10 questions you should ask before buying your next preowned vehicle

Oct 25, 2021

Buying a used car is a great way to save money and still get a wonderfully valuable item out of the process. The best part about it is that used cars can be just as effective and reliable as a brand-new automobile. If you do your due diligence, you should be able to locate a vehicle at a reasonable price, should you choose a dealer or a private seller.


But if you are buying a used car, you need to do some investigating and research. There are certain questions that you should ask when you are hunting for a preowned car to call your own. By asking these questions, you will receive a frank, honest history of the automobile and will have a better understanding of what will come ahead for it. You need to know everything you can about any car you will call your own. Here are the best questions to ask to fill in all the blanks and have a solid, truthful history of your ride.

Why are they Selling the Car?

This is an excellent opportunity to get to know the seller and learn why they want to sell the automobile. Perhaps the family has just had their first kid and requires an SUV rather than the two-door coupe, in which case their loss is your gain. Remember, most people are truthful when they are asked the right questions. It is always best to understand however that they have a vested interest in selling you the car.


You will want to pay attention to their body language should they try to avoid questions or show signs of distress. They may be attempting to unload a lemon on you. Therefore, regardless of their disposition, it is imperative to obtain the opinion of a trusted mechanic or someone who knows about cars.

What’s the Mileage?

It is important to keep track of your mileage. According to the US Department of Transportation, the typical individual drives 13,476 miles each year. Once you know how old the car is and how many miles it has, you can easily determine whether or not the seller has been pushing their vehicle too hard. The more miles an automobile has, the more wear and tear it has. All of this adds up to a car that does not survive as long as it might.

How Long Have They Owned the Car?

The longer the seller has kept an automobile, the more information they can provide. If someone has been driving their automobile for a long time without experiencing any issues, it might be an indication that the vehicle is fairly reliable! However, if someone is seeking to sell an automobile after just having it for a year or less, they are most likely dissatisfied with it for whatever reason.


That isn't always the case, but you should look into it to make sure the vendor isn't just trying to get rid of their junk.

How Old is the Car?

Most new automobiles lose 60% of their value after five years due to depreciation. When bargaining for a cheaper price, you may utilize the car's age and how that particular make and model loses value over time to your advantage.


So, before you go up to the showroom or meet with a private seller it is important to do your research. This way, you’ll be more informed and be able to tell the difference between a fairly priced vehicle and an overpriced one.

Is There Any Damage?

We understand that appearances aren't everything, but they do matter. However, there are a few aesthetic issues to be aware of. Bodywork and paintwork, for example, should be prioritized. Look for dents, dings, and corrosion on the car's surface.


Similarly, the windshield, lighting, rearview, and sideview mirrors should all be checked on a regular basis. Is there any damage to the windshield? Is it possible that the headlights are hazy or discolored? Do the rearview and sideview mirrors appear to be clear and functional?


Finally, you must thoroughly inspect the wheels and tires. Make sure there are no dents or bends in any wheel. Examine the tires to ensure they do not require replacement.

Are There Mechanical Problems?

Make sure to have a look underneath the hood and ask about it. The engine is the most important factor to consider. Make sure the engine compartment is clean and free of any leaking fluids. You'll also want to check sure the vehicle will pass a smog and safety inspection, which is required in many jurisdictions.

What Does the Interior Look Like?

It's now time to enter and have a look around. After all, you'll be spending a lot of time in the driver's seat so you should get a feel for it and climb in to see if there are any issues that need addressing.  Do the chairs have rips and tears? Does it have the odor of a huge, wet dog? Is there a strew of burger wrappers on the floor? These are all important considerations that will reveal how effectively the vehicle has been maintained.

Have There Been Accidents?

A little fender collision or a few dents from that tight parking place at the supermarket aren't the end of the world. However, if the automobile has been in a serious accident that necessitated extensive body work, continue with caution.


Long after an automobile has been fixed it is possible for it to develop issues again. Before proceeding, you should have the automobile inspected by a reputable technician.

Do They Have the Title?

Never drive off the lot or spend a dollar without having the car's title in hand, whether you're buying from a private seller or a dealership. Sellers who took out a vehicle loan and owe money on it are unlikely to hold the title, but the bank is likely to. If you buy the automobile, you may have the bank directly transfer the title to you, which is a minor hassle.


Before deciding to buy the automobile, make sure to examine the title as well. It will reveal whether the vehicle has been in an accident and has been declared a total loss. If that's the case, you can request a price adjustment.

Is There a History Report?

A vehicle history report will provide you with important information that will help you determine whether or not this automobile is right for you, such as accidents, open recalls, prior owners, and service history.


All you need is the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) or license plate number to search up a report online in minutes or receive one for free from most used-car dealers. There are several websites that will provide you with an in-depth report for free or very low cost.









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