In a perfect world, you could ask many questions about the history of the vehicle and get all your questions answered honestly...however this is not always the case, so I recommend taking a different approach, in the pre-owned car market I truly feel you have to do your homework and investigate before you give your money away.
Which is why I highly recommend going to CARFAX.COM to request the vehicles history report, you can obtain all types of information and specific data which under normal circumstances may not be revealed...information such as if the car has been wrecked, stolen, in a flood, recalls, and it can even reveal odometer fraud, problem checks, registration checks, title searches and more.
Go to www.carfax.com or www.dmv.org there are small fee's associated with the reports, however it is well worth it!
〉 Answered on Sep 19th, 2006 by Gayle Clark, Owner at Motor City Sales & Services
Questions to ask would be: Where the vehicle came from originally, what warranty comes with it, if any, is it certified....those would be some questions to ask.
Good Luck, Joy Sherman, www.msmotorcars.com
〉 Answered on Oct 14th, 2006 by Joy Sherman, Owner at Ms. Motorcars
Questions to ask a car dealer that will help you to determine if a vehicle is worth your time to go look at. ***Make sure you write down the answers and bring them with you!***
1) Is the transmission Automatic or Manual? (If the transmission is not what you want, there is no need to ask further questions.)
2) Do they check over the used car thoroughly before selling it? If they find anything wrong with the car, do they fix it?
3) Has the vehicle had any repairs recently (example: brakes, tires, exhaust, battery?) or service… if so - what garage performed the work? Can they continue to service your car after you purchase it?
4) Has the vehicle been repainted and if so why?
5) Has the vehicle been involved in any accidents?
6) What is the condition of the vehicle’s body? Is there any rust?
7) How often was a Lube Oil & Filter performed? (3000 miles is the average for mixed driving, 5000 miles for cars that do a lot of highway driving.)
8) Can you see all the service records from all the work done to the car, including oil changes? (This will verify how well they took care of the vehicle)
9) Can you take one of their cars to another Mechanic to have it thoroughly inspected before you offer a price?
10) What kind of warranty do they offer? Is it in writing?
11) Can they provide you with a list of satisfied customers?
12) What price are they asking for the vehicle?
By asking these questions, you’ll gain the information that you need to decide if you should even look at the car. If you like what you see - then it’s time to do a preliminary inspection. The information you get from your phone call along with a road test and inspection of the vehicle will verify or falsify the information you were given.
〉 Answered on Sep 19th, 2006 by Amy Mattinat, Owner and Author at Auto Craftsmen Ltd
Buying New And Certified
Lauren Fix, The Car Coach®
-- A car dealership can be an
intimidating place for many of us. With abundant information on prices and
options available through the internet we as buyers are more empowered. According
to sales consultants, more people are doing research online and returning to
dealerships knowing exactly what they want.
(print this list and take it with you)
What You’ll Need and When You’ll Need It.
you even begin your search, print out this helpful checklist and you won't
forget a thing.
–Drives: Cars and The Dealer
for a test-drive that's customized for you:
m Test drive the model that
you’re thinking about buying
m Begin with a visual
inspection of the exterior
m Inspect the interior for
proper fit of components such as
arm rests to your body
m Be sure the safety belt feels
m Make sure all interior
controls are within easy reach.
m Gauges are clearly visible
and easy to read
m Be certain that your feet
comfortably reach the pedals
m The driver's seat should
provide a good view of the road with proper back and thigh support –visibility
is most important.
m Check for good pickup,
smoothness of ride and the ability to handle bumps and curves
m Check the rearview mirror for
tailgaters, then brake hard to get a feel for how the vehicle comes to a stop.
m Take the car out on the
freeway, check acceleration from the entrance ramp to the high-speed lane
m Check the noise level at
m Drive some of the usual roads
that you drive.
m Try parking the vehicle in a
tight parking spot to get a feel for turning radius.
m Test drive the vehicle for as
long as you need to – don’t feel pressured to drive a certain designated route
the sales consultant has designed.
Make sure the dealership deserves your business:
m Do the dealer and his or her
team of people listen to you?
m Are they prompt, courteous
and thorough in responding to your needs?
m Does the physical appearance
of the showroom, team and products convey a feeling of professionalism and
m Do you get the sense that the
salesperson has been properly trained and really knows what he or she is
talking about? If not, ask for
m Are you made to feel that the
dealership and its team really care about your concerns?
