What Questions Should You Ask a Used Car Salesman?

June 18th, 2020 by

There are plenty of reasons to buy a used car if you’re in the market for a new vehicle. You can save a lot of money on a great model if you choose a used car, but you should make sure it’s in good shape before you make a final decision. Here are some key questions to ask the dealer before driving home in a pre-owned vehicle.

Do You Have the Service Records?

One of the first things to check when you’re thinking about buying a used car is the maintenance or service history. Vehicle records tell you if the previous owner or owners took the car in for regular maintenance and if it had any major repairs or parts replacements. Review the history to ensure you’re getting a reliable vehicle that won’t cause you any immediate issues. When you ask for service records, the salesperson should be able to edit out previous owners’ private information while leaving all the details you need.

You should also check to see if the dealer did any work on the car since it’s been on the lot. If they performed any needed repairs or replaced big-ticket parts, it could save you money long term.

How Long Can I Test Drive the Vehicle?

A longer test drive can help you get to know how the car handles and if it has any issues that you can’t detect during a short drive around the block. Some dealerships may even let you take the car overnight as long as you sign an agreement that states you won’t drive it over a certain number of miles. When you test drive a used vehicle, turn the radio off so you can hear any sounds that could indicate mechanical problems. Make sure you try backing up and making full turns to see how the steering handles.

You should also closely examine the interior and exterior for extra wear and tear that could lower the value. Check for bumps and scratches on the body, wear and tear in the interior, and issues with the electronics and air system.

How Did the Dealer Purchase the Vehicle?

Dealerships often get cars as trade-ins, from auctions, or from rental agencies. If the vehicle was a trade-in, the dealership may have maintenance records available that you can review. Dealers usually have less information about auction cars, so you should ask if they performed any repairs or replaced any parts when they bought it. You can also ask for an independent inspection from a mechanic who specializes in used cars. Cars that come from rental agencies should have detailed maintenance and repair records available.

Can I Trade in My Previous Vehicle?

When you start the buying process, check if your dealer will take the car you have now as a trade-in, which has multiple benefits. First, it will save you the trouble of trying to sell your current car by yourself. The trade-in will also help you pay for your “new” used car, and the trade-in value is usually higher than what you can expect from an independent sale. Some dealers offer a higher trade-in value if your current car is one that they would normally keep on the lot.

Can I See the CarFax Report?

Ask the dealer to give you the CarFax report before deciding on a used car, which provides more information than just the maintenance history, like the number of miles driven each year, major accidents, total losses, registration history, ownership, and more. Once you do get a report, make sure that the or VIN on the report matches up to the number of the car you’re interested in buying. You can also match any information the salesperson gives you to ensure all of the details you get are correct.

Are There Any Aftermarket Features?

Aftermarket features are any add-ons that the vehicle didn’t originally have, like tinted windows or an upgraded speaker system. These features usually increase the price of the car, so it’s useful to know what exactly you’re paying for. While you may want certain aftermarket features on your car, you may be able to get a better price if you purchase a standard vehicle and add what you want later.

Check for the price of a car with aftermarket features compared to the same standard car to see if you want to pay for the price difference. If not, you can ask to look at other similar cars with no add-ons.

Are Any New Parts or Accessories Included?

You can see if you can get any new equipment, accessories, or parts included with the purchase of your used car. Once you’re satisfied with the price, you can ask if the dealer will give you perks, like a new set of tires, floor mats, or other parts. While it’s not guaranteed, it certainly doesn’t hurt to ask before you hit the road in your vehicle.

Can I See The Pre-Certification Inspection?

Going for a certified pre-owned vehicle is a great way to get peace of mind when you’re looking into buying a new car. If the car is certified pre-owned through the dealership, ask to see the inspection from the certification. The practice of buying a manufacturer-certified pre-owned used car has grown in popularity in recent years. Certified pre-owned cars often come from the same dealer you’re shopping at and many even offer a warranty similar to the one you’d get with a new vehicle.

Many of these vehicles are low-mileage lease returns that the dealer has inspected and maintained, though you should still inquire about the inspection notes. This will give you insight into the mechanical condition of the vehicle as well as possible service needs in the future, which will in turn give you a full picture of the car you want to bring home.

The knowledge you get from these questions and answers will ensure you choose the right used vehicle for your lifestyle and budget. Check out the extensive selection of used and certified pre-owned vehicles at Hiley Hyundai of Fort Worth today!

Posted in Used Cars