When buying a used car, it can feel like there are so many unknowns, but we promise you’ll feel better after reading these tips!
Ask About Everything
With Brasso Nissan, we put all our vehicles through comprehensive pre-sale inspections. You don’t have to worry about safety or reliability when you buy with us, but if you’re buying from another dealer or a private seller, make sure to ask about any defects or damage the vehicle might have or once had.
Used car salespeople are like Google for used cars. Have a particular vehicle in mind? Ask about how that vehicle holds up through time. Is the particular model retaining its value? Were there any big recalls? These are the kinds of big-picture questions to ask if the Salesperson didn’t answer them already.
A Salesperson’s job includes asking you the right questions, but they might not cover absolutely everything. It might be a good idea to plan ahead, bringing a list of questions you’ve got.
It’s in both the dealership’s and your best interest to erase any doubt you might have when buying used.
Trust your first impressions as you check out and step inside the car. Keep a close eye out for any significant scuffs or chips on the exterior, or any signs of wear and tear inside. Take your time to explore the interior of the vehicle! If it has a lot of technology features, test them out: ensure the air conditioning blows cold, the heated seats do their job, and the navigation system works well.
Another thing you want to ask about is any rust you might find. If you happen to spot any rusty buildup along the door frames, wheel wells, or bumpers, these can affect the vehicle’s resale value, and should be factored into the price. If you’re looking for a car under $6,000, a little oxidized iron might just be part of the bargain.
Before the Test Drive
Don’t hesitate to take a test drive. This is by far the most important step is determining whether a used vehicle is worth buying, and you’ll notice the most important things if anything significant is wrong.
Upon ignition, pay special attention to the startup. Any rattling or squealing at all? Turn the wheel left and right, and listen for any clunks from the suspension. Also pay attention to the dashboard; it will tell you whether there are any issues at all with the engine’s temperature, performance, and the like. Don’t ever hesitate to mention any concerns you have to your Salesperson! And consider an extended warranty for some added reassurance, if you like.
Now you’re ready to take the car out on the road.
Hit the Road
Make sure your prospective car accelerates and brakes smoothly, feeling for any unusual vibrations. And consciously listen as you drive for strange noises like brake squealing. Trust your senses!
Try to think about the kind of driving you’ll generally be doing, and be sure to test the car out on a variety of roads you typically frequent, from speed-bumped parking lots to multi-lane highways. This will give you a solid idea of how well the car will behave during your daily routine and weekend running around.
The best place to test out a car? The highway. This is where you can hit the accelerator and brakes and see how the car performs under stress.
At this point, you’re in the courtship stage. If your date shows signs of a wonky transmission, shaky handling, or a struggling engine, you want to find out all about it now, not later after you’ve made a commitment and purchased the vehicle.
Loose Items, Loose Ends
Before you buy, you’ll want to make sure all of the right pieces are in the box. Does the car come with a remote starter? Make sure the remote functions properly. Are the tire jack and spare tire located where they should be? And do you have all of the paperwork you might need? Be thorough.
Some items like the owner’s manual might be only available online and accessible via your phone, but other items can be a total pain if they go missing.
Check for a Vehicle History Report
If you have any further doubt at this point, ask for a CarProof report or any servicing receipts if the seller has them; they’ll give you a great idea as to what kinds of issues and servicing the vehicle has had. Has it been in any accidents and incurred any damage you might not have noticed at first glance?
A vehicle history report tells you all this and much more. CarProof is the number one Canadian provider of vehicle investigations, and many of our used vehicles at Brasso Nissan come with a free report.
Buy from Brasso Nissan
Of course, this list wouldn’t be complete without this tip. Buying from us means buying quality, and we’re sure you’ll be convinced of that when you come in for a test drive.
There you have it! The most important things to look out for when buying a used vehicle. Do you have any additional tips that we left out? If so, share them with us!