Ready To Negotiate, Outfit and Protect Your
you've decided to purchase, do your homework, know what you deserve and what to
m Know the value of your
trade-in: check the internet for values and check the classified ads to know
what similar vehicles are selling for in your area.
m Know what you want and what
it's worth, build your vehicle and compare the price of different brands on
internet web sites.
m Know what your dealer can do
for you: they may have to check with their manager to answer your questions.
Before negotiations come to an end, make sure to ask if "that's the best
they can do." Be prepared to
walk out if necessary.
m Know what accessories you
want and which ones you need. Decide if you want them installed at time of
purchase and how it affects the warranty.
you consider a service contract, know the background of the company insuring
and administering the service contract:
This is for used cars – new cars include some protection and
some roadside assistance plans.
m Find out what factory
warranty covers and don’t purchase any additional coverage unless this is a
used car and there is no factory warranty left.
m You do not have to have the
vehicle serviced at that dealer, you can choose another dealers or and
independent service location of your choice.
m Do you understand all the
terms and conditions, including whether or not you will be required to have any
maintenance performed or to pay a deductible each time the vehicle is repaired?
m Who is the company doing the
maintenance in the contract – it may not be the dealer – read the small print.
m Certified pre-owned vehicles
may have transferable warranties for a small fee.
m Even is you lease a vehicle,
it is still your responsibility to “Be Car Care Aware” and maintain that
vehicle. If you don’t, when you
trade in the lease you will receive and expensive bill for maintenance that was
neglected. Follow the service
you select your auto insurer:
m Financial strength — this can
be the dealer or your favorite lending institution.
m Original equipment
replacement parts — Select a company that insists on original equipment parts,
not aftermarket low quality knockoffs, to repair your car.
m Convenient sales and service
— Many of the best insurance companies are easy to through 24-hour
claims service. And some offer the ability to manage your policy and make
m Look for companies that
enable you to cancel your current policy at any time and get a prorated refund.
m Check with whoever handles
your homeowners insurance they usually offer a discount for signing on your
should receive a thorough explanation of how to operate such equipment as:
m The heater, heated seats, air
conditioning and ventilation
m Sound system and clock
m A child safety seat and how
to install it
m Anti lock brakes, traction
control and new technologies
m Navigational systems tire
pressure sensors, etc.
m The hood and trunk release,
the tire jack and how to properly use it.
the very least, you should receive the following at the time of delivery:
m Two sets of keys
m Copy of the title
m Vehicle registration (may be
m Copy of the purchase or lease
agreement with mile overage fees
m Vehicle warranty
m Tire warranty
m Service contract, if
m The owner's manual and glove
you leave the dealership, meet the service manager or his representative, and
request a tour of the service department:
m Is it clean and organized?
m Inquire about the procedures
for bringing in your vehicle if there is an issue.
m Is the diagnostic equipment
m Be sure to ask for a review
of your vehicle's scheduled maintenance requirements — when to change oil and
filters, spark plugs, transmission fluid, etc. as described in your owner's
m This is a good time to schedule
your first maintenance appointment
m Inquire about the
availability of loaners, rental vehicles and shuttle service for those times
when you may be without a vehicle due to maintenance or repairs
m A thorough tour of the
dealership is important.
the end you still have to remember the basic maintenance is your responsibility
even if you lease a vehicle.
Sometimes we forget to take care of our new vehicle and then we trade
them in at the end of a lease to receive a very large bill. Be sure to review the maintenance
schedule and remind yourself in your scheduler or PDA.
Also read my blog on FLOOD DAMAGED CARS - No matter what anyone says - DON'T BUY ONE!
〉 Answered on Sep 19th, 2006 by Jamey Wozniak, Owner and CEO at Joe's Hitch, Trailer & Truck Accessories
There is a great article on the Ask Patty website with valuaable questions to ask regarding buying a preowned vehicle. I suggest taking a look at that article.
In addition, an absolute MUST is having a "Pre Purchase Inspection" done on your car. Many shops offer this free of charge. Quite simply take the preowned vehicle to your technician and have them complete a thorough inspection of the car. This is good for a few reasons: your technician may find things wrong with the car that are not easily noticed by most people by just looking under the hood and secondly it gives you buying power. If your technician finds let's say $1000 worth of work that might need to be done (whether it is needed maintenance or some repairs) you then have bargaining power. Pre purchase inspections are crucial! Your technician should be able to give you a checklist of items they have checked and/or found which needs attention. Bring this with you to the car dealership and tell them that your technician checked the car over and found these things on the car needing attention.
Good luck and have fun!
〉 Answered on Sep 19th, 2006 by Kim Walker, Marketing Director at Peak Automotive