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Tips for Used Car Buyers

Tips for Used Car Buying

Used Car Buying can be a mind-boggling ordeal – Price, Age, Cost, Reliability, Financing Cost, Maintenance Cost, Insurance Cost Picture, selection overload & used car dealers!

 You want to enjoy a newer model with modern features without paying the ridiculous “new car” price tag.

The 4 tips for “used car buyer” are: 

  1. Do Your Homework before Buying a Used Car
  2. Line Up Financing Options Before Test Driving
  3. Pre-Purchase Used Car Inspection an expert Opinion on Mechanical, Drive and Reliability
  4. Avoid Trading Your Current Car At The Dealership If Possible
  1. Do Your Homework before buying a Used Car

Always look for a car matching your needs and budget when browsing the used car market. This process helps narrow your list down while providing a general comparison between some of your available options.  

Perhaps you already have a certain type of car or a specific budget for your next used car purchase, but you are not sure what the next step is. Once you narrow your list down to a handful of serious cars under consideration, conduct extensive market research on pricing. Include important variables, such as dealership versus private party price comparisons, while making a special note of how many miles each car has on the odometer. 

Continue learning about the general condition of the vehicle. Although it is impossible to get a clear picture of the car’s condition without an up-close inspection, take notes of any obvious issues when looking at photos or reading seller descriptions. 

The next step involves conducting research on any typical or potential reliability issues with the specific year and model of the used cars you are considering buying. This will provide you with some valuable foreknowledge into understanding what to look for or ask the seller about.  

Now that you have done some basic homework, you still need to get some of your ducks in a row before you are actually ready to buy. Having success while buying a used car is about obtaining the right information, knowing how to use that data to find a good deal, and leveraging what you know into gaining the upper hand while negotiating with the seller. 


  1. Line Up Financing Options Before Test Driving 

Okay, so you have done some basic homework on the used car market while considering a handful of options, but it is still not quite time to schedule a test drive. Whether you are looking at the private party Cragslist used car selection or considering an option from an Autotrader used dealership listing, having a clear idea of your financing status is an important step. 

Discussing financing options with your bank or lending institution will help you gain insight into the interest rate you can expect to pay, the term or length of the loan, and what you can expect your monthly payment to be. Now you have the information you need to make an educated decision while being able to compare financing options elsewhere, if you choose to do so. 

A common mistake many new or used car buyers make is heading straight to the dealership when they make up their mind. It is never a good idea to go to a car dealership without having some outside-of-the-dealership financing options to back you up.  

Once you are in the door, a good car salesman will have an easier time pushing active shoppers to consider or accept typical dealership lending options with higher interest rates. Know what to expect from another lending institution so you can compare it with any financing options the dealership may be able to offer you.  

Even if the car is for sale by owner via a private party listing, have your financing options in place before going to look at the car. It is one less thing to worry about once you do find the right car for you. Once you do have some potential financing options in place, you can consider scheduling a test drive if the car is local.  

Many used car shoppers browse out-of-state listings. You may be wondering how you are going to schedule a test drive or get a good idea of the car’s overall condition. Don’t worry, there is still hope for you.  

You can always test drive the same make and model of car from a local seller to see if you like how it feels behind the wheel. Getting an independent used car inspection is the next step no matter where the car you actually want to buy is.  

  1. Pre-Purchase Vehicle Inspection

Whether the car is local or not, making sure the actual vehicle you want to purchase passes a pre-purchase inspection checklist is even more important than scheduling a test drive. Third party vehicle inspection companies are the only way to go, never have the same dealership you want to purchase a car from provide you with an inspection report. Keep reading to learn why you may want to hire a car inspector before scheduling a test drive. 

The only thing worse than getting a bad deal when buying a used car is ending up with a broken down piece of junk. Believe it or not, you can avoid this nightmare from happening to you with a comprehensive lemon car inspection.  

Many used car buyers believe that combining a simple CarFax™ Vehicle History Report with Kelley Blue Book Used Car Values will tell them the full story. The truth is, you need more than just a vehicle history report and car market values to know how valuable a specific car is. Every car has its own heartbeat and many factors can affect a vehicle’s overall health. You need to know more about the car’s maintenance history, how hard the previous owner was driving the car and so much more.  

