Buying a used car means accepting certain risks in terms of quality, safety, and legality. However, these risks can be avoided if the buyer considers them carefully. What to ask when buying a used car? At the same time, before signing the contract of sale, there are questions to ask when buying a used car that you should ask the car dealer as well as yourself.
What Questions To Ask When Buying A Used Car?
Below are several questions to ask a car dealer (may via email/phone) before you officially check the car in person.
How many miles has the car gone?
The speedometer index on the vehicle is more or less a basis for assessing the condition of the vehicle, as well as the repair cost when there is a breakdown. Vehicles with high mileage are usually vehicles with a lot of worn parts. This question will help you determine the car’s value. After receiving the answer from the seller, please refer to the cars advertised online with similar mileage to get the closest price.
However, back in the day, the number of kilometers was an important criterion when choosing a car. But now car players have a way to cheat the speedometer in terms of value in favor of increasing the selling price of used cars. Therefore, this should only be a reference factor. In the case of buying a used car from a friend, relative, or trusted person, the kilometer indicator on the meter will be more reliable.
Why did the previous owner sell the car?
Sellers will likely give a variety of reasons, but the answers can fall into three main categories:
- “I just bought another car/sold it in exchange”: This is a good thing because the seller is trying to push the old car away as quickly as possible.
- “I was given/given/inherited”: This answer also works in your favor, as it proves that the seller has no need to use the car, but just wants to sell it for money.
- “It eats a lot of gas/expensive spare parts…”: Some people will frankly say why they sell their car. Take advantage of this to be able to bargain for the lowest price.
- “The car my relative/friend asked to sell for me”: This is the most difficult type of seller to negotiate the price. They don’t need to rush to sell the car, so they will usually keep the offered price.
What is the car’s condition?
There are 3 answers you need to pay attention to:
- Excellent: Either the car is as described by the seller, or you are dealing with a dishonest person. When you come to see the car, if the car is not what the seller says, ignore it. That proves that the seller is trying to cheat you.
- Good: Pretty much the same as with “excellent/excellent”, but a “good” answer may indicate that the owner is quite honest because he/she is not trying to advertise the old car excessively.
- Welcome to come and do a self-assessment: This shows that the seller doesn’t know the value of the car very well, or is willing to reduce the price a bit. People who give this type of answer are often very honest or shy.
Do you need to sell this car urgently?
Car owners always have at least one reason to sell their car. In most cases, this first question gives you a rough estimate of the vehicle’s overall value. When you use this question, there are three most common types of answers:
- “I am selling my car now because I need money!”: This is the answer in favor of the buyer. You can talk to these people to better understand “pet car”, the possibility of successful trading, in this case, is quite high.
- “I don’t need to rush to sell if I don’t get the price!”: These are usually good cars, but you will have a bit of a hard time negotiating a lower price. Because the owners are willing to wait to find the right buyer.
- Not providing a clear answer: This could be a bad sign. It could indicate that something is wrong with the car and they are trying to sell it in a hurry. According to experience, this is one of those old cars that should be avoided.
How many owners have this used car passed?
No wonder you get a long list of owners of the used car you’re thinking of buying. Buying a used car you have to accept this fact. Usually, the longer the list of owners, the more likely the vehicle is to have problems. In particular, there are some old cars that have a relatively new appearance and a relatively low speedometer but have had many previous owners. With vehicles of this type, you should dig deeper into the vehicle’s operating history, there is a high possibility that the vehicle has mechanical, engine, indoor unit problems … or has been in a serious accident.
Can the car be inspected by a qualified person or by a third party?
This is a question you absolutely should not forget. If you ask but the car owner does not accept it, it is best to immediately give up the idea of buying this car. Currently, most used car buyers have a trusted “advisor” to accompany them when they come to see the car. The advisor can be a relative with experience checking used cars or a trusted mechanic. A qualified person will help you identify any problem areas of your vehicle and let you know if you can last long with the problem.
What To Ask When Checking The Car In Person?
Where is the vehicle purchased/registered?
This is a pretty important question, especially if the car has a different license plate from your area. If the seller has a different country of origin on the ID card than the one where the vehicle is registered, be careful and do your research.. In addition, the climate of different regions can also affect the quality of the vehicle.
What oil do you use for the car?
Believe it or not, but with this question, you can tell if the car is well maintained or not. A user can respond in three ways:
- Immediately answer after you ask a question: This shows that the car owner cares about the car, even can change the oil himself.
- Pause for a moment before answering: The owner may completely entrust the maintenance to the repair garage, but the car is still well taken care of. Ask more where the car is serviced, how often, how many times has it been serviced.
- A wrong answer or the seller doesn’t know the exact answer: Get a mechanic to check your car thoroughly for you.
Can I test drive the car?
This is a simple but mandatory question in the process of choosing to buy a used car. Most 100% of car owners will let you test drive the car. You should ask for more test drive time, to test drive a variety of terrains and speeds. The more detailed the agreement, the better. With the vehicle owner’s consent, you can test drive it with your expert “advisor”.
Of course, you would never buy a used car without first testing it, but many sellers will probably limit the test time to 30 minutes to 1 hour. If it takes longer, the car will probably start to show flaws that they don’t want you to know.
