If you’ve been putting off buying a car for a while now, you could be putting yourself at risk of ending up in a financial mess. Waiting until your current car has a major issue or falls apart could leave you stranded and without the means to get something new or even used.
The best thing to do is make a conscious effort and be aware of the signs that it’s time to get a new car.
Once you start seeing those signs, you can think about trading your current vehicle in and purchasing a different one. But, if you’re more interested in buying a used car than a new one, there are a few things you should check on when you’re at the car dealership and you see a pre-owned model that catches your eye. By the way, the same is true if this is your first car too.
- Know the Vehicle History Before you buy a Used car
One of the benefits of buying from a dealership is that they’re more likely to have a history of all the vehicles on their lot. That means they should be able to tell you how many owners it’s had, any work or maintenance that has been done on the car, and even any accidents it’s been in.
Knowing a vehicle history can tell you a lot, and may change your mind one way or another. For example, you might not want to purchase a vehicle that’s been in an accident, even if it’s been repaired.
- Look Under the Hood
If you don’t know a lot about cars, it can be worth it to bring someone with you who does. You shouldn’t ever take a used car off the lot without first looking under the hood. There are plenty of potential engine problems to be aware of.
But, from just a quick glance, it’s important to make sure there is no corrosion or rust around the engine. Look for cracked hoses and belts, and check the color of the oil and transmission fluid. Having someone who is knowledgeable about those things with you will help you to be more confident in your purchase.
- Check the Tyres
New tyres can be very expensive, and a pain to get installed. Additionally, if you’re driving on weak or bald tyres, you run the risk of getting in an accident if one blows out on the street.
So, check the tyres of any used car you’re interested in. Don’t be afraid to ask when they were last changed or rotated. All four of the tires on the vehicle should match, and they should all be well-aligned. If you notice that one or more of the tires seems bald while the others don’t, it’s a sign of misalignment and could cause problems.
Granted, new tyres can always be put on if you really like the car. So, if you know you want to buy the vehicle but you’re worried about the tyres, consider having them take some money off the price.
There are so many additional things you should be aware of when you’re looking at used vehicles. But, keep these tips in mind to get you started. In doing so, you’ll feel confident in your decision and can choose a reliable, safe car that will work for you.
Good luck in your search and do tell us if you can think of other pointers to share about things to check before you buy a used car.