If buying a used car instead of a brand new automobile is on your radar, will you come away with the right one?
Buying a used vehicle can be tricky for some different reasons.
First, you have to trust that the person selling it is being honest with you. In the event they are not, you could end up with a lemon.
Second, are you prepared to spend money on repairs and more down the road?
Although new cars can have their share of problems too, older ones tend to break down over time. This can be due to their age, but also how the previous owner or owners was on them.
With this in mind, would you buy a car from that person?
Do Your Homework So You Know What You Are Getting
Although you may not be 100 percent sure you are driving off with a winner, keep a few pointers in mind:
- Who is the owner? – Unless buying from an outside family member or friend, there’s a good chance you do not know the owner of the vehicle. As such, you do not know if you can trust them or not. If you lookup a license plate online, you can learn a lot of info about not only who owns the vehicle, but the vehicle.
- What shape is the vehicle in? – Given buying a vehicle is a big-ticket item, do your best to drive away with something that is not going to let you down. The last thing you want is a vehicle that eats away at your wallet or purse for years to come. As part of that license plate search, you can learn more about the vehicle. What if it was in a serious accident? Can you trust that the owner made the needed repairs? If the vehicle has a lot of miles on it, is that mileage in fact correct? Unfortunately, some vehicle owners scale back the mileage before selling. They do this even though it is against the law. Knowing as much about the condition of a vehicle before buying is crucial, so do your homework.
- What plans do you have for the vehicle? – How you plan to use the vehicle also enters into the equation. As an example, are you going to be driving it long distances to and from work? If so, can you expect it to hold up over time? Will your teen be the primary driver? Although not all teenagers are like this, some will all but run a vehicle into the ground. Last, is the vehicle going to have exposure to the elements? If you live in an area that deals with brutal winners, it could take a toll on the vehicle if it is not in a garage when not in use.
- Will a mechanic see it before buying? – Last, are you planning on having a mechanic of your choice see the vehicle before you buy it? Not doing so can prove to be a big risk on your part. If the current owner balks at such a request, your best bet is to go elsewhere for a vehicle.
In deciding if you would buy a car from someone, research on a vehicle and owner are your best bets to avoid trouble.