7 Tips for Purchasing a Pre-owned Vehicle

Buying a pre-owned vehicle can be a risky endeavor. The risks are somewhat lessened if buying from a reputable dealer but even then there could be problems. It is best if you can get some sort of warranty on the vehicle. At the very least have someone check it out that knows something about cars. Additionally, the following tips will help even the novice buyer get a better idea of just what they are paying for.


  1. Check the Blue Book Value to ensure that a fair price is in play.
  2. Test drive the car both in the city and on the open road. Does it smoke? Does it have the get-up and go it should?
  3. Check the odometer reading.
  4. Odometer readings are important. They give you an idea of just how much wear and tear a vehicle might have on it. The problem with relying on odometer readings alone is that they can be changed by an unscrupulous seller. This could occur before a dealer ever gets their hands on the car. Fortunately, there are other ways of telling if a car has more mileage on it than is indicated by the odometer or even if it has just been roughly treated.
  5. Look at the driver’s floor board and the gas and break Are they scuffed up very badly?  Look at the outside door latch area. Are there scratches from fingernails and keys? How about the driver’s seat upholstery? Look carefully. Is it overly frayed?
  6. Making sure the car does not have hail damage, if it does find a hail damage repair company.
  7. Do the AC and heater work. What about the power windows, automatic locks and the other bells and whistles?
  8. A final tip when you are shopping for a used car is to take along a magnet. Running a magnet around the body will tell you if the car has rusted or been damaged at some point and been repaired with Bondo or some other patching material.

Yes, shopping for a pre-owned vehicle can be risky. The tips provided above, however, will serve to give you a much better idea of what you are looking at than if you just take the seller’s word alone. Contact us and let us help you find a vehicle that is suitable for your needs and will come with no hidden surprises. We can even clue you in on certified pre-owned vehicles that come with the same warranty as a brand new one!

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