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5 Things To Look Out For When Buying A Used Car

Buying a new car can be a fun experience if you've done it a few times or a daunting task if you've never done it before.  From finding the vehicle you want, to test driving it, to finally driving it away, the reward of having a vehicle you love feels pretty good. Whether you are buying from a dealer or privately, we have a few things that will help you when searching for that "new to you" car. 

To help you through your car buying process, check out the five things to look out for when buying a used car.


Incomplete, Missing, Or Incorrect Paperwork

One of the most important things to watch out for when purchasing a used car is making sure that all the paperwork is complete and matches with the car you are buying.  You should make sure you have a title with matching VIN numbers, a vehicle history report which will detail any accident and major repairs, and a maintenance history.  These pieces of information are important to know how well the car was maintained as well as any damage it may have suffered that can cause problems later.

A Vehicle That Has Not Been Inspected By A Certified Mechanic

When buying your car from a dealership, they should have had the vehicle go through a thorough mechanical inspection before being placed for sale.  If you are buying from a private seller, you can request to you have a mechanic of your choosing do an inspection before purchasing.  If a seller refuses or claims one wasn't needed that could be a red flag that a significant problem exists.

A Salesman Who Rushes The Sale

While we all know it is the salesperson's job to close the deal, a salesperson that may seem overly pushy or trying to rush you through the sale might be trying to get rid of the car.  A real salesperson will not only close the sale but make sure that they get the right person with the right vehicle.  You should never be rushed when asking questions or trying to gather more information and should always take the time to decide if you are unsure.

A Car The Smells Too Much Like Air Fresheners

While everyone likes the smell of a car air freshener when climbing into a vehicle, too much can be a red flag.  A freshly cleaned car may smell like soap, which is typical of upholstery cleaning. Yet when a seller layers the inside of the car with odor covering chemicals, it is probably to conceal bad smells in the car.  This could be from smoking in the vehicle or could even be from mildew that may have come from water damage.

Tapping Or Rapping Noises That Occur During The Test Drive

You should always take any vehicle for a test drive before considering purchasing it.  You will be able to notice any blinds spots the car may have as well as get a feel for the comfort of the car.  Most importantly, you will be able to hear any problems or noises that may occur while the car is running.  If you hear any tapping or rapping coming from the engine while driving it could be a major sign that the engine is having problems and may be at the end of its lifespan.

If you are looking at a used car, be sure to consider each of these five things to look out for to save yourself from costly car problems down the road. For more information on buying used cars, or on car buying in general, check out our page on the Car Buying Process

If you are looking for a car and need information about auto financing, call one of our loan professionals at Rocky Mountain Credit Union today.


Non RMCU links are being provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement or an approval by Rocky Mountain Credit Union of any of the products, services or opinions of the corporation or organization or individual. RMCU bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality, or content of the external sites.

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