But buyers worry most about taking on someone else’s problems. If buyers are smart and do their homework, they can minimize the risks and find real value in pre-owned cars.
Once buyers have found used cars by owner, they should thoroughly research the make and model. The Internet is perfect for this. Read customer reviews, look at the manufacturer’s web site, look up the blue book car values, and so on. There are online services that will tell buyers all about a car’s history.
‘Test-Drive’ the Seller
Before even asking to see the car, buyers should contact the seller and ask them a series of questions. This will weed out potential problem-sellers pretty quickly. Take notes. If something contradictory comes up later, it’s an indication that the seller may be untrustworthy. Questions to ask include why the seller is selling the car, if they’re the first owner, what the mileage is, what the car’s condition is, if it has any special features or accessories, if the car was ever involved in a collision, if they have service records, how much they’re asking, and anything else that seems pertinent. Yes, this may sound time-consuming, but it will save more time – and money – if it’s done upfront.
Inspect the Car
Don’t immediately jump in a car to go for a spin. Buyers should carefully examine it both before and after a test drive. This allows them to determine its condition, but also to confirm what the seller has said over the phone. If the sales pitch doesn’t match up with the reality, buyers needn’t even bother with the test drive. Bring a flashlight and look at the undercarriage, frame rails, and tires. Make sure to note any rust. Walk around the car looking for dents, dings, and if the doors, trunk, and hood seal well against the body of the car. Look at the engine – is it clean? Look under the carpet in the trunk for rust or other damage. Generally, any part of the car that looks significantly better, newer, or cleaner than the whole could indicate problems there in the past.
Drive the car, noting any drift, how the engine sounds, and how it accelerates. Parallel park, back up, and turn sharply. Make sure the seat is comfortable. Keep the radio off and listen to how the breaks sound. Squeaking could indicate a problem.
Hire a Mechanic
Buyers should always hire a mechanic to inspect a potential purchase. It’s optional, it could save a lot in the long-run. Because of the expense of hiring such a mechanic, buyers need to do their seller research first, then the car research, then the test drive, and the mechanic should be the last step before making the purchase. It’d be a waste of money for the mechanic to inspect a car that the buyer didn’t want.
If a car makes it through all these precautions, buyers will know they did all they could to ensure a good value.
Our dealership has been Serving Calgary Alberta since 2013.
We specialize in used cars and always try to get the best deals for our customers.
Award-winning, family owned car dealership of pre-owned vehicles with several locations across the city. Lowest prices and the best customer service guaranteed.
Feel free to contact us and test drive one of our cars today. We value your business. Referrals are welcome and remember we pay cash for referrals.
Monday to Friday: 9a.m. – 8p.m.
Saturday: 9a.m. – 6p.m.