Ten Key Questions to Ask When Buying a Used Car



With the economy the way it is right now, buying a used car might make more sense for you than buying a brand new vehicle. However, buying a car used is certainly not the same as buying a car new, and there are some things you need to be aware of if you are going to buy a used car. Below are ten key questions you should ask before you purchase a used car – check here for more information if you’re still unclear after reading through.

Why Did You Decide To Sell Your Car?

This should be the first question you ask, and you can ask it over the phone before you even take the time to go visit the used car. Calling to ask this question ahead of time can help you determine whether the used car is worth visiting at all. If the response to this question is that the seller just recently bought a new car or that they’re selling it because they need the cash, then that’s a good sign. The used car is probably in good condition and the individual is willing to sell quickly. If the response is that the car is bad on gas, you can continue your search elsewhere.

How Many Miles Are On the Car?

Again, it is a good idea to ask this question before you spend lots of time traveling out of your way to visit the used car. Knowing how many miles are on the used car’s odometer can help you determine the value of the vehicle. Obviously, the fewer miles on the car’s odometer, the higher the value of the car.

Is There Any Money Still Owing On the Car?

This might seem like a bizarre question to ask, but it is a very important one. An individual who sells a car that they have not finished paying off can only end badly for you. The original owner needs to finish paying what is owed, and if he sells before this, then he is in his right to repossess the vehicle after you bought it from him. To avoid the risk of the original owner repossessing the car, just be sure they owe nothing. Again, you can ask this ahead of time.

What Condition is the Car in?

It is a good idea to ask this question in person, as you can gauge the honesty of their answer. If the owner knows lots about cars, they might go into detail. If their response is vague, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the car is in poor condition; it could just mean that the owner doesn’t know. In order to get an idea of what kind of condition the used car is in, you can ask whether the car has been regularly serviced. It might also be a good idea to ask whether the used car has ever been in any accidents, as this will also determine the used car’s condition and value.

What Kind of Oil Does the Car Take?

An owner who can quickly tell you what kind of oil their car takes has either taken their car in for servicing regularly, or was able to change the oil on the car themselves. If the owner is unable to answer this question, chances are the used car has not been maintained as well as it should have been, and you might want to get a mechanic to check out the car.

Where Did You Buy the Car?

Whether the owner bought the car from a dealership or whether they bought the car used can be a deciding factor for you. In addition to this though, discovering where the car was bought can let you know about any potential problems. Whether the car was used mostly in very cold climates like the midwestern states, or in very warm states like Arizona or Texas, extreme weather can affect a car.

What Are You Willing to Sell This Car For?

Realize that you do not need to pay the asking price. Asking what someone is willing to sell their car for opens you up to the possibility of getting a discount. Additionally, sometimes there’s a “cash price” for used cars, meaning you could get a great discount on a used car if you decide to pay cash right then and there.

How Long Can I Test-Drive This Car?

Be very wary of owners who do not let you test-drive the used car at all. You should always be able to try out the car before you buy it. The minimum amount of time you could expect for a test-drive would be half an hour, as maybe the owner currently relies on this car as his mode of transportation.

Do You Have a Return Policy?

This is a good question to ask if you are buying a car from a used car dealership. Knowing that you have the opportunity to return if a problem arises could provide you with peace of mind.

Do You Regularly Sell Cars?

If the person you are interested in purchasing a used car from regularly sells cars, this could be a red flag. Some individuals buy cars, fix them up, and sell them at a profit. While some people legitimately do this as a hobby, be aware that some people who do this might not be entirely honest about the price the used car deserves. Buying a used car can be a great purchase, especially if you’re looking to save money. However, always ask these ten key questions before you buy. If possible, bring along a friend or family member who knows about cars and who can help you make a final decision.

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About Author

LaDonna Dennis

LaDonna Dennis is the founder and creator of Mom Blog Society. She wears many hats. She is a Homemaker*Blogger*Crafter*Reader*Pinner*Friend*Animal Lover* Former writer of Frost Illustrated and, Cancer...SURVIVOR! LaDonna is happily married to the love of her life, the mother of 3 grown children and "Grams" to 3 grandchildren. She adores animals and has four furbabies: Makia ( a German Shepherd, whose mission in life is to be her attached to her hip) and Hachie, (an OCD Alaskan Malamute, and Akia (An Alaskan Malamute) who is just sweet as can be. And Sassy, a four-month-old German Shepherd who has quickly stolen her heart and become the most precious fur baby of all times. Aside from the humans in her life, LaDonna's fur babies are her world.

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