Take care when buying a used car

When buying a used car, whether it’s from a dealership or sold by the owner, taking some precautions can help you avoid potential trouble with the vehicle. Buying a new car can be stressful at best and no more so when buying a previously owned vehicle. Much like buying a house, knowing the history can make a huge difference when deciding which car to buy.

Dealerships

used carGetting a used car from a dealership is often considered a safer bet compared to other options but as the phrase goes “Buyer beware.” While most dealerships generally have a level of quality that they hold too but that doesn’t mean every one of them does. One thing to keep in mind with dealerships is that most of the salesmen work on commission. This means that they are very inclined to try and get you to buy a car from them. Most salesmen will offer a number of incentives and deals for buying a car from them while others will promise extra features and tack on the costs for them during the signing. Additionally many salesmen employ a number of manipulative tactics to boost the price of the car before signing.

Previous owners

Buying a car from a previous owner has its own advantages and disadvantages as well. For instance, the car could need major repairs increasing the overall cost of purchasing the car. Like the car salesmen mentioned above, most owners are honest and forthcoming with information but that doesn’t mean all of them will be. One of the best ways to avoid a potential scam is to inspect the car both yourself and have a licensed and reputable mechanic check it out first. This way you get a firsthand knowledge of the condition of the car and how honest the seller is. This may be hard to do if purchasing a car though an online posting, but most online sellers frequently answer questions and post multiple pictures along with all relevant information.

Conclusion

Getting a used car is often a far cheaper and easier way to get a car. Many states have specific laws regarding the fraudulent selling of a used car but this doesn’t mean that are completely safe. Whether you buy from a dealership or from a private owner, know exactly what you are purchasing. Some key items to note are:

  • Total mileage
  • Any major accidents and/or insurance claims made on the car
  • Who was driving it prior
  • How many owners has it had
  • What is the overall physical condition of the car
  • If purchasing from a dealership what warranty’s or extra incentives do they offer for purchasing a car

By doing your homework you can avoid going home with a junker instead of the car you need.