Buying a used car is the best option when funds are low and the need for personal transportation is high. You may be excited about the purchase, but you should not be so thrilled that you forget to ask the seller these eight questions.
- Where are the service records?
It is not always possible to have a paper trail as a testament to how well a vehicle was maintained when you buy from a private owner. A dealer, regardless of how large or small, should have service records on hand to show you whether the car is a true gem or unfortunate lemon.
- How was the vehicle maintained?
Cars that were taken to the dealer for major repairs sometimes give more years of life than those maintained by independent mechanics. In either case, there should be a clear pattern of care, whether private or mainstream, that speaks to the seller’s overall concern for the upkeep of the car.
- Do features work as they should?
Older cars may have a few features that no longer work properly. All major gauges (i.e., the speedometer, and gas gauge) should be in working order.
- Has the vehicle been in any accidents?
An accident is not necessarily a deal-breaker. An owner concealing such occurrence should, however, raise eyebrows.
- What is the car’s ownership history?
Many buyers prefer a vehicle that has not been passed around too often. It is usually ideal to purchase a used car from its original owner. If such is not possible, however, then being the second or third owner of a car works fine as well.
- Can you drive the car cross country today?
The question sounds a bit odd, but there is validity in such inquiry. You should be able to drive a vehicle that you purchase from one side of the nation to the next if the previous owner says that the automobile is in excellent condition; otherwise, the asking price needs to be lowered.
- Why is the price so high?
The purpose of this inquiry is not to finagle for a better deal. You are asking this question to understand why the owner decided on the asking price.
- Why is the car being sold?
You could have a case of the driver having an extra car around the garage that he can no longer maintain. A decision to sell a car could also be deeper. Understanding why the previous car owner wants to sell in the first place could help you decide whether or not the vehicle is right for your situation.