When buying a used car, an inspection is not only important, but it is also vital if you want to avoid being stranded on the side of the road and stuck with costly auto repair bills.
A quality used car inspection is much more than simply kicking the tires and taking a quick look under the hood. Many car buyers believe that a test drive will reveal any problems with their used car prospect, but that is far from true.
Why Inspecting a Used Car is so Important
When most people choose to buy a used car, they usually ignore the most important piece of advice, which is to have the vehicle inspected by a professional mechanic. Even when you buy from a large dealership, you should take advantage of any pre purchase inspection service they offer. While pre purchase inspections can cost between $100 and $200, they’re well worth the cost.
Used Car Inspections and Auto Loans
Having a used car inspected before you get a loan to purchase the vehicle is vital. Auto loans can be tricky and sometimes complicated, so it’s essential to educate yourself about auto loans and how they work. In the auto loans explained section below, you’ll get the basics of auto loans and how they work.
Auto Loans Explained
According to Lantern by SoFi, “In a nutshell, a vehicle loan is essentially a contract between the car buyer and the financing company or lender. This contract spells out the conditions for completing the purchase of the vehicle and lays out exactly how the loan will be repaid over time.” An auto loan is a contract between a lender and the person purchasing the vehicle. Simply put, the lender puts up the money to buy a car from a dealership, which the buyer pays back over time with interest.
An auto inspection is crucial when buying a used car because you could get stuck with a vehicle with serious problems. If you don’t have an extended warranty to cover any repair costs, you still have to repay the loan and pay the repair costs as well.
Tips for Inspecting a Used Car
If you’re going to inspect a used car yourself, there are a few things you should bring along with you when you visit a used car dealership. A flashlight, pen, checklist, and paper towels will help you check and take note of things while performing your inspection.
Exterior Vehicle Inspection Tips
You should start inspection with the exterior of the vehicle. Make sure it’s free of dents, scratches, windshield damage, mismatched body panel colors, and other signs of damage or wear. You should also inspect the tires to ensure the tread is in good condition and there’s no uneven wear.
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Mechanical Inspection Tips
Use your flashlight to inspect underneath the vehicle and under the hood. You should look for oil and fluid leaks, dirt and oil build-up, frayed or broken wires, rust, and other signs of mechanical damage or neglect. In addition, start the vehicle and listen for creaking, ticking, or tapping noises and signs of fluid leaks while the car is running.
When buying a used car, it’s essential to be prudent and have the vehicle inspected by a professional. If you’re going to perform the inspection DIY, use a checklist to ensure you thoroughly inspect every part of the vehicle before you purchase.