Five Things To Ask When Buying A Pre-Owned Vehicle
Most car shoppers gravitate toward new cars. It’s hard not to, after all. Advertising for new cars is extremely prevalent at this time of year, trying to get potential buyers to purchase the latest year’s cars. Not everyone can afford a new car, but there are always options for those who can’t. Most dealerships, including Ford dealerships, offer a wide variety of quality used cars for half the price. There’s no shame in buying a used car, but there are things that you should ask the dealer before you get hooked into a sale.
If you live in the Kansas City or Leavenworth areas, Zeck Ford will be sure to answer these questions for you before setting up a sale. If you end up buying from someone else, make sure these questions get asked, as well. This will ensure that you get a fair deal and a used car that works just as well as any new vehicle.
5 Things We Think You Should Ask When Buying Pre-Owned
1) May I see the car’s maintenance record?
Looking at the maintenance record is very important for any previously-owned car for quite a few reasons. For one, if you get a vehicle that has an excellent maintenance record, it indicates that it was taken care of well. This record should include regular oil changes, fluid flushes which occurred under the previous owner’s care, and any major or minor repairs the car has had during its time with its last owner. In short, the maintenance record helps you, as a new owner, understand what you are getting into. If the vehicle lacks a maintenance record, take it for a test drive. Note how it runs. You’ll often notice a difference between cars that do have a maintenance record and vehicles that don’t.
If you notice during a test drive that the car you’re driving runs rough, you should turn and run. If the vehicle runs smoothly, use your best judgment, and be sure to ask these other questions. A maintenance record might not solely indicate whether a car is worth its salt, but it is a start.
2) How many previous owners has this car had?
A car can go through multiple owners and still be completely fine to drive. A vehicle with low numbers of drivers on it shouldn’t be your first stipulation when it comes to purchasing a car. After all, you could get a car that had three previous owners who drove it minimally and maintained it regularly. Or, you could stumble upon a car that had one owner who pushed it hard and barely maintained it.
In other words, don’t rule out cars that have had multiple owners previously. Do use that information as a gauge for how well that car has been treated. If the vehicle has high mileage on it but only one former owner, that could be a red flag.
3) Why is the car being sold for this price?
Always refer to the Kelley Blue Book for the best car pricing for the car you are looking to purchase. This will require some prior research, but it is the best way to make sure you get the right price for your car. Knowledge as basic as the asking price for a vehicle in a particular condition also prevents you from getting sold something at too high a price. It gives you the upper hand during the sale and allows the driver to be more transparent throughout the transaction. This also is a great way to start a conversation about the car and get to know it better.
Even if you don’t research the asking price before you go in to look at a car, asking this simple question will give you insight and help you make an informed decision about whether you’d like to purchase the vehicle or not.
4) If I told you I was driving this car cross country tomorrow, would you recommend it?
Not all the questions you raise have to be based in fact. Raising hypothetical questions is a great icebreaker. It starts conversations with the owner that help you understand the nature of the person selling the car as well as the vehicle itself.
If a person answers no to this question, continue to ask questions about any problems with the car that might exist. After all, if they don’t want you to drive the car long distances, there must be a reason why. If the person selling you the car hesitates, ask them other leading questions to better initiate an understanding about the vehicle. You can come back to the question if you feel you need to, but keep their answers in the back of your mind.
At all times, remember that they are trying to sell you on this car. You are under no obligation to buy it if the answers to any of your questions raise concern.
5) Do you have a return policy or warranty for buyers?
Cars sold at a dealership should have a return policy, or some sort of warranty, which provides some benefit to buyers. Return policies and warranties hold businesses accountable for the product they sell. Although these policies should not be the only predetermination you have when it comes to buying a car, it certainly provides customers a sense of relief to know their purchase comes with specific securities should anything go wrong.
Note that usually, only cars sold at dealerships come with warranties, not used cars sold by private sellers. Because of this, we recommend purchasing pre-owned only from dealers when possible.
Zeck Ford in Leavenworth, Kansas, has a wide variety of pre-owned vehicles available at competitive prices. Each car is priced according to Kelley Blue Book value, and our standards of consistency in costs do not deviate – so you can expect fair and accurate pricing every time you come in to look at a car. Even so, we appreciate it when our customers ask questions and come in informed about the vehicles in which they are interested. To browse our selection of and pre-owned cars, click here. We look forward to working with you.