Buying a Used Vehicle

Articles

5 Things to Consider When Buying a Used Vehicle

Purchasing a used vehicle can provide great value for your money. Instead of buying something that will depreciate as soon as you drive off the lot, you buy something that will hold its value both now and for years to come. You can easily buy a used luxury vehicle for added comfort and safety. Furthermore, you have a good chance of finding something from a recent model year that comes with most or all of the features that you are looking for. What should you consider choosing a used vehicle to purchase?

Has the Car Been Properly Maintained?

Performing maintenance on a vehicle as specified by the owners manual can keep a car running for up to 100,000 miles or more. Rotating the tires, changing the oil and having the brakes serviced at regular intervals becomes even more important as the car gets older. Typically, a dealer will perform a full inspection before you complete a purchase, but you should have it checked out by a mechanic and ask for documentation that the car has been kept in good condition if you buy from a private party.

Is There a Warranty Remaining?

The original manufacturers warranty remains in effect regardless of who owns the car. This means that you will get the balance of any warranty when you purchase the car whether you are the first, second or third owner. Most new car warranties are good for three or five years, which means that you may not have a warranty if the car is older than that. However, you could purchase an extended warranty or service agreement if you need the car to run for many years to come. If you are curious as to whether there is a warranty or not, you can check the vehicle history to see when it was manufactured.

Is the Vehicle Part of the Current Generation?

Automakers will update their vehicles from time to time in an effort to make them more attractive to buyers. However, if you have a car that is from a previous generation, it won’t be worth as much when you attempt to resell it. While this shouldn’t be your main concern, it could be something to take into account if you are trying to decide between a car from the 2014 model year or the 2015 model year. These small details are why you need to research each car that you are interested in before heading to the dealership or negotiating a deal with a private party.

Should You Buy From a Dealer or Private Party?

If you are in the market for a used vehicle, your two choices are to buy from a dealer or buy from a private party. When you buy from a dealer, you know that you are getting something that has been inspected and repaired prior to purchase. While you may pay more, you also may be entitled to a warranty and entitled to free or discounted maintenance at the dealer’s service center.

You will also be able to talk to someone who understands which cars meet the criteria you establish when buying a vehicle. The biggest advantage of buying from a private party is that you will pay less for the vehicle of your choice. However, you may not know how well the car has been treated, and there may be no warranty or other any guarantee if you don’t like the car.

When you buy from a dealer, that dealer may have to conform with lemon laws and other consumer protections that are put in place. Therefore, you may get three days or 300 miles to return the vehicle with no questions asked. When you acquire your vehicle from a private owner, the sale is considered final even if you run into problems after you pay for it.

Ensure the Title Is Valid and Clear

Before you can own the car, you will need to title and register it in your name. If there is a lien on the title or any other issue related to it, you may not be able to put the car in your name and drive it legally. You also won’t be able to get it insured or have the right to sell it or trade it in when you are through with it.

Buying a used vehicle can save you money while still allowing you to buy the car that you want. As long as you do proper research and investigate a vehicle’s maintenance records, you can get something that is affordable, safe and reliable.

Scroll to top