Some Things to Check When Buying a Pre-Owned or Used Car

By Raymond articles Published 10/14/2008 | Auto and Trucks

Unfortunately, in today's economy, you will find used car dealers that will behave in an unethical fashion.  In some cases, you may even do your best to test drive a vehicle, or have it looked over by another mechanic, only to discover serious problems later on.  As may be expected, proving your side of the issue may be difficult, if not impossible once you drive the car off the lot.  That said, with a little bit of care and attention to detail, you can save yourself anywhere from $500.00 to $1000.00 on simple repairs.

As you may be aware, tires are expensive.  At the same time, most car dealers have access to all kinds of used tires.  Chances are, if you test drive a vehicle, you will take note of the tires and their condition.  If you are dealing with an unethical car salesman, you may find that good tires will be exchanged for poor quality ones before you drive the vehicle off the lot.  Unless you take pictures of the tires that were on the vehicle when you test drove it, you may find that you have to buy new tires sooner than expected.

You will also need to pay special attention to the exhaust system.  Even though the vehicle may seem quiet now, it may have a partially plugged catalytic converter.  Aside from curtailing the life of the vehicle's engine, you may find that muffler repairs will be required sooner than expected.   Therefore, it is imperative to take the vehicle to an independent mechanic, and have the exhaust system evaluated before purchase.

Depending on your preferences, you may well decide that you do not want to own a vehicle that has been in any type of collision.    Unfortunately, the car dealer may not know the history of the vehicle, or may not be unwilling to admit that the car was in a collision.   While the vehicle you are buying may be mechanically safe, it is still important to do a vehicle title search.  This will also give you information about liens and other debts that may not have been paid off.   Without a question, this will be cheaper in the long run than getting stuck with thousands of dollars worth of repairs, or other types of bills.

Today, buying a used car offers a number of advantages over purchasing a new one.  That said, if you are looking for the cheapest vehicle possible, you may wind up doing business with a less than ethical salesman.  While the car may ultimately be in good condition, you will still need to protect your financial rights during the course of the transaction.   In some cases, you may want to contact the better business bureau, as well as ask other car buyers about their experiences with a particular car dealer.