10 Things to Look for When Buying a Used Car | Penney Auto Body & Glass Vancouver

10 Things to Look for When Buying a Used Car | Penney Auto Body & Glass Vancouver

With the quick depreciation rate of new vehicles, many consumers turn to used cars to purchase instead. But buyers still need to be smart in their choices.

Used cars sold with hidden damage may become costly for the unsuspecting buyer. To avoid buying a damaged car, here’s a list of 10 ways to help check the condition and value before buying a used car.

1. Closely and Carefully at the Exterior and Interior
Both the inside and outside condition of the car can play a large role in the value. Make sure to check the upholstery carefully, along with any repairs to the outside of the car. Make sure the exterior was repaired professionally and that the results are barely visible to the eye. Always open the hood and take a good look at the parts. Dirty and rusted parts can be a strong indication that you may have problems in the future.

2. Do a Test Drive
It’s always best to take the car on a test drive on both local roads and highways. In different conditions, you can get a good feel for how the car performs. In the city, you’ll get an idea on the condition of the brakes with stop-and-go driving. With a drive on the highway, you can see if the engine runs smoothly or not. Keep your eyes and ears open. Make sure to note any unusual engine or brake noises, and whether or not all of the parts in the car are working properly.

3. Perform a Leak Test
Any car that is leaking fluids is generally a red flag. Take a moment to park in a clean area on the road, and let the car run for at least 30 seconds. Then move the car and inspect for any leaking substances. Black fluid might be an indicator of leaking oil, green fluid may indicate a leak in anti-freeze and pink fluid may indicate a leak in the transmission.

4. Have a Mechanic Inspect It
Have a mechanic inspect your used car. If you don't it may lead to an expensive repair down the road. The cost to have a professional inspect your car properly can be well worth the price.

5. Read Reviews and Do Your Research
Do a bit of research work on the make and model to help uncover possible defects or even common problems of the car. You can easily do this by researching online.

6. Determine a Fair Purchase Price
To help ensure you are being charged a fair price, make sure to compare prices for the same make, model and year with several sources to determine a ballpark figure.

7. Decode the VIN
Checking a VIN decoder chart is a quick way to see if a used car’s VIN information matches with what’s in the vehicle title and records. VIN cloning can happend and it's a scam where sellers replace the VIN of a stolen car with one that is legally registered.

8. Review the Vehicle History Report
A vehicle history report can help you see title problems, ownership history, service points and previous accidents. These reports may be available from dealers or ordered online.

9. Look at Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles
Purchasing a certified pre-owned car can be a wise choice because it usually offers the buyer an extra level of quality assurance. Many local car dealers offer these vehicles with warranties that extend beyond the initial new coverage.

10. Take Your Time
Never rush into buying a used car. Take the time to do thorough research and negotiate the right price is one of the ways you can help ensure you’re getting a good deal on a vehicle.

Penney Auto Body & Glass, Vancouver’s Auto Body Collision Repair Shop, is an expert in paint and body repair and cares about the welfare of your car and your personal safety. If you get involved in an automotive accident or you're a victim of a vehicle break-in or theft be sure to contact Penney Auto Body for your auto body, collision repair, and car painting services.


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