Buying Used Cars: A Checklist

More and more people are buying used cars while the number of customers purchasing new ones is decreasing. This has been the most recently observed trend in the industry, and it is believed to have been caused by the swelling prices of automobiles.

Besides the financial perks of getting yourself a secondhand car, many have reported the benefits of owning a used car that cannot suffer from extreme depreciation, cannot possibly malfunction due to unforeseen issues, and the privileges of lower insurance rates.

So if you are planning to buy your first secondhand car, and have your eyes on one already, use this checklist to guide you in making the best decision.

Test drive

More often than not, used car dealerships in Utah, Nevada, Colorado, or any state will let you take your prospective car out on a test drive. The idea of driving a vehicle that would soon be yours can be fascinating, but do not let the rush block your judgment. Ask yourself these questions while your hands are on the wheel:

  1. Brakes
  • Are they working properly?
  • Do they make grinding noises when I step on the brakes?
  1. Steering wheel
  • Is the steering wheel aligned with the wheels?
  • Do I feel resistance when I steer the wheel?
  • Does the wheel vibrate or unusually shake when I reach a certain speed?
  1. Gears
  • Is the transition in shifting gear smooth?
  1. Engine
  • Does the engine make strange sounds when I switch it on and off?

Visual inspection

Before or after your test drive, you should carefully inspect the car with a keen eye. The appearance of a car says a lot about its past usage and potentially leads you to see hidden damages. Here are the most important things you should look at:

  1. Do warning signals still light up? Check every button to make sure that they do. While doing so, you might also want to check the hazard lights.
  2. Windshield wipers and windows. If you went to your local car dealership on a sunny day, you might forget to check the windshield wipers. Do not. Check if the button that activates these is working correctly. Also, check if power windows are still functional.
  3. Air conditioner and heater. A car without a functional ventilation system raises red flags unless you wish to negotiate a lower price with the dealer.
  4. Tires should be worn evenly. If not, it means that some wheels might have been replaced for worse used ones. In relation to this, check for a spare tire and a functional jack. These should come with the used car.
  5. Car alarm system. If this is not working correctly, then you are sacrificing your safety.
  6. Switch on the tail lights and directional lights, brights, and headlights. Also, check interior car lights.
  7. Scratches or dents. These are signs of severe physical damage to a car that can make or break your deal.

Being a wise buyer

At a time when prices are skyrocketing at unpredictable rates, it pays to make informed decisions when buying anything—especially big purchases like a used car. With this checklist and a hefty amount of research, you can land a deal stress-free without financial fiasco.

Image: Pixabay.com

Source: https://www.wsj.com/articles/used-car-sales-boom-as-new-cars-get-too-pricey-for-many-1537700401