Tips for Buying a Used Car Used Inventory It’s something no one expects. You buy a great looking used car from a private seller only to have it break down a week later and the seller has vanished without a trace. Now, you need to find a way to pay for the repairs after just buying the car. But you can avoid this situation if you just do some research ahead of time. Why does this matter? A used car with hidden problems can end up costing you a lot in repairs and parts. The tips below will help you make sure this doesn’t happen to you. At The Lake Dealerships, we created these helpful used car buying tips to help Lewistown, State College, and Bellefonte drivers just like you. 1. Check on the Vehicle History No matter who you’re buying the car from (a dealership or a private seller) the vehicle’s history report gives you a detailed history of the vehicle’s past. The vehicle history report includes tons of information including how many owners the car has had, involvement in accidents, and more. They can help you see if the vehicle may have some hidden damage or other issues. Simply reading the history report can save you from making a bad purchasing decision. Dealerships will give you a free copy of the vehicle’s history report. If you’re trying to get a history report on your own, make sure you have the vehicle identification number (VIN). Then, you can use a service like CARFAX to look up the report. 2. Inspect Inside and Out Dents, stains, etc. You should be on the lookout for any and all cosmetic issues. Small scuffs or stains may be ok, but large dents or a cracked windshield should be cause for concern. Does it look like the panels on the exterior don’t match up? That might mean the car was in an accident and could have other problems as well. Also, look at the tires. Take note of the overall condition of the tire as well as its tread depth. If the tread depth seems low or is uneven, find out if the car received regular tire rotations. Not rotating the tires can cause damage. Inside the car, be on the lookout for stains, rips, cracks, and odd smells. Start the engine. Do any warning lights stay lit after the initial start up test? Warning lights can indicate major problems with the vehicle. Don’t forget to try all the controls on the center console and steering wheel to make sure they work. 3. Take a Test Drive The test drive is where you’ll learn the most about the how the car drives. Be sure to try different driving actions and scenarios (while keeping safety in mind). Get it up to speed. Find a road with a speed limit of 40 or higher. Also, when it’s safe to do so, test out accelerating and braking. This will give you a better idea of how the vehicle performs. 4. Negotiate Your Price Have the vehicle inspected by a third party. Have them inspect the entire vehicle to make sure everything is in good working order. They can also give you a list of any issues they found and the estimated cost for repairs. Once that’s done, you’re ready to negotiate. Be sure to mention any and all damage or problems that were found during the inspection and the test drive. Why? Issues with the vehicle can bring down the overall value. Finding a Great Used Car We hope you found these used car buying tips helpful. Now you’re ready to start shopping. At The Lake Dealerships, we have a wide variety of used cars to choose from and we are conveniently located in the Lewistown, State College, and Bellefonte area. This way, you can rest easy knowing you’re getting a used car that’s in tip top shape. Schedule a test drive today!