7 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Used Car (And the Best Answers to Get)

Buying a Used Car

Are you looking to buy a used car?

A car can be a great investment if you live in the US among 95% of other households. As our cities continue to grow, owning a car is essential. However, many Americans hold off on getting a car due to potential years of debt.

The average cost of a brand new car in the US is $36 718, with 6% in interest. If you need a car, you may be more interested in buying a pre-owned car.

Here are some questions to ask before buying a used car. Follow this guide to discover some essential questions to ask a used car dealer.

  1. Why Are You Selling Your Car?

One of the first questions you should ask a seller when buying a used car is why they’re selling it. Pay attention to your car dealer while they answer these questions. Their attitude or mannerisms may determine if you’re buying the right car.

If they avoid the question or seem nervous while answering, the car might have an issue. If your car dealer doesn’t want to answer the question, it may be a problem they don’t know what to do about.

If they can’t give you a solid explanation or reason, we recommend trying your luck elsewhere. Your car dealer must be honest and upfront about their reasons for selling the car.

  1. Has the Car Been in an Accident or Disaster?

One of the most important questions to ask before buying a used car is the car’s history. Aside from mileage, ask if the car has been in any accidents. You may also ask if the car suffered damage from any natural disasters like hurricanes.

Cars that have serious damages from wrecks, floods, or fires may have a salvage title. This title indicates car problems and other problems.

Be aware of title washing. This occurs when a car owner registers their vehicle in another state to acquire a clean title. Even if the title is clean, be sure to ask questions and do some research.

  1. What’s the Maintenance History?

When buying a used car from a dealer, it’s crucial to ask about the car’s maintenance history. Learning the car’s maintenance history is a great way to know how previous owners cared for it. The best car service history is by a professional mechanic or dealership.

A mechanic who doesn’t have any affiliations with a garage may not have the best history. Buying a car is an expensive ordeal, so don’t be afraid to press for details. If an occasional oil change is the only maintenance history, it may not be a good car.

A neglected car will not be safe to drive. Select a vehicle with proper maintenance. This ensures that the car will operate well and won’t give you any safety issues.

  1. Can I Have My Mechanic Check the Car?

Always ask if you can have your mechanic check a car before purchase, whether new or used. The only right answer to this question is an immediate yes. A car dealer has nothing to hide if they have no problems with a mechanic checking the vehicle.

You should feel concerned if they try to convince you out of meeting your mechanic. Try to ask this question first. This allows you to prevent wasting time by doing test drives or reviewing records.

If your seller has issues with letting you take the car to a trusted mechanic, look elsewhere.

  1. Does it Have Any Special Features?

Ask if the car comes with any special features. Some modern car models have leather upholstery, Bluetooth, and touchscreen. Some models may even offer safety features like Collision Warning.

Knowing a potential car’s special features may help you get an idea of its price tag. However, some older cars may have broken features.

For some buyers, a malfunctioning CD player may not be a deal-breaker. However, other defects could lead to some annoyance. Weak air conditioning, broken speakers, or missing display pixels may lead you to think twice.

  1. Would You Drive This Car Across the Country?

A good way to get an idea about the car’s condition is if your seller would be willing to drive it cross-country. It may seem like an unexpected question, but you can get crucial answers from this. An evasive or hesitant answer could tell you there may be an issue with the car.

This question can throw off your seller and catch them off guard. If your seller refuses to answer this question, the car might have serious problems. Ask the seller if you can take the car on a test drive.

Some eager buyers may skip testing a car if they think the seller is offering a great deal. However, you must never buy a used car without taking it out for a drive. This gives you an opportunity to get a feel of the car.

Take your time while test-driving the vehicle. Check for other functions like the speakers and if the windows are in working order.

  1. Do You Have the Title?

The title contains the name of the owner of the car. When buying a pre-owned vehicle, you and your seller will sign it for a title transfer. Ensure that your seller paid off their car loan and is a legitimate owner.

Trust is important when buying a car, but you must also be smart when buying from strangers. Your seller should not feel aggravated when you ask for verification and documentation. If they’re quick to answer your questions, you can rest assured you’re getting a quality vehicle.

Remember These Questions to Ask Before Buying a Used Car

There you have it: seven questions to ask before buying a used car. Forgetting any essential information could result in a poor investment. From maintenance to special features, always make sure you’re getting a quality deal.

Thank you for reading our article! Learning how to choose the right car is only the first step to responsible car ownership. For more tips, check out our other blog posts about caring for your vehicle!