Buying a used car can be a daunting task. Unfortunately, there are many used vehicles for sale that aren't worth the asking price, and it can take a lot of time to weed out the good options from the bad. Many sellers will only post a picture of the exterior, which can be deceiving, so it is important to take your time and carefully inspect the entire vehicle, including the engine and the interior. When you start searching through all of the used cars for sale, you need to have some guideline that you can refer to, so here are a few tips for things to keep in mind when inspecting a used car for sale.
Checklist for Buying Used Cars
The first thing to do is have a clear idea of what you want and what you need in a used vehicle. For instance, if you are looking for used Nissans for sale, there may be a lot of choices, so you should have a general idea of the type of Nissan you want, such as an SUV or a sedan. It's a good idea to make sure you put together a list of the things you need and the things you want in a vehicle, such as the number of seats, the maximum mileage, and the fuel consumption.
Inspect the Exterior
The look of the exterior condition may be a sign of how well the car has been cared for. Keep in mind that damages to the exterior may give you the upper hand when making an offer, but if the damages are extreme, it could cost you more in the long run. When checking for damages, be sure to check for hidden damages. For instance, if the door hinges aren't smooth, it may indicate the vehicle was in a collision that damaged the door, which may cause you problems getting in and out of the car. Look under the car to ensure the exhaust system is in good condition. Instead of only looking at the front of the tires, look behind them to make sure the tires weren't rotated to hide wear and tear.
Inspect the Interior
The overall condition of the seats and dash are important, but it's also important to check under the floor, especially under the floor mats. Check for mold and mildew, which will let you know if there was previous flood damage to the vehicle. Check the upholstery for cigarette burns and if you smell smoke, keep in mind that you may never be able to fully get the smell out of the fabric. Be sure to turn the vehicle on and roll the windows up and down. Also check the turn signals, brake lights and the heater and air conditioner.
Inspect the Engine
When inspecting the engine of used cars for sale, the overall appearance is important, but you should also check the oil level, the battery terminals and other fluid levels, such as the transmission fluid and coolant. Even a vehicle with high mileage can be a good investment if the car has been well maintained by the previous owner. The same concept applies to vehicles with low mileage as well. If the car has been poorly maintained, the low mileage doesn't guarantee it's going to be a good investment.
Buying used cars for sale is a great way to save money on the purchase of your vehicle, and a used car may be less expensive to insure. But it is important to take your time when looking at used cars. Don't let the outside of the vehicle fool you. Look carefully at the way the vehicle has been maintained. A poorly maintained car may cost you more than you intended on spending.