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6 Tips to Know When Buying a Used Vehicle

February 3rd, 2015

As many of us know buying a used car can be one of the smartest decisions you can make with regards to your investment in a vehicle.  Vehicles depreciate drastically the minute they are driven off the lot and are no longer a used car, which is why it is smart to let someone else pay the new car price tag and you can benefit from buying it second hand.  

Tip #1 - Do Your Research

Just like you would if you were buying a new car you need to do your research when buying used as well.  You want to ensure that the vehicle you are investing in is one that will suit the needs of you and your family that will be using it.  Knowing the ins and outs of the vehicle’s features will ensure that you are getting the add-ons that you require.  Do you live in an area that requires 4 wheel drive in the winter? Do you drive long highway distances? Are you looking for upgrades like an automatic starter or heated seats?  All things to consider when deciding which vehicle and which features suit your needs best.

Tip #2 - Take It for a Test Drive

Taking a used car for a test drive is potentially even more important than taking a new car for a test drive.  When buying a new car you are protected by manufacturer warranty, when buying used this isn’t necessarily the case, especially if you are buying directly from the owner.  Make sure to take the car on city streets and up to highway speeds to look for any potential issues in the steering, braking or acceleration systems.  Ensure you drive it with the radio off so that you can listen for any noises that shouldn’t be there.  Don’t forget to check the air conditioning system and the heat to ensure that both the heating and cooling are working the way that they should.

Tip #3 - Ask the Right Questions 

A good list to start from is:

  • What is the age of vehicle
  • When was it’s last tune up ?(receipt to prove it)
  • When was the last oil change? (receipt to prove it)
  • When were the brakes replaced last? (receipt to prove it) 
  • Has the vehicle ever been in an accident? 
  • Are the tires original or have they been replaced?
  • Were the tires used all seasons or did they have winter tires to offer with the vehicle sale?

Tip #4 - Vehicle History Report

A vehicle history report is a vital tool when you’re buying a used vehicle. CarProof is a Canadian provider of these types of reports and ensures that you can be confident in your purchase by taking the guesswork out of a vehicle’s history.  The data provided is impartial, accurate and offered in real-time.

CarProof searches across North America to offer you a complete picture of a vehicle’s past, including if the vehicle was in any reported accidents, where the vehicle has been registered in the past, an enforceable cross-Canada lien search which identifies if financial or legal claims are pending against the vehicle, and even accurate odometer records so you can ensure the information you are being given by the owner is accurate and truthful. 

Tip #5 - Do Some Comparison Shopping

With the plethora of information available online it shouldn’t be too hard to establish if the price you have been quoted is at fair market value.  Simply entering the make and model into a Google search will populate you with many, many comparable to weigh your price against.  autoTRADER offers a Value Finder Tool  which is the perfect choice to compare what other options are available to purchase and ensure that you are being offered a fair price.

Tip #5- Get an Inspection

Do not close a deal by signing anything until you have had the vehicle inspected by a reputable mechanic.  You could save a lot of trouble and money by taking the time to get a used vehicle inspected before buying it. It can help you avoid buying a lemon as well as inform you of upcoming repairs. When you find a vehicle you're interested in, tell the salesperson you want to have it inspected. Call us to make an appointment or arrange for it online. 

As always our experts are hear to answer any questions you may have reach out anytime online or over the phone we are happy to help!

Happy shopping!

Tirecraft tips for buying a used vehicle.

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