Buying a used or pre-owned car or truck can be a daunting task. Especially if it’s the first or second biggest purchase you’ll make. We have compiled a list to help your decision making easier.
1. Is this vehicle ‘As-Is’ or certified pre-owned?
It’s important to know when buying a used or pre-owned vehicle, what kind of warranty it has. Fremont Motors in Wyoming an Nebraska actually have 3 different ‘classes’ of used vehicles. ‘As-Is’, Certified and Elite. Each used car and/or truck that comes through the doors is inspected and graded accordingly depending on condition, year and miles. This is should give you a good idea of the condition of the vehicle. ‘Elite’ pre-owned vehicles are the top rank, followed by ‘certified’, then AS-IS.
2. Has the car or truck ever been in a wreck?
This is very important to know if safety is a top priority. Vehicles that have been in a wreck may not have been rebuilt properly, sacrificing safety. According to carinsurance.com, Insurance and finance companies will also be less likely to finance or insure the vehicle if it has a salvage title. You can ask your salesperson or the dealership for a copy of the Autocheck/Carfax which will show if an accident was ever reported on the vehicle.
3. Can I see the Autocheck/Carfax
An Autocheck/carfax report not only shows if an accident has been reported on the vehicle but other information too. It will give you mileage reports, title information, history, liens, the number of owners and where the car/truck came from.
4. Has the car or truck been inspected by a trained technician?
Ask if the vehicle has been through the facilities shop and what kind of inspection was done? Was it a basic safety inspection or a rigorous multipoint inspection. If so, can you see the inspection report? Keep a record of the inspection sheet, should any issues arise in the future.
5. Does the vehicle have a warranty and if so, for how long?
Find out if the car or truck comes with a warranty included in the price. Some vehicles may come with a 3 month, 3,000-mile warranty (whatever comes sooner), whilst others may have the remainder of a factory warranty left. With various manufacturers offering different lengths of warranties, it’s important to find out the warranty for the specific vehicle you are looking at. It’s important to also what is covered under those warranties, especially electrical components. If the vehicle you fell in love with doesn’t have such a great warranty, ask if there are extended warranties or service plans available to purchase.
6. Is roadside assistance included?
Ask if there is roadside assistance included with the vehicle purchase. This could be important in states such as
Wyoming where help may not be across the road. Many manufacturers will offer complimentary roadside assistance for the duration of the powertrain warranty. Check to make sure this is still valid with a change of ownership. If no roadside cover is included from the manufacturer, check if there is coverage from the dealer. Fremont Motors offers 1 year of complimentary roadside assistance with every used car/truck purchase.
7. Are oil changes and/or tire rotations included?
Ask if the dealership or facility offers complimentary oil changes with used/pre-owned vehicles.Also if there are any mileage limitations on this. Fremont Motors offers 3 complimentary oil changes and 1 tire rotation for all used vehicle purchases within a year from purchase.
8. Are there any open recalls?
Recalls, unfortunately, seem to be commonplace nowadays. According to Consumer Affairs, “…unfixed recalls increased an average of more than 25%…”. They also state that “The National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) does not have the authority to require used car dealers to disclose recalls or make recall repairs”. You can, however, ask the dealership to find out this for you or check for yourself on the NHTSA website. You can ask the salesperson for the VIN or find it on the vehicle door panel.
9. How long can I test drive it for?
A quick 10-minute drive along the interstate may not tell you if its the right vehicle for you or not. You may want to test your car seats, whether it fits in your garage or how it does on a dirt road. Ask the dealership if they will allow you to do an extended test drive to really find out if it suits your needs or not.
10. Are there dealer fees?
Is there are ‘dealer fee’ or ‘doc fee’, if so how much is it and what does it cover? Some facilities may say there is no fee, but it is taken out of the sale profit of the vehicle. other dealers will tell you up front, how much that fee is and what it is for. Most of the times, these fees are for admin paperwork, title and registration costs.
Vallet, Mark. “5 Reasons to Avoid Salvage-Title Cars.” Carinsurance.com, 2 Feb. 2012
Lauren has been working in the automotive industry both in the U.K and in the U.S. for over 10 years. She has driven hundreds of vehicles, not only new cars but beaters without heaters, fast cars on fire, slow cars in snow, off-road trucks in the mucks, and old pickups with pups. She’s driven heaps of Jeeps, miles in muscle and once took her gran in a car from Japan.