The very act of purchasing a pre-owned car is a smart one, as it is usually a cost-saving measure. By buying a vehicle that even a year or two old, you might be able to save thousands of dollars. However, in order to make the best purchase you can, you need to know how to spot a good deal and know when to avoid a particular car and keep looking. Using the following tips will enable you to make solid decisions when you're searching for the perfect pre-owned car.
Mimic Your Daily Commute
One of the best things you can do before you purchase a pre-owned car is to drive it around. However, many drivers make the test-driving mistake of only driving around the streets near the lot you're shopping at. Instead, make the conscious decision to take the car to the types of streets you will be using regularly. For example, if you'll be on the highway each day, ask if you can take the car there. This will give you a better idea of how the car will feel when you're heading where you need to go.
Look for Signs of Repainting
After a collision or flooding, some pre-owned cars are repainted. This doesn't mean that they're a bad choice if they've been rebuilt and are in good condition, but that is information you'll need to know to make a true informed decision about whether you want a specific car. Therefore, do your best to look for signs that the car is not the original color. The best way to do that is to take a peek at the interior door jambs. Jambs are not generally repainted even if the rest of the car is; if jambs and the car exterior are different colors, that means you have to ask additional questions.
Get a Copy of the Criteria for the Pre-Owned Cars You're Looking At
Some dealerships offer certified pre-owned cars. What this typically means is that a used car has to meet a number of standards before it is released to the public. In order to know what this means to you specifically, ask for a list of the criteria that vehicles must meet in order to be certified by the dealership; don't assume that the criteria is the same for every lot you visit. When you know what the lot requires of its cars, you may feel more comfortable spending a bit more money if you can be assured that you won't have to make certain repairs. Ask about the warranty in place as well.