Buying a car can be an intimidating and complex process. You’ll want to take the time to ask the right questions and conduct thorough research before signing any contracts, or you may end up paying more than you’re prepared to pay for your next vehicle.
That’s why Beck’s Auto Center created this list of 5 questions to ask yourself before buying a car to make sure you get the best deal possible! Dive in before buying your next vehicle.
Has the car been accident-free?
The first thing you need to know about any car you’re looking at is whether or not it has been in an accident. Insurance companies will charge higher premiums for drivers who own cars that have been in crashes, as these cars can be more expensive to repair and therefore costlier to insure.
Even if your insurance company doesn’t ask, there are other reasons why it makes sense to avoid cars with crash histories: they tend to depreciate faster than other models, and even if they don’t have major structural damage from accidents, they could still be damaged beyond what you can see on the surface.
For example, a rear-end collision can cause transmission problems down the road—and those costs aren’t covered by your insurance company. So when buying a used car, make sure you find out its history of accidents before making an offer.
What was the mileage when it was traded in?
The average car on sale today is nearly 10 years old, and one of its previous owners could have racked up hundreds of thousands of miles. If you’re buying a new car, you want to find out how many miles are on it so that you know what kind of shape it’s in and whether it might need servicing soon.
If you’re looking at used cars, you should still ask about mileage; even if it’s under 100,000 miles, there may be hidden problems with the engine or transmission.
What is your financing plan?
This question can help you determine whether or not a dealership will try to sell you an extended warranty (which isn’t always worth it). It can also give you an idea of how flexible they are when it comes to negotiating price.
Is there more than one owner?
The first thing you want to ask is how many owners have there been. The longer it’s been owned by one owner, the better.
No one wants to buy someone else’s headache.
This also has a role in keeping your premiums low as some insurers offer discounts for cars with no prior history of insurance claims. If there are multiple owners, find out why they are selling and if they are willing to give you any details about what may be wrong with it. There could be hidden problems that will cost you time and money down the road.
Does it have service records?
To reduce your odds of ending up with a lemon, ask whether or not the vehicle you’re interested in has service records. If it does, chances are higher that its owner took care of maintenance and kept any potential problems in check before selling.
Your local auto repair shop should be able to tell if something is wrong with it (and whether or not it’s fixable) after looking over these records.
Will you get your value back at trade-in time?
Cars depreciate quickly, and they can lose up to 20% of their value in as little as 3 years. When buying a new car, you’ll want to ask yourself if you’ll be able to get your money back if you decide to sell, or a favorable trade-in. Make a plan to either sell or trade-in your vehicle before it loses too much value!
Still need help? Ask a trusted auto repair sho
We get it—there’s a lot of pressure when it comes to buying a vehicle, but don’t sweat it!
Beck’s Auto Center can perform a vehicle inspection and alert you to any potential problems before you buy. This can save you money, and heartache, down the road.
To schedule an appointment, call (765) 563-5455!