Buying a used car may not always be a straightforward process.
Buying a vehicle, whether it’s from a dealership or a private seller, requires some due diligence. If you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for or which questions to ask, you could easily end up with headaches.
Make sure you know what you want and need when you’re shopping around for a car! Once you find exactly what you’re looking for, it can be tempting to want to quickly finish the deal, but before you shake hands and drive off into the sunset, be sure to ask the following questions..
Are the Service Records Available?
Whether it’s a dealership or private seller, you always want to ask for the service records of the used car you’re looking into. Anyone selling a car should be able to present you receipts or some type of documentation indicating that the car in question was serviced regularly.
They should also be ready and willing to let you know of any repairs, part replacements or updates made along the way.
Technicians will regularly make notes and recommendations on vehicle repair orders, so seeing the last few invoices may clue you in to repairs needed in the near future.
If the seller can’t present you with the proper documentation, it may mean that the regularly recommended services such as fluid changes, tire rotations, etc were carried out infrequently or completely neglected. It may also mean that they’re trying to hide major repairs. Getting a certified inspection completed will help to paint a more clear picture of what may be needed now or in the near future.
How Has the Car Been Maintained?
Has the Car Been in Any Accidents?
What is the Car’s Ownership History?
Can I See the Title?
This is especially important if you’re dealing with a private seller. Always make sure they can present you with a clean title of ownership that’s free of any loans or liens.
Never buy a car without a clean title. It could mean that someone else may have ownership rights to it and may try to take the vehicle back after you’ve purchased it — including the seller’s bank if they have an outstanding loan on the car. So, always ask to see the title and the registration while you’re at it!
Can I Have a Mechanic Inspect the Car?
Having an independent mechanical inspection completed can save you a major headache down the road. However, you should only ask this question if you’re serious about buying the car since mechanics don’t do inspections for free.
A seller with nothing to hide shouldn’t have an issue with this. Don’t be afraid to ask for this if you’re shopping at a car dealership either. The dealer’s own technicians could have missed a defect that an independent mechanic finds.
Is There Any Reason I Shouldn’t Drive this Car Across the Country Tomorrow?
Buying a used car in 2023 may take a lot of effort, but it doesn’t have to be intimidating. As long as you know what you want and what’s reasonably acceptable from a used car — as well as the right questions to ask — you can end up with a great car that’ll enjoy for years to come. This is especially true if you buy a used car with Motobyo; we’ve got all the tools and resources you need to find the perfect used car for you!