Used Car Inspection Checklist:

A used Car Inspection Checklist is a wise option when you want value for money. To avoid the risk of ending up with a used car that’s going to leave you stranded – we suggest inspecting it well – on your own and/or asking for a professional used car inspection. Learn More

Used Car Inspection Checklist

Although a vehicle history report is very important, it only tells you a small part of the car’s story. A complete comprehensive car inspection will reveal the true condition of the car to you. even offers mobile car inspection packages with a full CarFax™ Vehicle History Report to give you a clear picture of the car’s health and background, with doctor-like precision.   

Since you need the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to check a car’s history, this is a good time to see if the seller or dealership provides that information online. Once you are ready to schedule a test drive, if the car is local, make sure the title exists and matches the VIN.  


NOTE: You can usually see the VIN from the exterior of the car through the windshield. It is often in the lower corner on the driver’s side. 

Whether the car is local or not, having an independent used car inspection service look at the vehicle you want to buy is the key to getting the most value from your asset for years to come. Not all used car check services are equal.  

The best pre-purchase car inspection company provides real-time order status updates while putting the most advanced pre-owned car inspection artificial intelligence into the hands of experienced auto inspector experts. monitors the heartbeat of cars while providing buyers with a complete picture of the car’s overall health. 

Gaining valuable insight into a used car’s mechanical condition, backed by CarDr’com’s On-Board-Diagnostic (OBD) data, puts the buying power back into the hands of consumers. Best of all,’s mobile vehicle inspections are available anywhere.  

From car dealerships to driveway car inspections nationwide, a house call will help you get to know every car you buy, before driving it home. One of the worst feelings in the world is breaking down on the side of the road in a used car, or feeling like you have a lemon in the garage instead of reliable transportation.’s expert inspectors will squeeze the juice out of any lemon to provide you with the information you need to know before buying the car.  

By accessing the vehicle’s actual heartbeat, along with the overall car condition inside-and-out, you will be able to avoid lemons. Knowing a car’s true condition will also allow you to haggle with any seller over the fine print when you do find a good buy.’s remote vehicle inspection service provides you with everything you need to know before purchasing a used car. 

An important tip to remember is that everything is negotiable when buying a used car. Having the right information puts you in the driver’s seat during the negotiation process, knowing how to use that data will get you a better deal.  Order a Comprehensive Used Car inspection


  1. Avoid Trading Your Current Car In At The Dealership If Possible 

You probably have a vehicle you are ready to move on from if you are shopping for a used car. Some people trade in their current car because they do not want to deal with trying to sell it on their own, but they are leaving a lot of money on the table. Sometimes sellers can make hundreds to thousands of dollars more by simply selling their car through a private party listing.  

Many used car dealerships are able to haggle trade-in customers out of a lot of money. They do a quick inspection, find a few things wrong with the car, and then convince the person trading the car in that it needs a lot of repairs before selling it.  

The unassuming consumer, more like the victim, usually has no idea the car needs this much maintenance. As a result, they accept less money trading the car in while thinking they are avoiding a major headache. 

Well, if a doctor says you need major surgery, wouldn’t you want a second opinion first? 

Of course, you would. That’s why the first step to selling your car is understanding what condition your car is actually in. Even if you do not know the condition or true value of your car, you can potentially make a lot more money from selling your current vehicle as a private seller. Using a car inspection company to reveal your current car’s condition puts you in the best seat at the negotiation table. 

Data-driven decisions are fueling the future, you can also use them to save money and get a better deal when shopping for a car. introduces the future of buying used cars to you. Get more car for your money without worrying about a lemon with

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Inspecting a Used Car – 9 important Steps:

A used car is a wise option when you want value for money. To avoid the risk of ending up with a used car that’s going to leave you stranded – we suggest inspecting it on your own or asking for a professional used car inspection.

Follow these 9 steps to ensure you cover all your bases and find a vehicle that’s worth your hard-earned money. 

1. Check Mileage

13,000 miles per year is the average most people drive a car according to available data. Any more than that is going to start putting the vehicle at above average mileage for its model year and should warrant a discount to its less-driven peers. Edmunds and KBB are the sources you can use to your advantage when determining the market value of a used vehicle. Vehicle Inspection service like also does Odometer fraud check by comparing the Odometer reading on the dashboard to the odometer on the OBD (On Board Diagnostics). With 7%+ odometer fraud we highly suggest an OBD Analytics  inspection service like

2. Check the vehicles’ history report

Investigate the Car’s History – to see if there has been any previous damage. The seller might have the history report ready to view. If not, you can download buy it online or ask an inspection company to provide it.

