When you are shopping for a second hand vehicle, it is essential that you ask the seller all the right questions. All such questions have to be met with constructive and honest answers from the person who is selling it. In case you end up purchasing a lemon, it will be your loss and nobody else’s and the car will start giving you problems soon after you drive out with it from the lot. Find out about the most important questions to ask to a used car seller.
Can you show me the bill of sale that you got?
It is possibly the easiest way to find out whether or not the car you are being offered for sale is a stolen one. The last thing that you would want is to get embroiled in some legal trouble. A bill of sale from the previous seller can be a guarantee, although you should not trust that alone. It is a good idea to carry out a Free Revs check as well, so that you can be completely assured that you are not buying a stolen car.
When the car was last serviced?
This is essential to ask, given that it could be a pointer to how the car had been kept for so long. Do not hesitate to demand that the seller show you the maintenance sticker on the vehicle. Otherwise, you could be sold a lemon that will start giving you problems soon after you start driving it.
Is it still under warranty?
It could be that the seller is parting with the car soon after buying it first-hand, in which case, it is quite possible that it is still under warranty period. Find out what the warranty covers, and how long it is valid. Or is there a buying provision of “As-Is, No-Warranty” for the vehicle? If there is warranty, and it is still valid for a year more, you can loosen your purse strings a bit more if the seller asks for a higher price for the car.
Where are the records?
Do not hesitate to ask whether the car has a Vehicle Maintenance Record, and Kelly Blue Book (KBB) Records. On your end, you need to use a reputed Car Records Database to conduct research about the vehicle’s history – such as National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS), Consumer Reports, National Automobile Dealers Association’s (NADA) or KBB.
What are its repair needs?
You have to ask how many times the car has undergone repairs and what are the current repair needs or operational issues of the vehicle. Find out whether it has had any recalls and when it was serviced the last time for fluids.
What are the financing options?
Ask whether you have to pay for the car upfront and in full, or if there are financing options that you can avail. With a dealership, financing options are possible but you cannot expect that with a private seller who is trying to get an immediate payment for the car that he parts with.