Five Things to Do When Buying a Used Car

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Everyone needs a car to go from point A to point B, but most people cannot afford to purchase a brand new vehicle. If you want to buy a used car, you need to look for a few things to get the best deal. Below are five things to do when buying a used car.


Check the Mileage

If you’re looking for a dependable car that can be driven daily, it is important to check the mileage of the vehicle in question. Try to aim for a mileage around 160,000 or lower because anything higher will require a lot of maintenance in a short amount of time. However, if you are looking for something to fix up, the miles shouldn’t matter because you will not be driving it daily. You can also do a search for the specific make and model of the vehicle and see when the most costly repairs are needed mileage wise.

Check for Leaks

You don’t want to buy a car that is hemorrhaging fluids, whether it is oil or transmission fluid. A lot of places will fix the leaks, but only temporarily. Their fixes will generally last around six to eight months at most. Then, you’re left with costly repairs to a car that you have just bought. You should look for an engine and transmission that shows wear, but not excessively dirty. If the engine is immaculate, then you know that something is horribly wrong. Also check for any puddles underneath the vehicle.

Do Your Research

Researching is one of the most important parts of buying a used car. First, write down a list of vehicles that are would be happy driving. Next do some thorough research into each of the vehicles you’ve written down. Check for crash test ratings, overall performance, recalls, and any complaints that owners have. Then, check out Kelley Blue Book and get an estimate of what you should pay for each model that way you won’t pay too much for your next vehicle.

Check Out the History

Checking out the history report of your next car will give you a lot of insight into what the car really has gone through in its lifetime. The report will tell you how many people have owned the vehicle, how many accidents the car has been in, and it can reveal any title issues the car has. To find out about the history report of a car, you will need its VIN number which is typically located in the lower right hand corner of the windshield.

Take the Car for a Test Drive

There are some things that a history report, leaks, and everything listed above cannot tell you so it is important to take the vehicle for a test drive. Take the car on back roads and highways to really get a feel for the vehicle. Make sure that the transmission shifts into each gear smoothly, you don’t hear any funny noises such as clicking or knocking, and that the brakes engage correctly. Also check to make sure that the vehicle is aligned properly and can drive in a straight line effortlessly.


If you follow these tips, you will have a dependable car for a reasonable price that will not leave you stranded.


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