Selecting Cars for Your Family

Don't Kick the Tires: A Better Way to Buy Used

It's a common trope in movies and TV shows: the informed used car buyer walking around a vehicle, kicking the tires, and carefully examining every nut and bolt. While you shouldn't take your used car purchase lightly, you don't need to rely on these old tricks to find the perfect car. There are more straightforward (and effective) ways to get a reliable used vehicle for a great price.

If you're about to embark on this purchasing journey, this article will outline three ways to improve your used car buying experience. Keep reading to learn how you can become a better used car buyer.

1. Do More Than Surface-Level Research

You probably have a specific list of features you want in any car, but there's more to purchasing used than just choosing a nice model in a good color and driving off the lot. Since you'll be buying a car that may not have a manufacturer warranty, it's essential to pay more attention to long-term reliability. The more research you do before stepping onto the lot, the happier you'll be in the long-run.

In particular, try to find online communities or long-term road tests from major publications for any vehicles you are interested in purchasing. These resources can help you to understand what problems you may face with an older or higher-mileage example. By learning more now, you'll know what to look for when you arrive at the dealership.

2. Look for Maintenance Histories

Many owners keep detailed service logs for their vehicles. These records are a valuable resource when you're buying a used car. Just the existence of a maintenance history probably means that the previous owner cared about the car! If possible, focus your search on vehicles that come with some record of their prior maintenance so that you have evidence the car was well-maintained.

In addition to proving that the car received routine work, you can also rule out any common problems you may have discovered while researching. If a previous owner already took care of these issues, then you'll have less to worry about in the future.

3. Consider an Inspection

Finally, a pre-purchased used car inspection can provide you with far more peace-of-mind than a do-it-yourself inspection. Many companies now offer mobile services that will travel to the dealership, inspect a car, and send you a detailed report by email. These reports can help to point out cosmetic or mechanical issues that you may miss.

Once upon a time, cars were simple enough that you could learn nearly everything you needed to know from a quick walkaround. With sophisticated modern vehicles, it's better to rely on research, records, and inspections over good old fashioned tire kicking. Using these tools, you'll have no problem locating a phenomenal used car that fits your budget and your needs.

Visit a used car dealership, such as Jerry Hunt Supercenter, to see what used cars are available.