Before Purchasing a Previously-Loved Car …

Buying a car can be fun and stressful all at the same time. Buying a used car can also be full of pitfalls if you’re not careful. I know the first car I bought wasn’t exactly in pristine condition. Purchasing the right car for you is just as important as finding the best car. We’ve come up with a sort of checklist to help your buying experience go a little more smoothly.

  • First, always make sure the car you’re checking out, is on level ground. This will ensure that you can get an accurate portrayal for checking tires, suspension, sagging, etc.
  • Check the exterior of the car for rusting, any indications that tape may have been holding something together, a new paint job, etc. All of these things could be signs of some major damage done to the car that will affect performance.
  • Check the trunk for any signs of rust or other water entry which can indicate both how the car was treated, and its usage.
  • You should check under the hood of the car for any obvious damage. However, always have your mechanic check out the car before final purchase. If the seller has a problem with this, it’s probably a good indication that there’s something significantly wrong with the vehicle. Also, just inside the bumper where the hood joins, there should be a decal with the car’s VIN number. If that’s missing, the bumper has been replaced, meaning the car was in an accident.
  • Check all hoses and belts for cracks and other damage.
  • Check interior for damage.
  • Make sure all electric systems work (i.e. AC, heat, stereo, electric windows, etc.)
  • Check odometer. Cars age by years and mileage. An average driver puts between 10,000 and 15,000 miles on a car/year.
  • Always test drive a car before purchasing. Not just to make sure there aren’t any weird/concerning noises/feels, but you also need to make sure that you like the way the car drives, and are comfortable with that.
  • Every responsible owner will have service records for their car. Make sure to check these out before purchase so you know both what issues have already been addressed, and what issues you can probably expect.

We hope this list has aided you in your search for your perfect car. For a more thorough list, click here. Once you find your perfect automotive match, call up Sweeney & Sweeney to find the best rates and coverage for the new addition to your life. Have a happy and safe weekend everyone!