Used Car Buying Tips
Our business is built on buying used cars and we have become experts in assessing the value and condition of vehicles before purchase. In this article we want to share with you our best used car buying tips.
The Current Used Car Market
If you’re considering buying a new vehicle, or at least a “new to you” vehicle, used is an excellent idea in today’s market. Since the start of the pandemic, the cost of new vehicles has been going up and up due to staff shortage, supply shortage, and shipping and manufacturing cost inflation.
By buying a used car, you not only save a bunch of money up front, you also help to circumvent the first-year depreciation that slaps us all right across the face when we buy brand new off the lot vehicles. Nothing hurts more than shelling out a lot of money in monthly payments, finance costs, and interest, only to find that your investment has already lost a ton of value less than 12 months in. Here is our best advice on how to select a great used car, and to get more bang for your buck.
The first thing anyone looks at when buying a used car is of course, the mileage. How much has this car already been driven? Nothing affects the price of a used car like high mileage, because high mileage equals future repairs, extra maintenance, and coming attractions like transmission issues, leaks, and poor gas mileage. Not only do you want to find out what the mileage is, you’ll also want to inquire about what kind of driving the vehicle was used for. City driving has a very different effect on the engine than highway driving, and likewise if it’s a 4×4 that’s been driven hard out in the bush.
2. Tire Condition
The condition of the tires on any vehicle you are buying matters. You don’t want to be paying full price for a vehicle that needs new tires. If you can get ahold of a penny, grab it and bring it along with you to any used vehicle you are going to view. Put it between the treads, and if you can see the top of the Queen’s head, the treat is too low. Either get the seller to adjust the price, or move on to a better deal that’s sitting on better tires.
3. Choose a Reputable Used Car Buyer & Seller
When it comes to buying a vehicle that is used, it’s always better to go with someone who has an established reputation for selling vehicles that don’t break down right away. Your best bet is to go with a professional used car buyer AND seller because a company who not only sells cars, but buys them too, will have a better selection of vehicles in better condition, because they have higher standards before they purchase a used vehicle themselves. That’s why Cash for Cars-BC is a great choice when it comes to selling your used vehicle. We are professional, licensed, have a great reputation, and NOBODY pays more for used cars.
4. Thoroughly Check the Interior’s Condition
A good way to tell if a car has had any kind of water damage or interior leaks is to look at the flooring. If there are stains, especially large ones near doors or windows, or if there is any kind of unusual musty or mildewy odor, take a pass on buying it. Often times older vehicles have
leaks in their weather stripping, creating condensation inside the vehicle, as well as full on leaks. Avoid buying a potentially moldy vehicle by checking the carpet, and not just where it’s easily visible, but under the seats as well.
5. Look Under the Hood
This one really goes without saying, and yet many of us forget to check out what’s going on under the hood. Look to see the condition of the engine. Is it covered with dirt? Is it full of leaves and debris? This could mean it’s been sitting for a while, or spent the better part of its life parked outside. Do the hoses look worn? Does it have oil? If so, what colour is it? The oil could be a key indicator of how often the vehicle was even maintained.
6. Take a Test Drive
If you don’t buy a brand-new vehicle without taking it for a test drive off the lot, why would you buy a used car without taking it for a drive first? You wouldn’t. So, when you’re out for a test drive of a used car, check to see if the vehicle pulls to one side or another to confirm if it’s had an alignment. Also, along the way, open the window a bit and listen for any unusual sounds as your driving, especially when you’re braking. Those are key indicators of repairs yet to come. You’ll also want to take notice that the signals are working correctly, all the radio components are operational, and that the tachometer, gas tank gauge, thermostat gauge, and everything else is working correctly.
It’s easy to look at this list and think “of course you need to check those things before you buy a used car”, but once you’re there with a potential used car purchase in front of you, it’s easy to forget. So, feel free to print this list out and take it with you before you go used car shopping. You never know how much money you could lose by forgetting just one of these important key facts.