Due Diligence: 10 Important Questions to Ask When Buying a Used Car

used car for sale at dealership

It’s time for you to buy a new car. Your other one sort of stopped working on you so now you’re left with no way to work. Your heart says that you want a new car but your wallet says you’re getting a used one.

The only issue you have with getting a used car is that you don’t want to buy it and have it break down on you in a few months like your old car. If you’re smart when you’re shopping around though, that won’t happen. 

To help you avoid buying a lemon, here are all the questions to ask when buying a used car.  

1. How Was the Car Maintained?

As soon as you drive up to that Caledon Chrysler Dealership and find a car you like, It’s good to ask how the car was maintained. The main thing you want to know is who you can go to if you want to find out more information about how the car runs.  

It’s also a good idea to ask if all maintenance is up to date so you know if you’re going to need to pay for any work to get done on the car soon. 

2. Are There Any Service Records Available?

If the answer to this is anything but yes then it’s a red flag. The seller should not only have service records for you to look at but also be happy to hand them over to you. 

If they are willing to give them to you then this is a good indicator that they have the car serviced on a regular basis. 

3. Has It Been Through Any Accidents? 

You can go to a lot of sites to find out if a car has been through an accident or not. These places don’t always catch everything though. 

You want to ask this question to make sure that it hasn’t been through an accident and if it has, how bad it was damaged and what was done to repair it. 

4. What Features If Any Don’t Work?

When you’re buying a used car there is a good chance that something on it doesn’t function the way it should. What you need to find out is if this car is an exception to the rule. 

If it’s not and there is something wrong with it then you need to now decide if this is a deal-breaker or not. If it’s a small issue like a broken CD player then there are ways around that. If it’s something like the AC not working then you may be hurting in the summer. 

5. What Is the Ownership History? 

You want to be on your guard if you ask this question and the seller doesn’t know much about the original owner or if the seller is the original owner and hasn’t had the car long.  

You need to know if the car you’re looking at has been loved and well taken care of. If you can’t get any information on the person who had it before then this is a little disconcerting. 

6. Why Are You Selling the Car? 

There are a million ways the seller can answer this question. If you’re buying from an individual and not a dealership they could be looking for an upgrade. Maybe they recently added a new person to their family and need a new car. 

Whatever reason they give you’ll have to decide if you believe them or not. If you do, and their story is true then it’s good you asked. You may run into similar problems with the vehicle in the future. 

7. How Did You Come Up with This Price for It?

If the answer to all these questions so far have been promising and you’re thinking about buying the car, the next thing you’re going to ask is how they came up with the price they are asking for it. There are some people who take the price they paid for it and take a little bit off. Some use an actual pricing guide.

If they used a guide then you can use the same one for a reference. This way, you’ll be able to see for yourself where they are getting their numbers.  

8. Will You Let Me Take It to a Mechanic for Inspection? 

This is another question you’ll be asking if you’re seriously considering buying the car. Most of the time, dealerships have no issue if you ask to take it to a mechanic to get it inspected before you buy. 

If they are a little bit hesitant though, you may want to rethink buying the car. Most of the time that means there is something wrong with it that they don’t want you to know. 

9. Do You Have the Title on You? 

If the owner had the car for a long time before they decided to sell it then they may have misplaced the title. A seller at a dealership may not have it either if there is an outstanding loan from the bank. 

Either way is fine. You can get past it and legally drive the car. It’s just good to know if you’re going to have to go this extra mile. 

10. Has Anything Been Updated or Replaced?  

Certain updates and replacements on the car can up or lower the value depending on what they are. The answer to this question will also tell you if you’re going to need to perform updates of your own anytime soon. 

For example, if it just got an oil change, you have the peace of mind knowing you won’t have to do it for a while. Always ask for receipts of any work that’s been done. 

Questions to Ask When Buying a Used Car so You Won’t End Up with a Lemon 

Are you in the market for a used car? One of the main worries with doing this is buying a lemon on accident. Think back to some of these questions to ask when buying a used car when you go to the dealership so you drive off the lot happy. 

Still uneasy about buying a new car? Keep browsing our blog for more great buying tips.