Please note that a CARFAX report is a good idea, but it doesn’t always tell the full story. It might be missing information is there wasn’t a insurance claim made etc. But, the good new is there are other ways to find out more about a car. For example obtains a Carfax Damage & Flood report as a part of every inspection and carefully checks that vehicle for it. Please see the Science of Car Inspection

3. Examine for Rust and Paint discoloration

A close look at the paint job can reveal history. Compare panels for color uniformity. If the color of the panels doesn’t match, the vehicle was probably in an accident.

Rust If you find rust on the bodywork of the vehicle, it may just be an aesthetic problem, but it might also indicate deeper issues that are costly to repair. Frame rust, for example, could impact the integrity of the vehicle and poses a threat to the car’s longevity. If you see rust on the body of the vehicle, check under the hood and the undercarriage for further signs.’s Vehicle Inspector’s App – ensures that the inspectors don’t miss a thing – this is especially important for Exotic Car Inspection, Classic Car Inspection and a Luxury Vehicle Inspection.

4. Tire Inspection – examine for wear

Coin Tread Depth test  is a quick way to check a tires tread. Insert a coin in the tread to and examine it – repeat for every tire. Please don’t forget the spare. If the grip is worn down, the tires may need to be replaced soon at extra cost to you. There may also be an alignment issue if the wear on the tires do not look even. The vehicle Inspection included Tire’s wear and the fact that some tires have odd makes  – which could show sign of bigger damage. See tips of buying a used car

5. Check Undercarriage and look for leaks on the ground

Check the ground and undercarriage for any signs of leakage while you’re examining the tires. Look closely at the condition of each of the components. If you find something that looks newer than the rest, and the seller hasn’t told you of any repairs, he’s probably hiding something. Also, inspect the framework and floor pans for rust, and check the ground for signs of drips and leakages. Leak repairs – can be costly and could offer a offer a price break.

6. Open the Hood

  • Check oil levels. Remove the dipstick and wipe it clean. Push the dipstick in again and then withdraw it. A light oil color usually means a recent service, if dark or muddy – it hasn’t been changed in a while. Add the service cost to the price.
  • Look for signs of rust or corrosion under the hood. These signs are a good indication of the car’s past treatment, current condition, and life expectancy.
  • Inspect belts for signs of wear. If any of the belts are frayed or torn, they may need to be replaced soon.
  • Check transmission fluid. Ensure that levels are high. The fluid should be a clear reddish color
  • Brake fluid. You can predict how worn your brakes are based on how much fluid is left in your reservoir. Low brake fluid levels mean the brakes need some repairs.
  • Check antifreeze. Make sure there’s no oil contamination and that the color is clear.
  • Check the battery. Look for leaks, damaged cables, poor contacts or corrosion.

To replace the task of a comprehensive vehicle inspection it is  important to be comprehensive on the steps above. For examples vehicle inspectors are required to open hood, look and take pictures of any leaks and potential pipes that are stresses. Another  good used car inspection checklist is also available at CarBlogs


7. Lights: Headlight, Taillights and Signal Lights

Ensure brake lights, turn signals, headlights, and taillights are all in working order. Also, check for all interior lights are working too.

8. Driving Test

Listen for any strange sounds, vibrations. When you start the engine does it sound normal?  Do any Warning /Check Engine lights (indicating DTC Error Codes) light up? Check the performance when you press the throttle. Does the steering wheel vibrate or turn to one side? Check how the vehicle handles on different road surfaces. Brakes can give you a good feel for the their wear or if they pull to one side. Don’t forget to check the parking break. If it’s a manual shift – feel the gear’s shift to see if it’s smooth.

Car diagnostic scanners for used are important to read DTC error codes – If you have the more expensive ones – they can tell you if the error codes have been recently reset. To mask problems short term. DTC Diagnostics are performed using an advanced OBD scanner that allows you get all OBD Monitors and potential; & pending trouble codes.

9. Professional Inspection

If you’re not feeling comfortable performing items on this inspection checklist, ask a knowledgeable friend. It’s also a good idea to take it to a mechanic to get it checked out. Any problems the mechanic identifies can be used as points of negotiation if you decide to make an offer. The professional inspection fee is a small price to pay compared to buying a problem-ridden vehicle. When selecting a service check for the comprehensiveness, OBD scan tool and peer comparison. As a Comparison – is DTC codes and OBD diagnostics checked, is the inspection checklist exhaustive and to your comfort. To compares some inspection companies – pls see rank them on Checklist, OBD, Vin Fraud check, DTC Trouble codes. There is a lot of small time folks who will walk around a car and take pictures.

If you pick it well –for example for your used car inspection  you are certain to enjoy your new “used car purchase”.



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