Assessing a used car is difficult for many car buyers, as most people don’t know very much about cars beyond how to drive them. So if you are part of the majority and you are in the market for a used car, you should keep in mind these pointers to avoiding getting scammed or buying a lemon.
The classified ads used to be the traditional way to find a used car for sale, but nowadays you can check out what the local used car dealer has on their lot without stepping out of your house. The automobile accident attorneys of Madison, WI suggest you choose one or two that catch your eye, and look up the going rate for them on other sites, such as edmunds.com, just for comparison.
Check out the VIN
Many used cars have been in an accident at least once, and the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) can be used to call up the history of the car. If the seller doesn’t have this or won’t give it to you, walk away. Most probably the car had been terribly damaged, involved in a crime, or had been stolen.
Check out the car’s condition
If you don’t know much about cars, bring along someone who knows more about it than you do. Even better, bring along a mechanic, if you know one, and have them look the car over thoroughly. If the car is in good condition, you can start bargaining with the used car dealer representative.
Since you’ve done your homework on the make and model you wanted, you are on solid ground when you start talking prices. Presuming the car is in good condition, you can start by asking for less than you’d be willing to pay, always keeping in mind that your threshold would be the average price for the car. Remember to factor in the cost of car insurance and to never sign anything that states you are buying the car “as-is” and can’t return it for any reason.