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Car-Hunting 101: Questions to ask when Buying a used Car

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Buying a used car is a big risk; you could end up with a deal of a lifetime or you could be duped, big time. A vehicle, especially a car, is a big investment and one that needs to really pay off and prove its worth because otherwise mobility will be a big issue for you.

With used cars, the market becomes less reliable and needs proper research and checking to be done by the buyer beforehand, which is what we’ll be taking a look at. Here are a few important questions to ask when buying a used car to ensure you get the best money can buy.

We’ve all heard of people getting cheated out of their hard-earned money, people parting ways with thousands of dollars at a time only to end up with a lemon (a car that’s not junk but isn’t worth its weight in metal either).

Due research and proper questioning prior to buying a used car can really go a long way in helping you steer clear of unscrupulous people looking to unload their liabilities.

This list of questions to ask when buying a used car can help you ascertain the hidden anomalies in the car at a first glance or any issues that any seller may be hiding. You can then decide, based on the response of the seller, whether the car is worth investing into or not.

Five Questions to ask when Buying a used Car

Here are the five questions to ask when buying a used car. Remember; these questions can help you determine whether the car is fit and the most important thing to look for in a vehicle: whether it’s an asset or a liability. You definitely want your car to be the former, not the latter. Click here to read more articles. 

The Reason for Selling the Car:

The first and foremost question should be ‘why are you selling your car?’. While this may seem pointless and banal (as most adverts now state ‘cash only’ or ‘exchange possible’), this simple and innocent question can return a pretty pivotal point that could be a deciding factor in buying a used car.

Responses vary wildly, but they can be divided into two groups; either for cash or another car. If its another car, this might be the first red flag of the whole deal. A person obviously buys a car based on their likes and dislikes, and if they are flipping the car for another make or model, we move on to the next question to ask when buying a used car.

How long has the Car been with the Owner:

The second question that follows close is how long the car has been with the current owner. This can give you a good idea on how the ownership of the car is; if they are looking to part ways with their vehicle after a short time (year or two), there is a good chance that prolonged ownership of this car might not be viable for you.

Un contraire, if the car has been with the same owner for more than five years, there is a good chance that the car is reliable and will act as an asset, not a liability.

Any Accidents the Vehicle Might’ve Been In:

The logical question to ask when buying a used car. Right off the bat, if the vehicle looks ‘slightly off’, you can always ask the seller if the car had been in an accident. If it has been, was it a major one or just a minor sideswipe that broke a fastener in the bumper and cracked an indicator lens.

Minor accidents don’t matter: every car, in its lifetime, goes through some scratches, dents and occasional light bumps. The thing to be wary of are major accidents, one that might have altered the car’s internals or suspension in any way.

No matter how much expertly it is repaired, there are always tell-tale signs of a major accident; so, if the seller suddenly gets uptight, its time to go hunt for weld marks or metal fatigue.

Any Built-in Problems or ‘Quirks’ the Car Might have:

When dealing with a manufactured product (unless you’re buying a Rolls-Royce or an S-Class), there will always be a risk of deviations in the process or a faulty component.

You can always ask the seller of the used car if the car has problems (mechanical, electrical) that you should be aware of. If the answer starts with ‘Well, there’s the…’, there is a good chance that an issue is at hand, which is a point that can be used during the negotiation phase.

Vehicle Service Reports and Title’s Availability:

These two documents are an imperative piece of paperwork that you should confirm and verify when buying a used car. The service reports can help you determine the costs to run the car and whether it is reliable or not and if the car’s title is at hand, it means that it is a legit vehicle and isn’t involved in a title loan or other arrangement. Other than that, you’re good to go.

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