Used Car Buying Tips

Used Cars USA



Buying a used car is likely to be one of the largest investment that you have ever made, so if you find yourself the victim of a rotten apple, it can be a very expensive mistake. Some sellers can benefit from the ignorance of people who buy cars. They can take advantage of people who don't know much about cars and dupe the unwary. This is something that both unscrupulous AND unknowing sellers can gain from, and so you need to be vigilant about checking certain aspects of the used car and you could enter into an extremely fraught relationship.

Look at the VIN number plates and the chassis plate. These will reflect the age of the car in how they are preserved. People who try to adjust the age of the car will often forget the chassis number and if you find that an old car has new chassis number plates or you think that there is evidence of the numbers being altered then you should walk away or at least ask for an explanation. There will also be an engine number and you can carefully cross-check with the car's logbook. There are also companies offering history checks that give you a low-down on the car's history. There is also a bonnet slam panel which you can check for disturbed bolts or resprays. Check the bulkhead too.

Some people look at a used car and see that the tyres are worn and try to negotiate money off the car. But they actually can miss the point. If the tyres are worn it is possible that the reason they are worn is due to wheel alignment problems or even a crash history which are much more expensive to fix than just replacing tyres.

Then there is clocking, which is when unscrupulous sellers (or previous unscrupulous sellers) have wound back the odometers on the car to make it look as if the car has done less miles, which can raise the price of the car. People can also replace the pedal rubbers and the material on the seats to make the car look newer. A good history checking company can tell you whether that model and shape can possibly be that age. You can also check previous MOT certificates and all past ownership documents and service histories to see if they tally as well.

Check the level and the quality of engine oil. If the oil has been contaminated by water then the oil filter will have some sludge in, which isn't good. The oil filter and battery should also be branded items of good quality. Try starting the car when it is cold, rev the engine hard and check what comes out of the exhaust.

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