What to Watch Out for When Buying a Pre-Owned Car



Buying a pre-owned vehicle is a great way to save money, but there are also risks that come along with owning a used car. Making yourself aware of these risks and finding ways to avoid them can save you a lot of money on repairs and other maintenance work that you weren’t expecting to have to pay. Here are a few things to watch out for when buying a pre-owned car.

Review the Vehicle’s History

There are websites that can tell you about the history of any used vehicle that you’re thinking of purchasing. You can review the accident history of a particular vehicle. Any of these sites will also let you know if a car has a salvage title, which is given by insurance companies for vehicles that are considered to be total losses. Another thing that you’ll see on a vehicle history report is the odometer reading, and you can use this information to determine if the odometer on a car has been rolled back illegally.

Schedule an Inspection


The seller of the pre-owned vehicle should authorize you to take it to a mechanic who isn’t affiliated with the seller to have it inspected. The mechanic can check for damage that isn’t always obvious to untrained eyes or has attempted to be hidden by a dishonest seller. From the brakes and transmission to the exhaust and tires, all areas of a vehicle can receive a thorough inspection. Even though you might not want to pay the extra money, having a used vehicle checked over by a mechanic before buying it could end up saving you a lot of money.

Be Willing to Negotiate

Whether you’re checking out pre-owned Fords for sale or other types of used vehicles, you shouldn’t be afraid to negotiate with the seller to try to secure the lowest price possible. Even though you’re buying a used car instead of a new one, the seller should still be willing to negotiate with you to demonstrate good customer service. You might even have to bluff and tell the seller that you’re considering looking elsewhere if all else fails to lock in your preferred price. Remember that as the customer, you have value. You are going to be driving the car after the purchase, not the seller. Be willing to argue for a fair and honest price.

Check for Leaks

During your test drive, you can park the vehicle in an area where the road or parking lot is clean for a while to perform a leak test. Without turning off the engine, let the car sit for around 30 seconds and then move the vehicle a slight distance to see if you notice any spots on the pavement. Any type of leakage likely means that the vehicle needs repairs unless it’s condensation coming from the A/C.

Buying a used car doesn’t have to turn into a nightmare. As long as you remember to do the proper footwork before agreeing to a sale, you should have little trouble finding the pre-owned vehicle that’s right for you.


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