How to Buy a Reliable Used-Car, Not Someone Else’s Problem

For many, purchasing a used car is the smart choice. You can often pick up a three-year-old version of your dream car for about 40% less than the cost of buying it new. In addition to initial cost savings, used cars have lower insurance rates, and registration is cheaper. Of course, you don’t get the new-car smell, but saving thousands of dollars sounds pretty good, right?

In fact, it’s easier than ever to find an “experienced” vehicle that’s reliable. Many used-car stigmas just don’t apply anymore. Today’s cars are increasingly dependable – it’s not uncommon for them to run for more than 100,000 miles before needing major work. Cars are also easier to care for because time intervals between oil changes, tire rotations, and new brakes have increased, making it easier to find vehicles that have been maintained properly.

What Should I Do?

At EuroCar Service, we always want you to have the best automotive experience possible, which is why we’ve outlined some steps for you to take so you end up with a reliable vehicle and not someone else’s problem.

  1. Ask for service records – Check to see if the recommended schedules for preventive maintenance have been followed. It’s important to know the car has received proper attention. You can assume the worst if there are no records.
  1. Check for obvious signs of trouble – Look for uneven tread wear, which can indicate alignment problems, worn shocks, or suspension issues. Listen to the engine for unusual sounds and pay attention to unexpected odors. Take the vehicle for a test drive and make a list of any concerns you might have.
  1. Bring it into EuroCar Service – there are two ways to go here:
    – If the car you’re looking at is a late model vehicle with under 35,000 miles, the less expensive approach is a full-service oil change. The included inspection can reveal basic or developing problems. Talk to your friendly and knowledgeable service advisor about any concerns you have and get a heads-up on needed repairs or maintenance.
    – A more detailed approach is to let us make a used vehicle inspection. These inspections are thorough, and we work through a comprehensive checklist that includes vehicle frame damage, rust, tire wear, suspension, instrument gauges, lights, hoses, air conditioning, engine, exhaust, brakes, and more. This can give you the information you need to make an informed decision, giving you peace of mind that pays for the out-of-pocket expense.
  1. Purchase a Carfax report – This will let you know if the vehicle has been in a major accident and will give you a title history. It’s good to know before you buy.

EuroCar Service helped our customers make smart choices about Audi, BMW, Fiat, Land Rover, Jaguar, Mercedes, MINI, Saab, Smart Car, Volkswagen, or Volvo vehicles for nearly 40 years! We are committed to cutting edge maintenance and repair and will always give you honest answers and high-quality work. For dependable, accurate, and honest European automobile service, call 206-527-8828 or schedule your appointment online today!