With new autos being so expensive, many consumers opt instead for used cars when they do their vehicle shopping. While the price tag is generally a lot lower, there are some things to know about pre-owned vehicles before signing a contract or bill of sale. Complete a checklist that includes:
- The vehicle interior and exterior, under the hood and the undercarriage. Look for leaks, evidence of rust or a lot of dirt and repairs that may have been made.
- Go for at least one test drive. Two or three are even better. Drive on different types of roadways, like highways, interstates, city streets and country roads to see how the vehicle handles. Driving in varying weather conditions can also give you an idea of how the car performs. Make note of unusual noises, smells and lights that may not be operable.
- Leaking fluids are a red flag. After you return from a test drive, let the vehicle sit for about a minute and then look under the car. Is anything dripping? There shouldn’t be.
- Let your own mechanic look over the auto. This may cost you a little extra but could potentially save you a lot of money down the road. He will let you know about any major problems that you can expect.
- Conduct your own research about your chosen vehicle. Look up online reviews of the make, model and year, read the vehicle history report, decide if the price is fair and comparable and take your time with your decision.