Good Morning Everyone,
Another rainy day here in Halifax! Today I wanted to share with you the top 10 questions that you should be asking before buying a used car. I took a lot of the points from this article as well as my own opinion and experience.
First of all don’t be intimidated when buying a used car from a used car dealer. Make sure you have done your homework ahead of time about the used car’s values and then consult these Top 10 Questions To Ask a Used Car Dealer.
1) If the car is certified, can I see the mechanic’s pre-certification inspection?
Every certified car has to go through an inspection before it can be certified. Ask to see that paperwork to find out what was fixed. It’s a good piece of paper to hold onto for future problems.
2) Who was the vehicle purchased from?
If it was a trade-in to that dealership, ask to see the maintenance records. Tell them they can black out the owner’s name and address. If it was bought at auction, make sure it is gone over with a fine-tooth comb by a mechanic who specializes in inspecting used cars.
3) What does certified mean and what is the difference when it isn’t?
Make sure there is a process involved to be certified
4) How long of a test drive can I take?
The used car market is somewhat cold. Take advantage of it. See if the dealer will let you take the car overnight for an extended test drive. Put it in writing that you won’t put more than 100 miles on the odometer, prove you have insurance, and you’ll bring it back with a full tank (if you leave with a full tank).
5) Is a CarProof report provided before purchase?
A reputable dealership will have no problem with this. A disreputable dealership might, or worse yet, might present a doctored report. Make sure the report’s vehicle identification number matches the VIN on the used car you’re looking at.
6) What is the dealership’s return policy?
A consumer friendly dealership will probably give you time to rethink the purchase and at least provide you equal value. No dealership is going to offer you cash back.
7) What is your cash price for this used car?
Cash is king, even at used car dealerships. Dealers try to make money off financing, but in any market, cash should get you a lower price. Figure to cut 5% off the price. Point out to the dealer it eliminates a lot of work on their end when you plop cash on the table.
If the dealer won't give you a deal for cash, ask what kind of consideration they will give you for doing the financing through them. Just make sure the rate they offer is equal to or lower than what your bank or credit union would offer. Dealers make money off financing and currently (Fall 2010) are desperate for trade-ins to sell to other customers.
Cash should still get you a lower price but sometimes financing can work to your advantage, too. Either way, make your money work for you towards a lower purchase price.
8) What new equipment comes as part of the purchase?
check to see what has been done to add value for example if the timing belt is due to be changed make sure it is
9) What service has the dealership performed on the used car since acquiring it?
This helps you determine what value you’re getting for your purchase. Complete overhauls mean you won’t be dealing with service repairs anytime soon after purchasing the car. Ask for the check list inspection
10) Do you take trade-ins?
This makes your life a lot easier if the dealership will handle this for you. Don’t let yourself get tied up in trying to selling your own used car, especially if you hate selling. Nor do you want to meet or have strangers come to your home.
Hope this answered a few questions for you! If you have anymore feel free to contact me.
Have a great week!