It can be intimidating to go to used car dealers looking for the vehicle you need. But with the proper knowledge of what to look for, you can go with the confidence to get exactly what you want. Before heading out, you’ll need to look into what’s available. At a dealership, test out a few key features of any vehicle you’re interested in to ensure its quality. Finally, when you think you’ve found the perfect fit, take it out for a test drive.
Do the Research
Whatever you do, don’t go to used car dealers with no idea what they have or what you want. Most dealerships have a website you can comb through so that you have some idea of what to expect when you go there. When online, be sure to familiarize yourself with not only what is available but also with what features you find most desirable. Some features to keep note of are the vehicles’ model, price range, and condition.
It may seem like a lot of effort, but it will be worth it: when you arrive at dealerships, you’ll already have a mental repository of what you’re looking for in a vehicle. You will have an idea of reasonable price ranges given a vehicle’s model and condition. You can tell dealers exactly what you’re looking for, saving a lot of time and hassle.
Know What to Look For
If you think you have found the vehicle for you, it is important that you know how to inspect it for possible damage while still at the dealership. Even if you don’t know much about cars, there are a few key things you ought to look at:
The first is the front fender. Look at the trim lines to make sure they are straight. Check for any offset doors or fenders, as these could indicate frame damage.
Next, check the spots in the engine bay where the metal struts come together to make sure they are straight and have had no recent welding done to them. Look for rust, especially under the car or in the wheel wells. Rust can sometimes be dealt with, but it’s better not to have to deal with it at all.
Be sure to check the fluids, especially brake fluid. When you pull the dipstick out, the fluid should be clear or yellowish. If it’s dark, you may have to bleed the brake system, which costs time and money.
Next, check the vehicle’s oil. If the oil is thick-like it’s almost more solid than liquid-that could indicate a blown head gasket, which, again, could be costly to repair.
Finally, take a look inside the vehicle for any stains or cigarette burns on the seats.
Take It for a Test Drive
When you have found the vehicle you think you want, get it off the used car dealer’s lot and see what it’s like on the road. If possible, try to get it on the highway: the faster, the better. You want to make sure the vehicle in question can handle high speeds, turns, and braking. If, for instance, you get it on the highway, and it starts shaking, that could indicate bad alignment.
You don’t want to be too rough on a test drive (you could get sued if something happens along the way) but don’t be too gentle either. You want to know you’re getting an automobile that can handle itself.
Looking for a used car doesn’t have to be a hassle. Used car dealers can help you navigate dealerships once you’re there, but it’s important to know what you’re looking for and what to expect before going in. That way, you can ensure that you are getting the best possible deal on a good quality vehicle.