Questions to Ask a Used Car Salesperson Before Making a Purchase

One of the biggest risks of buying a used vehicle is that it can be difficult to know exactly what you’re getting. The vehicle has an entire history and awareness of that history is important if you want to avoid potential issues or unexpected repair expenses. To avoid experiencing unexpected problems, it’s important to ask plenty of questions before the purchase that will provide you with a more comprehensive idea of what you’re buying. Here are some of the most important questions to ask a used car salesperson before purchasing a pre-owned vehicle.

Can I see the mechanic’s pre-certification inspection?

If the vehicle you’re considering purchasing is a certified pre-owned vehicle, one of the first questions that you should ask is if you can see the mechanic’s pre-certification inspection. This inspection will reveal any repairs that were necessary for the car to receive its certification. Such information will provide you with an idea of how reliable the car might be based on how extensive the repairs were.

Will seller supply a Carfax report for the vehicle?

Getting a third-party vehicle history report such as a Carfax report is always a good idea when purchasing a used vehicle. Most reputable used car dealerships are willing to pay for this report and offer it to you before you make your purchase. If they aren’t, it could be a red flag that they are trying to hide something about the vehicle. As such, you should consider taking your business elsewhere.

Where did this vehicle come from?

Knowing the source of the used vehicle is imperative for acquiring its accurate maintenance history. Used vehicles could have a wide variety of different sources. In worst-case scenarios, some vehicles that were in floods in hurricanes and up in the used car market when they should have been junked. A used vehicle may have been a trade-in in to a dealership or bought at an auction. By determining how the vehicle was acquired, the dealer may be able to provide you with its maintenance records. Such records could reveal if the car has ever been in an accident, if work has been done on it recently, if the dealership has performed any services on the vehicle, and other relevant information.

In July 2014 The Street reported Florida cities, except for Jacksonville and Pensacola, can be among the best cities to purchase a used car at a discount from the national average. The Street reported the Miami area recorded the best discount from the national average at -8 percent. Followed by good discounts below the national average in Sarasota (-2.1%), Tampa (-1.9%), and Orlando (-1.65%).

The worst cities in the United States recorded car sales 6-8 percent above the national average.

See also …

The Street | 5 Best and Worst Cities For Buying a Used Car

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