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For many car buyers in Forest VA used cars have definite benefits that are preferable to or comparable with brand-new vehicles. Whatever your reason for acquiring a used car, it is a significant purchase, and you need to make a well-informed buying decision. The first step is buying only from a reputable used car dealership, and the second one to ask the dealer the right questions.

Questions to ask before buying a used car

Here are some questions you need to ask the Forest VA used cars sellers before the purchase:

Can you show me the vehicle history report?

The vehicle history report will inform you about who owned the car previously and if it has ever been in any accidents. You will find out if it has sustained damage due to an accident or another reason; and if it has undergone any extensive repairs. Most sellers will offer you the report unasked. If they don’t, you must ask for it. If they refuse to show it, walk away and find another dealer.

Can you show me the car maintenance history report?

You can check the car’s maintenance history report on the website of CARFAX Inc. However, they will only have reported information. For maintenance services that went unreported, you can ask to see the seller’s independent maintenance history records. These will let you check if they have followed the car manufacturer’s exact recommendations in maintaining the vehicle. If they have been servicing the car with regularity, you can expect it to be in good condition.

Can I see the vehicle’s title?

The vehicle’s title is an official document that you absolutely must check before proceeding with the deal. Ask the seller to provide it right away. If they make excuses about letting you see it some other time, go to another dealer. You have to view the title, and that’s that. It gives the name of the car owner, so you can ascertain if the seller owns the vehicle and has the legal right to sell it. You can too check if the car’s vehicle identification number is correct. The title also conveys information about the vehicle’s general condition.

Are you aware of any recall issues with this model?

You can check this for yourself with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration tool. Enter the used car’s vehicle identification number and find out if there have been any recalls for issues like faulty airbags or unsafe fuel tanks. You should also ask the dealer about this if only to find out how genuinely helpful they are. Be aware that they are not legally obliged to inform you, but if you ask, they cannot knowingly mislead you and must provide you with the right information.

What is car mileage?

After the seller quotes the mileage, verify it on the vehicle’s odometer. Generally, a car will have around 12,000 miles on it after being driven for a year. So, if you are getting a three-year-old car, a mileage of 36,000 miles or low is decent mileage, and you can buy it without qualms if all other things are alright.

Has the car been repainted?

Preferably, you want a car with the original paint still intact. If it has been repainted, though, it ought to be a thoroughly professional-looking job. Make sure the repainting wasn’t to hide rust or accident damage.

Can I get my mechanic to inspect the car?

You will have to spend extra to hire a mechanic for a third-party inspection, but it will be worth it. While most reputable used car dealerships get vehicles checked, refurbished, and repaired before putting them on sale, you should still get an independent opinion. It will rest your mind about the dealer intentionally concealing any defects from you. Their team may have also unintentionally missed out on some issues, and you can either get them to correct these for you or ask them to reduce the sales price in consideration.

Can I take the car for a test drive?

Test driving the used car will let you assess if it is comfortable and easy to control. Drive it for at least half an hour to get a good feel of it.