Used Car Buyer's Checklist in Augusta, GA
If you're looking to save money without sacrificing quality, buying a used vehicle is a great option. But there are several factors to consider while you're shopping, especially if you've never purchased a used vehicle before. This includes finding out as much as you can about the vehicle's history and reliability. We've highlighted a few tips below to help you on your way.
✔ Do Your Research
Before you start searching for a car, decide on which type of vehicle you need. This will narrow down your list of specific items to check. When researching the vehicle, find out if there are any common issues for the models you are considering.
✔ Exterior Checks
Walk around the vehicle to look for any scratches, dents or rust. Don't forget to look at the body panels. Everything should line up evenly, while the doors, hood and trunk should open and close properly. Check the tires to make sure each one is the same brand and in good condition, free of cracks, bulges, scuffing or worn tread. Make sure the lights work properly and are without cracks, damage and moisture.
✔ Interior Checks
The interior should be free of odors. If you smell mold, must or mildew, this may indicate a water leak or flood damage. Make sure the seats work properly and that you can adjust the driver’s seat to a comfortable position. Additionally, check the upholstery for excessive wear and tear. Always test the controls and instruments to see that they are working properly. Finally, check the roof for suspicious stains or signs of water leaking through a sunroof or window.
✔ Under the Hood
Look under the hood to check the belts, hoses, fluids, oil and transmission fluid. All fluids should be at the proper levels, and there should be no cracks, leaks or water present. Don't forget to look under the vehicle for possible leaks too.
✔ The Test Drive
The test drive is one of the most crucial parts of your inspection, so make sure you pay attention to how long it takes the car to start and listen for any odd noises. Try the vehicle on various types of roads to test it at different speeds, make sure the transmission shifts smoothly and that the brakes provide good stopping power without pulling the vehicle to either side.
✔ Paperwork and Mechanic's Inspection
Before you make the final decision on the car, obtain the vehicle identifIcation number (VIN) and run a Vehicle History Report. Most dealerships should be able to provide a report on each used vehicle on their lot. Also bring the vehicle to a trustworthy repair shop for a thorough inspection before you purchase it.