2 Essential Steps You Should Take Before Buying a Used Vehicle

2 Essential Steps You Should Take
Before Buying a Used Vehicle

It’s always exciting to get a new car, but it can often feel like you’re going out on a limb when you buy a used vehicle. While it’s true that people sell cars for many reasons, there’s always the chance that there’s something really wrong with the vehicle you’re considering. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to ensure you’re not getting a lemon. 

Order a Vehicle History Report

When you’ve found a car, truck, or SUV you’re interested in purchasing, it’s always a good idea to order a vehicle history report from a service like Carfax or AutoCheck; all you’ll need to order the report is the vehicle’s VIN number. 

Vehicle history reports include details on a car’s ownership, accident history, title status, mileage, and more. They can also uncover damage that the seller doesn’t disclose or know about, such as fire or flood damage or recall notices. Carfax and other vehicle history reports will also often include any major maintenance or repairs that the vehicle received, which can be very helpful given that many sellers likely won’t have this information available. 

While you probably won’t be able to see when every oil change was performed, the repair and maintenance section is helpful in determining whether the factory scheduled maintenance was performed and if any significant repairs were needed. Keep in mind that a vehicle history report won’t cover things like the mechanical condition of the car, whether certain parts are worn, or whether there are components in the particular model that are known to be prone to early failure. For this reason, it’s also recommended to get a pre-purchase inspection. 

Pre-Purchase Inspections

A pre-purchase inspection from a professional mechanic will go much deeper than how the vehicle looks and drives. It will give you a good sense of the car’s overall condition, the status of major safety systems, and how well it’s been maintained. An auto repair shop will also be able to tell you whether there’s any work that needs to be done, which can help you determine an appropriate value for the vehicle. In some cases, you may also be able to use this information to negotiate a new price with the seller. 

Although pre-purchase inspections can vary depending on the auto repair shop you choose, they will typically check for the following issues:

  • Hidden problems with the body, frame, or engine, 
  • Flood or fire damage
  • Rust
  • Fluid leaks
  • Burned-out bulbs
  • Non-functioning accessories
  • Suspicious odors
  • Overdue maintenance tasks
  • The overall condition of the vehicle, including the tires and brake pads
  • Issues with the engine
  • Trouble codes that can indicate mechanical or electrical problems

It’s pretty easy to see how a used vehicle inspection is worth the cost! If problems are uncovered, you can either steer clear of the vehicle or bargain for a better price. If everything is OK, you’ll have a plan for addressing any routine services that should be done, not to mention a whole lot of peace of mind.

Schedule a Pre-Purchase Inspection at EuroCar Service

It’s easy to fall in love with a vehicle, but it’s important not to let your feelings cloud your judgment. Save yourself the headache that comes from buying a lemon—schedule a pre-purchase inspection at EuroCar Service! Our skilled ASE-certified team has been providing honest, reliable auto care and repairs since 1981. Our team will perform a thorough inspection of the vehicle and let you know if there are any issues that should be addressed. 

We specialize in all European makes and models, including BMWFiatMercedesLand RoverAudiMini-CooperSaabJaguarVolvoVolkswagen, and Smart Car. Call us today at (206) 527-8828 or schedule your appointment online