Used Car Considerations

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Buying a vehicle can be an exciting process.  Whether used or new, there are many considerations that you will need to take into account to make sure that you are getting a safe and reliable vehicle.  If you do choose to buy a used car there are a few more considerations to take into account.

Research is key before starting to look at used cars.  You should write down what you are looking for in a car and what you will need it for (for example, are you going to want  2 door or a 4 door, are you going to want a SUV, van, car, or truck?).  What is a deal breaker for you?  (i.e. excessive mileage?, excessive rust?, smells inside the car – for instance a former smoker?).  Once you have this all mapped out, your choices on what you will need to pick for a vehicle will become less.

Step two would be to start to research several different types of cars that you are interested in.  For example, if you are looking for an SUV, priced at value X, with X mileage, with 4 doors, a sunroof, air conditioning and made within the last 5 years then you have a place to start.  Consumer reports often offers advice on used cars and have been tested under various conditions.  You can read their reviews to get an understanding of what is recommended in makes and models of vehicles.

Once you have a firm understanding of what you are looking for, then it’s time to go out and find your car.  Once you find what you are looking for then you can then take it for a test drive to see how it handles, how the alignment is, and how it drives in the wind (does it wander on the road, is it hard to steer for example?). 

Having a mechanic look at the vehicle will ensure that the vehicle is road ready and safe.  Vehicles in Canada have to be inspected before registered and licensed, so you will want to make sure that the safety inspection is up to date on your vehicle.  At the garage, the mechanics will look for general mechanics and running capabilities of the car.  They will look for the condition of the car (often various parts such as the motor).  They will then look for suspension problems, steering linkages and other maladies that sometimes affect vehicles. 

Checking with the previous owner of the car will verify the condition and the mileage of the car, and to see how it’s been taken care of and if it’s been in any accidents.  You can also ask to see if there were  other previous owners and if the car has any warranty left over. 

If you have decided that this is the car that you would like to purchase, you should check with an insurance company to find out how much money it’s going to cost to insure the car.  Although you might be paying a lower price for your vehicle, you don’t want to have to pay a high insurance premium to insure your car.

Happy researching and shopping!