Check the Car’s History
Once you’ve decided to buy a used car, you must get a history report on that car. You will be able to see if the car has ever been wrecked or damaged. This is a major advantage. You might be looking at a car that has no outward signs of damage. It might even drive perfectly. But, if you check its history, you might find hidden problems that you just don’t want to deal with. If there is no history report available, continue looking until you find a car with an available history report.
Get the Opinion of a Trusted Mechanic
Take the car to a trusted mechanic and let them check it out. Most mechanics will charge a small fee for their time, but it is well worth the time, effort and money if it means you will avoid the headache associated with buying a lemon. The last thing you want is to buy a used car only to have it break down on you immediately after the purchase. A mechanic can inspect the car and find hidden problems and can also detect small issues that may become big issues later on.
Ask for Maintenance Records
A car that has been well-maintained can run for years with no major mechanical issues. Of course, the opposite can be said of a car that has not had regular maintenance check-ups. One of the most important maintenance items is making sure the car has had regular oil changes. The oil in an engine is its lifeblood. The engine needs clean oil to operate efficiently. Dirty oil can cause the engine many problems and will eventually result in engine failure. When dealing with a used car, engine repair can often cost more than the value of the car. Therefore, if you can’t get maintenance records for the car, you may be better off to keep shopping.