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5 Things Smart Shoppers Look For Before Buying a Used Car

1996 Porsche 911 993 GT2 odometer
Image: The Car Spy

Here is the list of five important things you, the car buyer, should pay attention to when on the dealership lot or when checking out the same vehicle online.
1.    Interior Condition of the Vehicle
There are many things to check in detail when inspecting the interior of a vehicle.

  • Check the interior upholstery carefully for any tears or stains.
  • Check if the air-conditioning and heating system exhausts are blowing air properly.
  • Check the odometer for car mileage.
  • Check different lights that are inside the vehicle, like hand brake indicator, ability to change the intensity of dash board display, dome light, radio, CD player, etc.
  • Make sure Check Engine light is off, if the indicator is on, avoid that car.

2.    Exterior Condition of the Vehicle
Check the exterior condition of the vehicle in general, including:

  • The paint job of the vehicle, check for any rust spots, dents or scratches.
  • Inspect for signs of rust or water entry due to cracks or holes
  • Be sure tires are worn evenly and are the same kind. Don’t forget to check the spare tire as well.
  • Make sure headlights and brake lights are working properly.

3.    Online Reviews of the Vehicle
Read online reviews about the make and model of the used car you want to purchase.  The review contains all the advantages and disadvantages of the vehicle. You should also search for customer reviews before making the decision to purchase the used car.
4.    Price of the Vehicle
It is important to research the price of the used car to ensure you are paying the right price.  Use several different sources such as Kelly Blue Book and Edmunds to compare prices for the same year, make, and model.  While the final price of the vehicle will depend on the vehicle’s mileage and its condition, but researching the price will give you a good idea on the possible price range.
5.    History of the Vehicle
Determine if the vehicle has been any accidents or has had any major repairs. Obtain the vehicle’s VIN number or ask the salesperson about the vehicle history report. Most dealership these days offer free CarFax or AutoCheck reports on their website. If neededScience Articles, you can obtain the vehicle’s VIN number from the dashboard on the driver’s side of the vehicle.  The vehicle history report can help you make a more confident decision when buying a used car.
The history report may contain all or most of the following:

  • If the vehicle has been in a major accident
  • How many owners the vehicle’s has had
  • The odometer history of the vehicle
  • If the vehicle was ever a lemon
  • If the vehicle has any flood damage

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If you are searching for a used vehicle in the Kansas City area, there are many places online to compare models and prices to ensure you are getting the best deal. Visit our website, at to compare used cars for the best deals.
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