Looking at used cars? You have a lot of options. To simplify, consider how much you want to spend, and then decide which type vehicle within your price range best suits your preferences.
Now that you’ve got your numbers and preferences, where do you look? Used cars are all over the internet, but you might not want to buy a vehicle that you haven’t seen in person. There’s something special about carefully inspecting a vehicle yourself, taking a test drive, and putting in some time evaluating how you’d feel about owning the vehicle and driving it every day. Furthermore, camera angles can do a lot to hide defects. If you’re looking online, limit your search radius to sellers that you can easily visit in person.
Once you’ve located the vehicle you want, get in touch with the seller. It’s easy enough to just send an email, but if there’s a phone number listed, calling can lead to a faster response time. If you are buying from a dealership, make an appointment to see the vehicle in person. Sure, you could ask your questions over the phone, but doing it in person indicates to the seller that you’re more serious about buying. Plus, if there is any bargaining to be done with the seller, it’s always best to talk in person.
When you go to look in person, check out what kind of tires are on the vehicle. If you see good quality, name-brand tires, that’s a good indication that the previous owner has taken care of the car. Tires are the easiest thing to skimp on, but one of the most important purchases for any vehicle.
If you’re buying a vehicle that’s seen a lot of winter weather, look at its underside for rust. Road salt can cause rust if it’s not rinsed off promptly after driving, and rust repairs can be costly in the long term. Look for rust under the paint, too-it looks like something trying to bubble up from underneath the surface.
Are you concerned that the vehicle may have been in a collision? Put a small magnet in a sock and run it across the body panels. If the magnet sticks, there’s no body filler underneath the paint. This is an important thing to be aware of when looking at used cars.