Top Things to Look For When Buying a Used Car

It’s pretty easy to figure out when it’s time to buy a new car. Either the old one stops working, it gets totaled in an accident, or it starts costing you a ton of money in maintenance and repair costs. At that point, visions of a new vehicle start swirling in your head. For many, a used car is the perfect solution because of the savings and value it provides. Used cars are a great option because new vehicles depreciate in value by almost 20% in the first 12 months! Save yourself thousands by purchasing the car at a lower rate once it has a few miles on it.

But how do you know who’s trustworthy when it comes to reliable used cars?

buying a used carGreat question. Looking for a used car can be stressful. If you’re not sure where to start your search, start with AutoMax. AutoMax, a buy here pay here car lot, has been keeping people in certified pre-owned vehicles since 1989. With two locations (in Henderson and Youngsville), lots of inventory, and convenient in-house financing options, this car dealership is certain to have a few vehicles that catch your eye and fit your needs.

Here are the top things to look for when buying a used car

AutoMax wants to help with the search for your next set of wheels. We’ve compiled a list of things to keep your eyes open for when shopping for a used vehicle.

The Good

CARFAX reports. It’s very common for used cars to come with a CARFAX report. A CARFAX report gives you historical information about the car you’re considering. It tells you whether the car has been wrecked, whether it’s ever gone to salvage, and whether the airbags have ever deployed. It also gives you repair history, estimated mileage per year, registration history, and more. If the car you’re interested in has a CARFAX report available, make sure you read through it. It could help you avoid a costly mistake.

Customer reviews. Many websites offer customer reviews and feedback on used cars. Take advantage of them to make sure the make and model you’re considering is worth laying down your hard-earned money for. Start with sites like Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds, and US News and World Report, all of which are free.

The Bad

Leaks, squeaks, drips, and rattles. Always have a certified mechanic make a thorough inspection of the vehicle before the purchase. Make sure they check all hoses and belts for leaks, wear, and tear. Check the condition of the tires to make sure they’re in good shape and have plenty of tread. Have the brake system checked, too. The mechanic should also look underneath the car to check for oil or other fluid leaks. A trained mechanic will check for all this and much more. Depending on what’s found, you can then proceed with the sale - or not.

Smelly interior. When you open the car door for the first time, take a big whiff, and notice the smell. What does the interior smell like? If it smells like stale cigarette smoke, the chances are good that the previous driver was a smoker. While many people are okay with this, if you’re bothered at all by second-hand smoke, this is something you need to be aware of before you buy. Also, you might want to check for ash burns on the upholstery and carpet. The smell of mold or mildew may indicate a water leak, which is something you’d want to have checked out. Remove the floor mats and look for water spots as these can also be indicators of water leakage. Many smells are hard to get out of the interior of a car, so what you smell when you first open the car door may be what you have to live with if you purchase the car. Make sure you’re okay with that.

The Ugly

Dings, dents, or rust. Walk around the outside of the vehicle. What do you see? If the answer is dings, dents, and rust, then find another car. These are signs that the car you’re looking at has probably not been well cared for in its past life. Even if a mechanic doesn’t find anything wrong with the car and the CARFAX report doesn’t show anything to be alarmed about, you might want to question the car’s history further, just to be sure.

Super-high interest rates or down payments. When you shop for a used car, make sure you talk with the finance department about financing the loan. Do you have to arrange your own financing, or do they offer in-house financing through the car dealership? Do some homework ahead of time, so you know what’s reasonable when talking about down payments, loan terms, and interest rates.

If you have bad credit, you’ll definitely want to visit AutoMax. We’re a buy here pay here car lot, and our financing professionals work with people who have bad credit to get them into a used car they can afford. We offer reasonable interest rates and take care of all the financing in-house. Our loan application process is quick and easy, too. We cover the Raleigh and Durham metro areas as well as our hometowns of Henderson and Youngsville.

If you’re ready to buy a used car, stop in and visit AutoMax. We take care of many of the issues mentioned above, making the car buying process virtually stress-free. All our vehicles are inspected by certified trained mechanics before we put them on our buy here pay here car lot, and have CARFAX reports available. We want you to feel comfortable with your “new” used car. Visit AutoMax today.

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