There are several things that you need to check before you buy a used car. Used car deals are economical and affordable, but they usually come with their own set of problems, which is understandable because the car has already been used by someone.
Buying a used car is a good idea for many reasons, the most important of which is the comparatively lower cost of the vehicle. But along with these advantages come certain disadvantages as well, and one needs to be very careful. The first thing that you need to do when you are buying a second hand car is find out why the seller is selling the vehicle in the first place. This question is irrelevant if you are buying the vehicle from a dealer, but it will not hurt to find out why the owner sold the car. The answers you get may help you make a decision about whether you should go ahead and purchase the vehicle or not.
It is only natural to assume that the vehicle has been used extensively by the previous owner, and this leads to the wear and tear and the deterioration of certain car parts. Ensuring that all these parts are in workable condition is the responsibility of the buyer.
What to Look When Buying a Used Car
Check the VIN
The VIN refers to the Vehicle Identification Number that is present on each automobile, and it is a kind of history report of the vehicle. It may happen that a certain vehicle has been in an accident but some parts of its body are undamaged. When another similar model comes around the parts from the original body may be salvaged and welded together, and this is a disadvantage for the person who buys the used car.
Ordering a VIN report can be done over the Internet from CARFAX and it will cost you approximately $35. Doing so is highly recommended because certain dealers sell cars in different states to avoid being caught welding parts together. In the grand scheme of things, $35 is a small price to pay.
Learn the History
You must attempt to learn as much as you can about the vehicle. Find out all you can about the previous owner, why he sold the vehicle, ask for the mileage proof of the vehicle and also check if the vehicle has passed the previous Emission Test. If the seller of the vehicle offers suspicious sounding answers then you must refrain from buying the vehicle, no matter how good a deal you are getting. Buying a vehicle with a mysterious past is not a risk worth taking.
Examine the Exterior
Now you must start examining the car yourself. If you happen to know enough about cars, or if you happen to know a trustworthy mechanic, then you can prepare the checklist and then carry out all the actions that you have mentioned. Check the body of the vehicle for damage, check the tires, the windows and the doors. If you are satisfied with all these parts then you should start looking at the engine and its various components, check if the transmission of the vehicle works properly, then find out if the suspension is working properly and then also check the brakes of the vehicle. All these actions may require you to take the car for a spin, so do not hesitate to ask the seller to allow you to do so.
Examine the Interior
Once you are satisfied with the various parts and the performance of the car, you must start examining the interiors of the vehicle. Fixing damaged interiors is much simpler and cheaper than the various exterior parts, but this is something that the seller of the vehicle must take care of. Never ever buy a vehicle with damaged parts inside the car, and insist on the seller fixing any potential problem areas before he makes the sale.
Check the seat covers, the CD player, the radio, the steering wheel, all the blinkers, the headlights, the dashboard, the boot, the spare tire and the jack, the odometer panel and the air conditioner. Once the sale has been made you cannot go back to the seller and ask him to fix these parts so you must check everything beforehand.
If you know a lot about cars then you will be easily able to check the most important aspects of a used car. If not, then you must bring along someone whom you trust with you, who knows about vehicles and can offer you some sound advice. Someone who is unaware about car parts will certainly get duped and will not know all the things to look out for. You can also download some sample checklists off the Internet so that you can get yourself the best deal possible.