WHAT SHOULD YOU ASK WHEN BUYING A CAR?

April 9th, 2020 by

Buying a car can be tough. Besides, the average American only purchases a car every six years or so. And between vehicle purchases, a lot can happen within the industry. Process changes and innovative technologies all work to alter the way people shop and purchase vehicles.

Even so, there are a few core questions you should always ask when buying a car. If a dealership has any problem confidently answering these questions on demand, you should have no problem walking away.

Do You Have a Vehicle History Report?

If you’re purchasing a used vehicle, this is not negotiable: you should have a vehicle history report. Whether it’s “Show me the CarFax” or another industry-standard like Experian’s AutoCheck, it’s critical you see the vehicle history report. These key exposés offer you insight into where the vehicle has been, so you can have a better vision of where it’s going. With either of these documents, you’ll have access to troves of detrimental information, including:

The number of previous owners
How the vehicle was previously used (rental, commercial, personal, etc.)
The number of wrecks the vehicle has been in
Whether the airbag was deployed
If the vehicle has a salvaged title or been a flood or fire
Available service records
The estimated average number of miles driven per year
And much more

Once you have this information, you can level the playing field and confidently make an informed decision.

Has the Dealership Performed Any Service to the Vehicle?

It’s not uncommon for some used vehicles to sit for weeks or even months on the dealership’s lot. So, regardless of the service history on the vehicle history report, the current dealership may have performed some maintenance or repairs on the vehicle. This information can be especially helpful because it can mean fewer costs for you. For instance, if the dealership has recently put new tires on a vehicle, this equates into savings for you.

Can I Take the Vehicle for a Test Drive?

Any reputable dealership will allow you to take the vehicle in question on a test drive. In fact, most reputable dealerships will strongly suggest you take the vehicle on a test drive. However, if the dealership says “no” to you taking the vehicle for a test drive; red flags should begin to wave.

Performing a test drive is an extremely standard action you should perform before purchasing one. So if a dealer is reluctant or hesitant to let you test drive a vehicle, you should most obviously consider a different vehicle.

Can I Have My Own Mechanic Take a Look at the Vehicle?

If you’re in the market for a used vehicle, it’s a great practice to ask if you can take your vehicle to an independent mechanic. On the one hand, gaining this type of perspective can be exceptionally valuable. You’ll receive an independent, unbiased analysis of the vehicle. On one hand, you may be able to spot potential future issues. However, if you ask and the dealer is reluctant or says “no,” you should be alarmed. This could be an indicator the dealer is attempting to hide something.

Does the Dealership Take Trade-in Vehicles?

Just because you’re considering a new vehicle doesn’t mean the one you’re driving doesn’t have value. In contrast, your current vehicle could be worth a significant amount as a trade-in. Make sure to ask the dealership if they will take your current car or truck as a trade-in vehicle. It will help you pay for your brand new or new-to-you vehicle. At the same time, you’ll save volumes of time and reduce the hassle of attempting to sell your vehicle privately.

What Is the Vehicle’s Warranty?

If you’re purchasing a new Chevy, you’ll enjoy a 3-Year/36,000 Mile Bumper-to-Bumper Limited Warranty that covers all repairs attributed to workmanship or material defects. At the same time, new Chevy vehicles come with a 5-Year/60,000-Mile Powertrain Warranty. However, not all new cars come with the same warranty. On the other hand, used car warranties can vary greatly. In either case, it’s vital you have a clear understanding of the vehicle’s warranty you’re considering. To do so, make sure you ask and are crystal clear on:

The warranty period
What is covered under the warranty
Where can you have covered repairs performed
What are any fees or deductibles
What type of maintenance must be performed to keep the warranty valid?
Can this maintenance be performed at any service facility?

Does the Dealership Offer Extended Warranty Coverage?

Whether it’s a new or used vehicle, the dealership should offer you the option to purchase an extended warranty. Your sales professionals should be able to create a tailored warranty package based on your expressed needs and driving habits. In addition to extended warranty coverage, the dealership will also present value-added services and solutions to help you get the most from your experience.

Buying a car can be tough. Besides, the average American only purchases a car every six years or so. And between vehicle purchases, a lot can happen within the industry. Process changes and innovative technologies all work to alter the way people shop and purchase vehicles.

Even so, there are a few core questions you should always ask when buying a car. If a dealership has any problem confidently answering these questions on demand, you should have no problem walking away.

Posted in Tips