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21st December, 2021

Used Car Checklist: Essential Questions To Ask When Buying a Used Car

There are some things in life that most of us don’t get a lot of chances to practice. Whether it be building a house or signing yourself up for university, there are some events that we don’t have, as Malcolm Gladwell puts it, the 10,000 hours to master. For most of us, buying a used car falls into this category. It’s a complicated process and one that people cannot be blamed for not immediately understanding, but it’s also a big decision that we may only have to make once a decade if that. So, if we don’t get to practice and prepare for this big decision too often, how can we ensure we’re making good decisions?

At S.S.C Mechanics, we see it as our job to ensure that everyone feels happy and safe when using their vehicle(s), and that starts with the vehicle you end up purchasing. So, if you’re in the market for buying a used car, there are certain questions that should be asked during that process, and we’re here to help you through them.

How Many Kilometers Are On the Odometer?

Whilst we’re used to looking at used items based on their age and visible condition in most cases, there is another equally important factor when looking at used cars. The odometer can tell you how far a car has been driven, which is vital in getting a good understanding of the vehicle’s overall condition and performance. By knowing the number of kilometres on the odometer, you can look up proposed values for the vehicle and potentially argue a lower price. You can also potentially save yourself a lot of unexpected difficulties by clarifying this beforehand, as it will tell you the likelihood that a car will require a high amount of servicing and repairs in the future.

Why Would You Be Selling the Car?

This is a good question to ask anyone you’re planning a big purchase with. After all, if it’s such a great find and they believe that it’s a fantastic opportunity for you, then why would they want to part with it? Of course, there are several entirely understandable reasons, such as upgrading to a newer model, moving out of state/country, or simply wanting something different. However, if the seller seems nervous or vague when giving you an answer, it may be a sign that there’s more to the car’s condition or situation than you’re being told.

What is the Condition of the Car?

This is one of the most common questions in buying a used car for a reason. There’s nothing more important when purchasing your desired vehicle than knowing its condition and history. Unlike new cars, used vehicles have previous experience with an owner or owners, and that means that there is a lot that can go wrong prior to you having the keys. So, ask them detailed questions about the condition, and make sure you have a chance to see and experience the car for yourself. If you’re really concerned about the condition of a vehicle or feel you may be missing something, we at S.S.C Mechanics offer vehicle safety checks to ensure that you’re making the right choice with your purchase.

Are There Any Significant Accidents in the Car’s Past?

As you’ve likely gathered from previous questions, there are a lot of things that can go wrong with a car that you won’t necessarily be able to see immediately when observing it for yourself. So, quite often, the best you can do is learn about the car’s history and any previous issues to determine whether the investment is going to be more hassle than it’s worth. Knowing any accidents that have occurred with the car may not provide you with concrete insights in and of themselves, but knowing what repairs have occurred over time will allow you to know what you’re looking for and what to pay attention to.

Where Did the Vehicle Come From?

When buying a used automobile, it pays to know as much about its history as possible, and if a seller can’t tell you a lot about it because they’re not the original owner, it’s important that you get them to elaborate on that. If the car has had multiple owners in quick succession, it may suggest issues or concerns. So, request the service records and make sure you have a strong understanding of how many times it has been sold and what this may mean for the car.

There are a lot of considerations when buying a used car, and it can easily become an overwhelming process. However, as long as you get the car checked by a reliable mechanic (don’t buy the car if they won’t let you do this) and the asking price is good, you should at least have a solid starting point. To learn more about what to look for in cars, as well as tips and tricks for vehicle care, explore the S.S.C Mechanics car blog today!


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