What is the vehicle equipped with?
If it is a manual car or an automatic car? Is the car equipped with how many airbags? Do the air conditioning system, entertainment system such as touch screen, and the sound still work well? Are safety devices such as seatbelt, door lock, glass… all right? Is the vehicle is equipped with safety features such as an anti-lock braking system, electronic balance, cruise control system…? All these questions can help you know exactly the condition of the car.
What has the car been repaired? Has the car ever been recalled to the company for repair?
It is very common to recall cars to the company to repair errors. We should not be too serious with old cars that have been recalled. In fact, vehicle recalls are a fairly common occurrence in all manufacturers, demonstrating the company’s responsibility for errors found during vehicle operation, even the smallest, to ensure absolute safety. during vehicle operation. The times of recalling the vehicle to the company to fix the error are recorded in the vehicle’s records. You can go directly to the company’s website to look up the recall history based on the vehicle’s chassis number (VIN). You can research the car status using our free “VIN lookup” feature. However, if a vehicle has a history of many recalls, it is also a factor to consider.
For common repairs, the car owner may not remember it all. Some users are careful, they will have a repair log book. Either way, it’s a good idea to ask about recent major repairs or overhauls to help give you a better overview of your vehicle.
Has the car ever been involved in an accident?
This is a question to which you probably won’t get a real answer. Maybe the car owner has a way to mitigate the serious condition that has happened to the vehicle. At this time, if you doubt the answer, you should check the actual vehicle based on experience, or get advice from a professional to accurately evaluate the vehicle. In the US, used cars often have an accompanying historical record managed as a vehicle identification number (VIN). As a rule, vehicle history data is marked on plates located near the driver’s position dashboard, on the engine compartment, or on door frames. Buyers can easily rate cars.
Has the vehicle ever been flooded or parked outside for a long time?
The regular operating environment of the vehicle greatly affects the current vehicle condition because serious damage will be likely to happen suddenly during use. But in order to get a good price, the seller can subtly conceal such damage. Therefore, if you look at old cars, don’t let the glossy appearance fool your eyes and feelings.
What To Ask After Checking The Car In Person?
Can I have a closer look at the car?
If the car owner seems awkward, unnatural, be on the lookout. Don’t be swayed when the seller says “no” or tries to find a way to sell the car to you. The only answer you want to hear is “yes, no problem”.
When was the last time you sold your car?
You might be surprised, but many people sell used cars as a hobby. They buy a car at a cheap price, then clean it up a bit, and then resell it to earn “dong in and out”. However, there are also some car mechanics who “disguise” users, buying used cars to repair temporarily so they can be sold.
What kind of documents does the car have?
With current regulations of the law, if you drive a vehicle without the owner’s authority, you may be subject to administrative fines. Therefore, to have more peace of mind when driving, you need to ask for legal documents to transfer to the owner’s name. Vehicle records and papers, vehicle sales and purchase documents, maintenance books, periodic registration books will help you determine whether the vehicle is the owner or not. It also helps you estimate whether the car’s value is in line with the selling price.
Is it possible to offer a more competitive selling price?
When buying a used car, you have many advantages to negotiate. Usually, there will be a certain difference between the advertised price and the actual selling price. An implicit rule in negotiating used car sales is that if you don’t reduce the price, don’t buy it. If you’ve thoroughly inspected the vehicle, you can use your newfound knowledge of the vehicle to negotiate a fair price for both parties.
What payment method is used?
The method of payment will not matter if you are buying a car from an individual. However, if you buy used cars from dealers, most of them have certain preferential policies when customers pay by special payment methods. If you do not have to pay in cash, you can ask if the dealer’s partners support loans or installments. Maybe cash will help you complete the car process faster, but depending on economic conditions, sometimes there is another method of support that also makes it easier for you to get your favorite car.
What To Ask Yourself When Buying A Used Car?
What are your criteria for choosing a used car?
According to the experience of buying a used car, the first thing you need to do is make selection criteria. This is the best way to help you determine the car you want to buy, as well as the best way to let the dealer or car seller know your needs.
The first thing to mention is the quality of the car. This is a factor that is always put on top and is the experience of most customers choosing to buy a used car. Used cars have many different qualities depending on the condition of use and maintenance regime of the old owners.
After choosing the quality of the car, the next point you need to focus on is the style of the car. Some people like sedans, while some people like pickups, or SUVs… Depending on the intended use, you can choose a car with different designs.
Where to find used car information?
One note when buying a used car is that you need to know the information about the car. Finding information about the car is one of the jobs that helps buyers know the origin as well as necessary information about the car they intend to buy. The more information you learn, the more confident you will be when buying a car.
Today, the development of technology makes searching more convenient than ever. There are many ways to find vehicle information such as: searching the website of the store, dealer, or manufacturer, looking up from the website of the registration, calling directly to the address where you intend to buy a car, or finding information through acquaintances who have experience in cars.
Above are several questions to ask when buying a used car that can help you a lot during the process of checking a used car. Good luck and hope that you can successfully purchase a high-quality used car for yourself.
Visit our website and try our free DMV practice test 2023 to grasp all the necessary information to keep yourself safe on the road.
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