If you are planning to purchase a used vehicle, you probably have a good idea of some of the aspects to check – including the car’s overall condition and its driving performance as well as its comfort, among other things. But it’s easy to get a bit distracted when you’re already checking the car and forget some vital aspects as well – such as its history of repair, its mileage, and more. While it’s critical to assess a vehicle’s performance and condition, there are some things you should remember, too. So what are the things you should really remember when checking a used vehicle? Here’s your best guide.
- The car’s interior and exterior
It is important to take note of the car’s interior and exterior. Before you get into the car, check the seats, especially the driver’s seat and the rear seats. Are they comfortable? Would you be able to fit comfortably into the driver’s seat?
When checking the interior, look closely at the seats and their condition, the floors, the ceiling, and the car’s doors. Can you find any stains or tears? If you can, ask the dealer or owner if these can be removed – or if they can give you a lower price. When checking the exterior, look carefully at the paint job, and take note of the bumper and trim, as suggested by established used car dealerships like youngautomotive.com. Can you see any major dents or scratches or any evidence or sign of repair? You should also take note of the lights and tires, and check the muffler. Deferred maintenance or age will definitely be obvious with these elements.
- Get the car’s repair history
You can also get the car’s history of repair, especially if it is more than several years old. You can get this through sites like Carfax, although you need the VIN (vehicle identification number) and license plate number of the vehicle. If you get the history and notice a well-spaced pattern of repairs and maintenance, this is a good sign that the vehicle was well taken care of. But if there are too many repairs or frequent ones, especially for the same problem or malfunction, then this could indicate a more severe issue. It could even be the main reason why the car is being sold.
- Think about the vehicle’s mileage in relation to its age
Another essential factor to remember is the vehicle’s mileage in relation to its age. This isn’t something that many car buyers think about initially, but it can make a whole lot of difference. Although there is still a lot of debate about which is more important – the vehicle’s age or the mileage – it’s best to remember a few key points. In terms of age, vehicles will depreciate by about 60% in the first 5 years. Afterward, they don’t depreciate as much. But a vehicle’s depreciation caused by mileage is relative because the age and the mileage will always go together. Mileage will really depend on the vehicle’s age, so a typical vehicle will often have about 10,000 to 12,000 miles a year – and you can use this as a guide for you to gauge the vehicle’s mileage in relation to its age. The more mileage it has for its age, the lower its value, and vice versa.