What Do I Need To Know Before Buying A Used Car?

A car is the textbook example of a depreciating asset. That’s because most vehicles lost a significant percentage of their value as soon as you drive them off of the lot. A lot of people who understand that refuse to buy new cars as a result, and prefer to purchase used vehicles. While buying a used vehicle can be an opportunity for a great deal, it is a bit more complicated than buying a new car. To help you along, we’re sharing the four tips every used-car buyer needs to know.

Request Reports
A big part of what determines a car’s value is its driving history. Has that car been in an accident? How bad was it? What was damaged? All of these things will have a significant impact on the value of the vehicle.

All that is to say it’s essential that you know the vehicles driving history before you buy, so you can understand exactly what you are getting into, and what the car is actually worth.

The best way to do that is to request the title and vehicle history report. Remember to compare the reported mileage to the mileage listed on the actual odometer. This is a great way to check if the report has been tampered with.

Bring In A Mechanic
The truth of the matter is that if you are not a mechanic you won’t know all the things you need to look for when making sure a vehicle is up to par. So bring a mechanic with you! It’s always worth having a certified mechanic take a quick look at a used car before you buy it so you have a complete picture of the state of the car. No one wants to buy a used car only to find out it needs thousands of dollars worth of repairs a week later. A little money for a mechanics time now can save you a lot down the line.

Leak Test
If a car is leaking fluid in any way, it needs some repairs. That’s why it’s always a good idea to perform a comprehensive leak test before purchasing a car. All you have to do is let the car run for 30 seconds over a dry area. Then move the car and look for any wet spots. If there’s a leak, you have a problem.

Check The VIN
One of the more popular scams involving used cars is cloning VIN numbers. When this happens it’s usually a safe bet to assume that the vehicle, or parts of it, were stolen. The easiest way to make sure that this is not the case with the vehicle that you are interested in buying is to check the VIN on the car to the VIN in the records and a VIN decoding chart. If the numbers don’t match up you have a problem.

Buying a used car can be a frustrating experience, but it doesn’t have to be! If you take advantage of the tips we outlined today, you can rest easy knowing you’ve done all you can to make a responsible used-car purchase.
Of course, every car needs a proper car insurance policy. To learn more about your current policy, or to inquire about a new one, we encourage you to reach out to TGS Insurance at www.tgsinsurance.com.

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