Buying a car can be an exciting and confusing process, and it is easy to get lost in the moment if you don’t have a good list of car buying questions to keep you on track. Below are 8 questions you should ask prior to buying any vehicle.
Is the seller the original owner of the car? If the seller has the original receipt, it will ensure that he or she is the original owner.
Is the car financed? Some people may attempt to sell a vehicle prior to paying it off. If the car is still financed then the person selling it is not the actual owner, the lender is. Obviously this question applies to private sellers only.
How much is the car driven? If the owner says “not much” but the car is five years old with 100,000 miles, you need to be suspicious. A typical car is driven between 10,000 and 15,000 miles a year. A car with significantly more miles has seen a lot of use.
Does the owner have service records? While not always the case, most owners who care enough to keep service records care enough to keep their cars in good working order. If there are no records you have no idea what has been done to the car, for better or worse. It may also be important to ask if there was ever anything out of the ordinary done to the vehicle. Additionally it is important to ask if any parts have been recently replaced or not.
What is the price of the car and is the seller willing to negotiate? Most people, dealers and private sellers expect to wheel and deal a little bit on price. There is no harm in asking ahead of time if they expect to negotiate or not.
Has the car ever been in an accident? Ask this question prior to the one that follows. If the car owner says “no” but is leery of you taking the car in for an inspection, you should be suspicious. In fact, it is often best to ask this question before you inspect the car, that way if you notice something out of the ordinary you can question whether the seller is lying to you or not.
Is the seller willing to let you take the car for an inspection? Consider refusing to buy any car that the seller won’t let you have inspected. It is very important to take the car to a mechanic you trust and have it looked over, just to be safe.
What is the reason for selling the car? It is always good to ask this question in order to get a feel for why the seller wants to move on. Beware too good to be true stories, owners who turn vehicles over quickly with no good reason and people with answers that just don’t sound right.