What to look for When Buying a Used Car

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Are you shopping for a new-to-you-car? When you head out to do your shopping, make sure to keep an eye on a couple of specific things about your potential new vehicle. 

I am 41 years old and until last year, I had never purchased a brand new car so I got pretty comfortable shopping for used cars. I have an automatic list of things to look for and it has served me quite well since I have never had a car that has totally died on me after purchase, they have all lasted quite long as a matter of fact. 

What to look for When Buying a Used Car

History of the Vehicle

As of a couple of years ago, this wouldn’t really be on my list other than to ask the current owner for any info and records. Lucky for us though, technology is pretty great and we now have the ability to run a VIN search on the vehicle (think: CARFAX), and get the vehicle’s history with it. This will tell you about any accidents, any recalls/repair, etc. 

Mechanical Condition

First thing is first! If you are serious about wanting a vehicle, have a mechanical inspection done on it before you buy. Sometimes they are even free!

Check the Tires

Yes, you need to know that the tires are decent or whether or not you will need to buy new ones soon, but more importantly, you need to make sure that the tire tread is worn evenly. Anything else can be a sign alignment issue, which is expensive and not fun to deal with. 

Check the electronics

Make sure that all of the lights, blinkers and gauges work. Trying to deal with electronics issues is never fun, so make sure you aren’t signing on for something like that. 

Check for Rust

Be sure to take a walk around the vehicle and check for rust in the body. Some little rust spots are harmless and fixable, but some are not. Make sure to avoid buying a vehicle with lots of rust.

What do you look for when buying a used car?

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