Pre-owned vehicles are very popular these days. The pandemic has reduced the volume of new cars available and with warranty options from companies like Protect My Car, consumers can feel confident buying a vehicle that has some mileage on it. There are two traditional ways of buying a pre-owned vehicle; from a dealership or directly from a seller on the street. Either way, before you commit to purchasing a used vehicle, here are five important questions you should ask.
- Can you get your hands on the vehicle’s service records? Knowing how a car was maintained is one of the most important things you can find out beforehand. If you’re buying it from a dealership, this may be a bit easier. For instance, if the car was previously leased, and was serviced at that dealership, there will be records if its maintenance on site. If you’re buying the car directly from the previous owner – ask. Sometimes they will have the maintenance records or they may be able to put you in touch with the mechanic who worked on the car.
- Has the vehicle been involved in any crashes? Vehicle history reports make finding the answer to this question a lot easier. Companies like CARFAX and BeenVerified can tell you the car’s history, if there are any recalls or if the car had ever been reported stolen. If you discover the car was involved in an accident, find out how badly it was damaged and how it was repaired.
- Can you take the vehicle to an independent mechanic for an inspection? Sometimes, the seller of the vehicle will allow you to take it for a test drive and it’s a good idea to drive directly to your trusted mechanic for a quick once over. (It’s polite and most ethical to ask if this is okay with the car’s owner, first). Honest sellers shouldn’t have a problem, if they give you pushback, consider that a warning sign. What are they hiding? Your mechanic can look under the hood and check for any obvious issues before you commit to buying it. That should give you real peace of mind.
- How old is the car and what is the mileage? These are two obvious questions you should ask before beginning any kind of negotiation. It’s important to know if this vehicle has a lot of wear and tear and if the engine has been around the block a few times. A used car with low mileage is what most consumers are looking for and are often hard to come by.
- Why is the seller getting rid of it? This answer could tell you a lot about the car. Maybe the vehicle’s owner died and her children are selling it, maybe it’s a mom whose kids are grown and is no longer needing an SUV, or a young family with a third baby on the way is looking for something more spacious. Or, perhaps the car has given the family nothing but trouble and they’re ready to part ways. Whatever the reason, ask the question, let the seller talk and be sure to listen. Carefully.
Before deciding if buying a used car is what you want to do, visit protectmycar.com to see all the services we offer. Find out how we can save you from expensive repairs, give you peace of mind, and offer great discounts and rewards along the way. We have Selective Plans for newer vehicles, under 124,999 mile and Comprehensive Plans for vehicles over 125,000.