, otherwise, you may not get good value. Most reputable used car dealerships can provide you with a full accident history for any vehicle they sell, so be sure to ask for it.

What Is the Vehicle’s Repair History?

Along similar lines, ask about the repair history of the vehicle. A car doesn’t have to get into an accident for something to break down. By looking at the repair history of a vehicle, you can determine which parts are new and which parts regularly break down. For example, if you find that a car’s transmission was replaced twice over the past ten years, this is likely a sign that the transmission systems on this type of vehicle are unreliable. Through the repair history, you can also ensure that the car received regular service updates.

How Many Miles Are on the Vehicle?

The more miles on a car, the more likely it is to experience problems in the future. This is why the number of miles on a car is one of the primary factors you should consider when buying any used car. When a vehicle is properly taken care of, it can often last for around 150,000 to 200,000 miles. You can use this number as an estimate to determine how much longer a car will last before it doesn’t make sense to invest any more money in repairs.

What Was This Vehicle Primarily Used For?

Sometimes, learning a little bit about the specific history of a car can help you decide if it’s a good buy. How the previous owner used the car plays a big role in the condition of a vehicle. For example, if the owner primarily used it for running errands around town and didn’t maintain it regularly, then it might not be in good shape. On the other hand, if the previous owner was a reputable car rental agency that diligently serviced its fleet, then it’s more likely that the vehicle should be a good buy.

Does the Vehicle Still Have Any Warranties?

Some vehicles have warranties for different parts of the car that last for a certain number of years or miles. For example, some warranties cover a car’s powertrain for around five years or 60,000 miles. If you are buying a used car within this time frame, you may then be getting a car that still is covered by a warranty. This is even more common if you’re buying a pre-owned vehicle. When buying a used car, ask about any existing warranties, as these will provide you with additional financial protection.

How Did You Determine the Sales Price?

This is a good question to ask to help you see how the seller arrived at their price. If the seller says something like they just guessed, then you may not be getting a good deal. On the other hand, if the seller can point you to the value of the car based on resources like Kelley Blue Book, then you can see for yourself if the vehicle is properly priced.

Can I Take the Vehicle for an Independent Inspection?

Having a used car inspected by another individual can help to ensure everything is in working condition. By doing so, you don’t just have to take the seller’s word for everything and can instead let an expert confirm the condition of the vehicle. Ask the seller if you can bring the vehicle to a local mechanic you trust or if you can arrange for the seller to bring it there. In many cases, the seller will work to accommodate this request.

Can We Fix Any Issues Before the Sale?

If there are any issues with the vehicle, you can request the seller to fix them before the final sale. This is more common when working with a used car dealership, as they often have their own mechanics who can repair any issues. If the seller is unable or unwilling to repair any issues before the sale, be sure you factor them into the price you’re willing to pay.

What Forms of Payment Do You Accept?

The methods you’re able to use to pay for your used car purchase will depend on the seller. For example, if you’re working with a private seller, you may only be able to use cash or a certified check. When you work through a dealership, you’ll probably have more options, such as using a trade-in or financing the vehicle and paying for it monthly.

If you’re in the market for a used car in the Miami area, please visit Miami Car Credit. We have a wide selection of used cars available and make it easy to complete the buying process. Contact us today with any questions you may have and we’ll do our best to help you find the perfect used car for your needs.

Posted in Used Car Dealer