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Friday, February 8, 2013

5 Things To Check Before Buying A Used Car

Buying a used car can be a nerve-racking experience. After all, we've all heard stories about friends going to the dealership and coming home with a dud. But these experiences are actually quite rare. When buying a used car from either a dealership or an individual, there are a few things that you should check to ensure that you're getting the best possible deal and that the car you're purchasing doesn't have any major flaws. Here are the 5 main things to check before buying a used car.

1. Tires:
It may seem obvious, but bad tires can be one of the main things that should affect the price of the new car that you buy. Many individual sellers haven't checked their tires in a while, and if the tires need to be replaced, you're going to be out quite a bit of money. To avoid this potential downfall, check the state of the tire tread, and if the tires look like they'll need to be replaced soon ask to adjust the price of the car accordingly.

2. Mileage:
It goes without saying that mileage is important in adjusting the price of a car -- but do keep in mind that most recent cars can go for an indefinite amount of miles if they are serviced correctly. In the old days, a car with over 100,000 miles was on its last legs, but today, as long as its had regular maintenance, it may be barely affected at all by its travels. Mileage is more important in older cars, and cars that have been poorly maintained.

3. Accessories:
It may seem like a small thing, but there are a few items you should request while purchasing a used vehicle: owner's manual, at least two sets of keys, and the spare tire. These items may simply slip the mind of an individual, or have been misplaced by a used car dealership, but when you need them, you need them. You should especially check the trunk to make sure that you have a spare tire--otherwise the dealership should give you one.

4. Lights:
There are a lot of lights on a car: dashboard lights, internal lights, head lights, day running lights, tail lights, front turn signals, back turn signals, and even mirror lights. When actually test driving a car, it's impossible to see that all of these lights are functioning correctly--especially rear turn signals. Since many of these lights are legally required to function properly, you should always test them out.

5. Accident history:
Today it's easier than ever to pull up accident reports online. You should always pull up an accident report for a car. Minor body damage is to be expected on a used car, but anything that damaged the frame or major components should affect the price.

Buying a used car does not need to be a harrowing process. As long as you keep your trusty blue book in hand and are vigilant with your inspections, you should be on your way to a great, gently used, car.

Jason is a car enthusiast and loves to blog about his passion for cars. He recently purchased a 2007 Corvette and didn't have any trouble getting the used car insured because he went with


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