How To Properly Buy a Used Car without Being Burned

The art of buying a previously owned car or a used car is something that almost everyone has done in their lives. Not all of us can buy their first car new, and thus the pre-owned market via both dealers and individuals is more popular than ever. The ever changing economy has created a large demand for cars that people have owned for a while, and people looking for a rather affordably priced car of their own. In addition, consumers don’t want to spend big bucks on a new car today and set out payments that can range 60 months and more. So, how to you not get burned on your next purchase?


The first thing you can do when looking at a used car is to inspect it very carefully. Just because someone has owned the car and driven it carefully, it doesn’t mean there cannot be any problems in the car. By researching your purchase on various sites including forums and car fan sites, you can get an idea of what to look out for and know what to inspect. When you arrive at the used cars for sale lot or persons home, ask for the title upon arrival. Inspect the title and make sure that the words Salvage, Fixed, or Flooded appear nowhere on the title. Those are trouble signs of previous problems.

After looking at the title, then move onto asking about service receipts from the person. If the person has kept the receipts, they will have them available. If purchasing the car from a lot, you can research the purchase on Carfax or Autocheck, which has an online resource for service receipts and other data on used cars. Mobile apps are available for both of these sites, and you can check with the lot for the Carfax report as well.

Next, move onto the visual inspection of the car. Check for any dents, rust, check for any fixes, leaks, or any repairs. Once you lift the hood, you can move onto the engine on the car. Look for any visual oddities, remove the dipstick and inspect any discharges, and check the fluids as well on the transmission. If you see any milky discharges or any other metallic particles in the fluid, those are signs of problems.

Once you take the car on the test drive, listen for any noises, check the brakes, look for any jerky movements, and any jiggling of the car. Any minor issues can possibly be corrected, but when you look for a used car for sale, you need to examine all possible issues for your purchase. Whereas you might not find a seat tear an issue, fluid leaks and metal flakes in the oil are. Dent repairs also are signs of problems.

Overall, when looking for your next used car, look at the inspection, examine the exterior and interior of the car, and order your inspection reports and service records. Doing this will ensure that you next car purchase will be safe and sane.


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One thought on “How To Properly Buy a Used Car without Being Burned

  • 11/08/2013 at 11:46 pm

    Thank you for another great article. Where else could anybody get that kind of information in such an ideal means of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I’m at the look for such information.


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