Top Tips for Buying a Used Car


If you’ve been thinking about buying a new vehicle but can’t afford the “new” price tag that comes with it, buying a previously owned vehicle is the next best thing. Sometimes, it’s not even a replacement vehicle that you’re on the hunt for. Sometimes, you buy a used car because it’s a first-time vehicle for your teenage son or daughter. It’s almost a rite of passage to learn to drive on an older vehicle than a brand-new one.

Other times, you need a commuter car that’s better on gas than your pickup truck. However, buying a completely new vehicle can kind of negate the purpose of saving money on gas.

That’s why buying a used car can essentially be a more practical option for a lot of people in a lot of ways. With our free tip guide to buying used cars featured in this blog, it will be easier to make the right choices for the right reasons. It will also help ensure you’re getting the most for your money, and not getting hustled by a car seller.

A Guide to Buying Used Vehicles

Since 1998, Cash For Cars BC has been the leading used car buyer in all of Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley. That’s why when we offer free advice, like how to buy smart when purchasing a used vehicle, you can have peace of mind knowing that the information we provide is 100% on the up and up. Not only that, it comes from years of experience, and years of our own mistakes along the way.

1.Do Your Homework

Like any kind of investment, even the purchase of a used vehicle, you’ll want to do your homework before making a final decision on it. Did you know that 47% of people regret their vehicle purchase after making it? That’s because they didn’t do their homework first.

Aside from the type of seating and cargo space you need, you also need to consider what you’ll be using the vehicle for. If you spend a lot of time backwoods camping, you’ll want a 4×4. If you spend most of your time on the road in the city, you may want to consider a hybrid.

In addition to this, you’ll want to research the make and model of the vehicle you’re deciding on. Take a few moments to look up reviews, common issues with the vehicle itself, and overall gas mileage and functionality.

2.Watch for Red Flags

You might be thinking, “obviously”. However, many people miss really obvious red flags when making a vehicle purchase. Especially when it comes to buying a used vehicle. Used vehicles are notorious for having high mileage that’s been dialed back. They’re also known for being involved in major accidents and having cosmetic evidence of that hidden.


Before buying any used vehicle, do yourself a favour and get a Carfax done. It will tell you if it’s ever been in an accident, which is critical information. Furthermore, you’ll want to make sure that the vehicle is fully paid for. Meaning, there isn’t a lien on it for any reason. Buying a car that you can’t resell later is the last thing you want to face. Simply doing your homework will save you a major headache later.

3.Get a Vehicle Inspection

You may think this is a bit excessive when you’re buying a used car but trust us. Your wallet will thank you later. Getting a vehicle inspection done is one of the best things you can do for yourself, and for the vehicle you’re potentially buying.

Private companies like BCAA offer vehicle inspections at low cost. Getting one will ensure that any problems that are on the horizon with the vehicle are disclosed before you purchase it. The inspector will check thoroughly for things like excessive wear and tears on various engine components. Plus, they will check the transmission, all the hoses, and even things like tire wear. You’ll get a complete run-down by a professional so that you’ll know if it’s worth buying or not.

4.Verifying if the Seller is Trustworthy

This one can be a bit tricky. However, it is well worth it to ask the right questions, and a lot of them. A shady seller may get on the defensive when you’re asking a lot of questions. They may also show hesitation when answering some of your questions. So, if they do, go with your gut and maybe consider purchasing a used vehicle elsewhere.

Here are some suggested questions you may want to ask a seller before allowing any money to exchange hands.

  • How long have you owned the vehicle?
  • Are you the only owner?
  • Why are you selling the vehicle?
  • Has it ever been in ANY kind of accident? (Even a fender bender is important information)
  • What kind of driving was done on it? OR What did you use the vehicle for primarily?
  • Is the mileage accurate?
  • If you are the second owner, what was the mileage when you bought it?
  • Can I get all of this in writing?

That last question is crucial because if someone isn’t 100% on the up and up, you can pretty much guarantee that they won’t want to give you the answers they’ve given you on paper. If someone, however, is being truthful, they won’t have an issue providing you with written documentation of what you talked about before signing over their vehicle to you.

