Six Things to Consider When Purchasing a Used Vehicle

Purchasing a used car can be challenging. It is important for people to trust their instincts. They need to be willing to walk away if something doesn’t seem right. Having a positive experience requires people to consider certain things when they purchase a used vehicle.

1. Legal protections for used car buyers

Buying a used vehicle requires plenty of research, but there are also laws that are meant to protect buyers. The Federal Used Car Laws apply to anyone who sells six or more used vehicles per year, and they require mandatory disclosures on certain information, buyer’s guides, and more. This can reveal many things. It will let an interested buyer know the vehicle’s history. It tells a person if the car was declared a total loss by an insurance company and has a salvage title. It also makes it possible to know if the vehicle’s odometer has been rolled back.

You should still work with a reputed used car dealership if possible, but the legal protections should help give you peace of mind as you begin researching vehicles.  If the car dealer or the owner doesn’t want to provide a VIN, it may be time to walk away.

2. Warranty

It is common to see “certified pre-owned” on a vehicle. This usually means it is covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. It is also possible for a vehicle to be advertised this way when it is covered by a third-party warranty. People shopping for vehicles must also be aware of a sign declaring a vehicle is being sold “as is.” This is to let people know the seller will not be responsible for anything going wrong with the vehicle once it is driven away. If the vehicle is older than three years, it is probably won’t be covered by a manufacturer’s warranty.

3. Car Inspection

A vehicle history report may not be enough to insure a used vehicle is in good condition. It is highly recommended to get the vehicle inspected by a mechanic. They will be able to identify any potential issues. This could be leaks as well as detecting if the vehicle has been in an accident that wasn’t reported and more. There are mobile checks where a company will provide an inspector to come and look at a vehicle on-site. When taken to an inspection shop, a mechanic can put it on a lift and also see if there is any damage underneath a vehicle.

4. Negotiating

When purchasing a used vehicle, negotiating the price is often part of the experience. The most valuable tool in this situation is knowledge. It is essential to know a vehicle’s current condition, accident history, failed emissions, inspections, and the price of other vehicles of the same make and model. It is possible for someone to not be comfortable negotiating. These people may consider getting in touch with an internet sales manager and get a price quote. An internet manager is often more clear about pricing when compared to a floor salesperson. This can save a person time and money. The internet manager is compensated based on the volume of sales and not price-based commissions.

5. Drive Checklist

There are certain things to consider when test driving a vehicle. The visibility and legroom are important. Some things that are red flags could be odd smells, strange noises, and more. It is important to drive it during the day and in a situation similar to day-to-day driving. Some people will do significant highway travel while others must deal with extensive stop-and-go traffic.

6. Car Title

A person should make certain they can get the title of the vehicle. Should there not be a lien or loan on the vehicle, the owner selling the vehicle or the dealership should be in possession of the title. If there is a problem getting the title, it is time to be suspicious. Should it be an electronic title, the local DMV can be contacted to confirm ownership and the transfer of a vehicle’s title.
Purchasing a used car can be a positive experience if done correctly. Should someone experience some red flags, it’s important they realize there are many other used vehicles available for consideration. Getting the best possible used vehicle usually involves taking the time to learn important information about it.

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