Buying a used car can be tricky. Just because your budget doesn’t allow you to purchase a brand-new one doesn’t mean you should settle for less! While you have to look out for a couple of things, you mustn’t rush the process. In this blog post, we’ll go over six of the most commonly overlooked aspects of used cars to help ensure that you get what you paid for!
1. Rust or Paint Damage
Rust tells a lot about a vehicle’s age and how the previous owner took care of it. As paint fades, it can reveal rust underneath the surface. Seeing small patches of rust isn’t entirely a deal-breaker. But if it covers most of the vehicle’s essential parts, you might be buying something that could fall apart soon.
Rust can indicate that the car has been sitting outside and exposed to the weather for a long time. This also means you would be expecting future repairs because once it starts, it will inevitably spread throughout the vehicle’s undercarriage. As a result, you might have to spend more on repairs.
Steer clear of cars with rust!
2. Car Lights and Bulbs
It is essential to inspect the vehicle’s lights before you buy it. You don’t want to have a broken headlight when driving through the night. This step is one of the most straightforward checks that you can perform. Turn on the car and observe the headlights. They should be bright and even on both sides. A dim light indicates that it needs a replacement soon enough. It would be better if you can do this inside a garage with the lights off. Another thing, make sure that the signal bulbs and brake lights are not flickering.
Upholstery determines the quality of your driving experience. Take a look at the condition of the fabric or leather in the front and back seats. Check for any visible signs of stains, watermarks, or tears. Well, you don’t necessarily have to call off the deal after seeing a mark or two. Remember that you’re buying a used vehicle. Of course, it’s going to have wear and tear! In the end, it all comes down to how many compromises you’re willing to make. Just remember that repairing the upholstery can also get pricey.
4. Interior Electronics
Ask yourself. Are you willing to purchase a car that has a broken radio or an AC system that doesn’t function properly? If yes, then you can skip this step. If not, then the car’s electronic system is worth taking a look at. Check the car’s control panels and instrument panel. Make sure that they’re not loose or falling off. Press some buttons and see if they’re working. Remember that just like upholstery, broken electronics will be expensive to repair.
Don’t be afraid to ask your mechanic to look under the hood.
Mileage is usually one of the most significant considerations when buying a used car. It’s easy to think that a car with low mileage is a steal. Well, it’s not wrong. However, it can also mean that the vehicle hasn’t been out on the road a lot. Not using a car often causes its plastic and rubber parts to wear out.
Moreover, rust can also take over. You wouldn’t want to go for a worn-down vehicle with lots of mileage. Who knows when it will break down soon? That’s why it’s worth checking out the odometer and ensure that it matches up with how many miles you’re willing to put on your vehicle in one year or less.
6. Test Drive
Test driving a car before buying it is the most critical inspection of all. It’s not often an overlooked step, but its importance is often underestimated. Most people purchase as long as the vehicle runs fine after one test run. But if you don’t want to regret your purchase, it’s best to ensure that you’re compatible with the vehicle. Does it feel smooth when you make a turn? Do the brakes work well? Do you feel comfortable when driving? All these small things add up to your driving experience.
Check that the car handles smoothly and all of its knobs turn correctly. It also helps if you’re able to see how it operates at different speeds and around corners. A thorough test drive with a critical eye will help give you a better idea of whether or not this is a good deal for your money.
Questions to Ask the Seller
More than a physical inspection, it’s also crucial that you learn more about the vehicle before buying it. Caravan Auto Transport, a network of vetted car shipping companies, shares some questions you should ask the car seller to give you an idea:
- How do you maintain the car?
- Have you been in an accident with it?
- Is there any mechanical issue I should be aware of?
- Are you the first owner?
- Can I have a mechanic inspect it?
On top of these, you should also ask for necessary documents such as vehicle ownership and registration. If everything goes smoothly, then you shouldn’t have any second thoughts about buying the car. Enjoy!