Before You Buy a Car
Unless we live in a major city with a lot of public transit options, most of us will have to use a car to get around. That means most of us will need to buy a car at some point. In fact, we’ll need to buy several cars, although obviously not all at the same time. The sheer weight of finding a new car can get daunting pretty fast. It might be tempting to just go to a car lot and pick out a vehicle in five or ten minutes because you just don’t want to think about it anymore. However,we can’t choose cars the way we choose what kind of take-out to get after a long day at work. It requires time and deliberate action.
The history of a car
Are you buying new? If so, enjoy picking from among the fanciest bells and whistles on the new car market. Once you have a brand in mind, commit to doing some new Ford vehicle research or new Chevy research. If you aren’t buying new, though, you’ll need to do a bit of investigative work. Before you commit to buying a car, you should ask for and receive a report with details about its history. If there are any accidents, then that should be on this report. The key term to remember is “vehicle history report.” If the airbags deployed in an accident three years ago, then that should be on the report. Did it receive engine service two years ago? That should be listed as well. Such reports are crucial to ensuring that you don’t get sold a lemon. It’s one thing to buy a car because the prior owner has decided to upgrade; it’s another thing entirely to buy a car because the prior owner is sick of dealing with all its problems. If you’re buying the car “as is,” then that usually means you’re responsible for any problems that crop up after you buy it, even if those problems began well before you got behind the wheel. If you don’t do your research and get some answers before writing a check, then you may be waiving your right to get any answers later. In many cases, it’s now or never.
Check it out
Viewing paperwork related to your preferred vehicle is critical, but so is taking a test drive. If you’re not comfortable driving the car, then it doesn’t matter how cool it looks on the outside. Feel free to ask to take a look under the hood as well. Even better, request a chance to take the car off the lot and have a mechanic with an ASE automotive degree (or similar training) inspect it. Most of us can do the basics of car maintenance. We can check our oil levels or even change a flat tire, but we’re not experts. An expert can take a look at things and let you know if the car is in a position to last a decade, or if it’s going to completely fall apart within six months. If a dealership won’t let you get the car inspected by a third party, it’s fair to ask questions and decide whether or not that’s a dealbreaker.
This post contains affiliate links, which means I might receive a small commision,
if you make a purchase using this link.