An automobile is a complicated machine, with a lot of interlocking systems. When buying a new one, you want to make sure all of those systems are working as intended—but of course, this can be overwhelming. Simply put, there’s a lot to think about, and a lot of boxes to check.
We’re here to help. Here’s a checklist we hope will be helpful—some of the most common questions to ask as you consider any used car purchase.
Ask These Questions When Buying a Used Vehicle
- Does the vehicle come with Four Wheel Drive—and if so, does it function the way it’s supposed to?
- Does the seller have a clean Carfax report/vehicle history to provide you?
- Does the seller also have the vehicle title on hand?
- Does the vehicle show any signs that it has ever been repainted—an indicator that it’s been in a collision?
- Can you smell cigarette smoke, or a generally musty odor, anywhere in the vehicle?
- Do the windows and locks all work smoothly?
- Do the lights work properly? (Make sure you walk around the vehicle to check every single light.)
- Does the stereo work properly?
- How many keys and/or remotes are included with the vehicle purchase? Do all of them work properly?
- Does the vehicle come with a spare tire?
- Does the gas cap fit properly on the vehicle?
- Do you see visible signs of rust or pitting along the body of the vehicle?
- Are there cracks or fissures present anywhere in the glass?
- Do the heating elements and defrosters work as they are supposed to?
- Is there oil in the engine? If there’s no oil, that’s a clear sign that the vehicle is not being taken care of.
- In what condition are the tires? Do they have sufficient pressure? Do you see any obvious fissures or holes?
- Are there any fluid leaks? Check under the vehicle after is has been parked in one place for a little while.
- Is there any sign of water damage in the vehicle—including in the carpets or upholstery, or a line of mud/sediment along the side of the vehicle?
- Does the engine turn without any issue?
- Are there any troublesome service lights illuminated on the dashboard, indicating the car needs some work?
Make a Smart Used Car Purchase
These questions provide a framework for thinking about your used car purchase. Of course, there is more to consider—but one way you can ensure a really smart purchase is by connecting with a reputable and trustworthy used car dealership in your area.
That’s something we can help you with. At Get My Auto, we are passionate about helping buyers find the best dealerships to meet their needs. Reach out to us today to begin your used car journey!