5.Trust Your Instinct

There’s always that gut feeling that you feel when you’re making a decision that you doesn’t feel isn’t 100% right. The same goes with buying a used car. If you’re getting the feeling that something isn’t quite jiving right with the information you’ve been given, take a pass on it. Don’t invest money in anything that doesn’t leave you feeling better afterwards. If you’ve got that sick feeling after making a purchase, or just before you’re about to, it probably isn’t the right one for you.


For one reason or another, you should reconsider your vehicle purchase if it just isn’t sitting right with you. Especially if you’re buying a used car from a dealership. Their salesmen are trained professionals, and they work on commission. They will do anything to get a sale, even conceal important information about the car they’re selling.

Similarly, they’ll try to get the most cash for the sale, which means you could be paying way more than you should be. If a dealership gives you a price on a used car, take a day to think about it and research what others are selling the same car for.

6.Make Sure the Paperwork is Completed Properly


So, you’ve decided on the car you want to buy. You’ve handed over the cash to the seller. You’ve done the Carfax and had it inspected. The last thing you’ll want to do is to ensure the paperwork is filled out correctly. Bring two sets of ICBC transfer papers with you to any vehicle purchase appointments. Dealerships will usually have an on-site insurance broker to handle the transfer of ownership and insurance. However, if you’re buying privately, you’ll want to have everything you need with you on hand.

Make sure that the name on the registration is the same name that the seller has put down on the transfer papers. Also, check their ID to make sure that they are who they say they are. There’s nothing worse than buying a car from someone who has no legal rights to sell it. Also, get the vehicle transferred over into your name right away. Don’t wait a few days to get it done, even if you don’t plan on insuring it immediately.

Buying a Used Car in Metro Vancouver or the Fraser Valley?

Our name is Cash For Cars BC, but that’s not all we do. While our focus is on buying used cars, we also happen to have vehicles for sale as well. We just don’t advertise it because our primary focus in everything we do is to buy used cars for the MOST cash.


You don’t get to be the #1 used vehicle buying business in all of the Lower Mainland by only simply buying cars. Anything to do with buying and selling a car is our area of expertise.

So, you can feel at ease knowing that if you buy a car from us, you’re getting a quality vehicle with all the information disclosed up front.

Plus, because we aren’t a dealership (who’s focus is on selling cars) there is absolutely no sales pressure. This leaves you the breathing space you need to think over your purchase and make it for the right reason.

Selling a Car the Lower Mainland Made Easy

We are the used vehicle buying experts in the car buying industry. We’ve been buying vehicles since 1998, and we are the top paying cash for cars buyer in the province. If you have a used car, truck, SUV, or van that you want to sell for the MOST cash, you want Cash For Cars BC.

We pay the MOST cash for used vehicles in Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, and the Island. We also schedule in-person vehicle appraisals around your schedule, and we offer appointments 7 days a week. We even work most statutory holidays too! Which makes selling a car for cash that much easier.

Plus, we come to you. You don’t have to worry about bringing your vehicle anywhere because our used car buyers come to your home, work, or anywhere else your vehicle is kept. As long as your vehicle is located in one of our service areas, we’ll come view it and make you a cash offer right on the spot if we like what we see.

Contact Our Team of Used Car Buyers Today

All it takes is a simple call or text to get the ball rolling. We are always on the hunt for used vehicles of every make and model. Whatever year, whatever condition. You might think it’s not worth much, but after a discussion with one of our dedicated and friendly used vehicle buyers and you might be surprised how much we’ll pay.

Call, text, or email us today to get a free quote on what your car, truck, SUV, van, or motorcycle could be worth! (778) 838-5152

By Published On: February 19th, 2023Categories: Blog

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About the Author: cashforcars

Cash For Cars BC is a Vancouver based used car and truck buying service. We make the process easy to sell your vehicle. We come to you and we do all the paperwork. We always offer the most cash and pay on the spot. GIve us a call, text or email today to see how we can help you sell your car in Vancouver for the most possible money.