Questions to Ask Used Car Dealers
New car is not affordable by everyone. But you need not be devoid of the luxury of a car. There is a huge market in the US for pre-owned (used) cars. Generally, the used cars are in good condition and you can get them for a cheap rate. There are many used car dealers in the US market who will have many models and brands of used cars in their portfolio. You name the car and they will probably have it.
But before you set out to buy a pre-owned car, you must do some research. Search about the features and price of the car you want to buy so that you are not fooled by the dealer. You must ask some questions to the dealer to ensure you are getting the best deal.
Top 10 Questions to Ask the Used Car Dealers
- Who was the previous owner?
It is always good to know the history of the car. Check if the car has been with only one previous owner or many. Also check if the car has been in an accident or has any theft record. If the dealer does not answer the questions properly, you may want to reconsider.
- What is the car's mileage?
Used car's mileage plays an important role in determining its value. A used car dealer is responsible to have original mileage; but remember, the car odometer can be easily tampered with. Ask the dealer if the mileage is original. His reactions would be enough for you to know the answer.
- Do you have a CarFax report?
Always ask the used car dealer for a CarFax report. You can get the entire history of the car with the help of it. Generally used car dealers will arrange the CarFax report for you so that you can have all the information about the car; previous owners, theft record, accidents etc. If the dealer does not have a CarFax report, ask him to get it.
- Do you have service records for the car?
Service records will help you to determine the condition of the car. If the previous owner has kept good records and has gone for scheduled maintenance, it will indicate that the car was taken care of. Check the records for general servicing and oil changing and if any special servicing was needed.
- Will you allow customer inspection?
Self inspection is very important. A completely totaled car can be rebuilt and made look new. Check the car interiors and exteriors properly. Check the cargo space, the audio system, seat comfort etc. You also need to check the working condition of the car, and so ask the next question.
- For how long can I take the test drive?
This is probably the most important of all questions. It is very important that you take a test drive before you buy the car. You need to check the road-worthiness of the car. Evaluate on parameters like engine noise, suspension rides, cornering and braking, acceleration etc. almost all used car dealers will allow you a test drive but you must make sure you get it for long. You can refuse the dealers who refuse a test drive.
- What services the dealer has performed on the car post-acquisition?
If the dealer has gone for complete overhauls, it means that you will not need service repairs anytime soon after your car purchase. Contrary, if the dealer has just done general servicing, it might have other issues coming out soon. Thus, the services done by the used car dealer will help in determining the value of the car.
- Is the car certified and by whom?
The car certification that counts is a manufacturer certified pre-owned car. Every certified car has to go through an inspection by a mechanic, who inspects the car and gives in a report. Ask the dealer for the report to find out what was fixed. Certification will increase the value of the car and thus you would like to know if the certification is genuine.
- Is there a warranty on the car?
Ask the dealer for the warranty of the car. Check if the car comes with existing factory warranties. Some dealers may also offer you a 112-point inspection along with two years (20,000+ miles) warranty on used cars with average mileage.
- What is the final price that I would need to pay?
Be an informed buyer and research on the value of used cars. Negotiate with the dealer on the basis of car model and manufacturing year, damages in the car, if any, potential repair costs etc. Find out the price for cash payments versus installments. Check what will be the price if you go for a loan. Finally, ascertain the total cost you would need to make on the car purchase.
Be a smart buyer and ask these questions to the used car dealer. You are sure to get a good deal from it.
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