5 Questions to Ask When Buying a Used Car In Webster, NY

Americans are taking out record-breaking car loans. The average monthly car payment is now over $500. They're also taking out record-breaking mortgage loans and spending more on eating out. Something's got to give.

You can't live in your car, and you certainly can't eat it, so why not spend less on something that loses half its value in a couple of years? As the automobile industry advances, cars are lasting longer and used cars are becoming more reliable.

Buying a used car does carry more risk than buying new. Here are some questions to ask when buying a used car that will help you minimize that risk.

1. The Most Important of the Questions to Ask When Buying a Used Car: What's the Car's History?

Used cars are acquired by dealers in a variety of ways, which informs the vehicle's maintenance history. Dealer trade-ins and retired rental cars are a relatively safe bet and typically have accessible history reports.

Getting an accurate history of cars bought at government or public auctions can be a little trickier. The vehicles at auction can be susceptible to odometer rollback and other tampering and may have liens on them.

2. Do You Have a CarFax Report?

If a dealer is not willing to provide a CarFax report, that's not a good sign. A CarFax report lets you know that the vehicle is being presented to you accurately. This report uses the VIN number to find accident information and whether there has been any flood or fire damage.

Do your part and make sure the VIN number on the car matches the VIN number on the report. VIN numbers are your new best friend.

3. How Long Can I Test Drive It?

If you can keep the car overnight, you'll have a chance to simulate your actual future use of the car. Drive your normal route to work, take it on the highway, maybe get groceries to test trunk space. Ask how long you can test drive and how many miles you can put on the car.

4. Has the Vehicle Been Serviced?

Because cars can sit on the lot for an indeterminate amount of time, it's likely the dealer will have maintained the vehicle in some way. Overhauling an engine is an extensive process and should keep your check engine light off for a while.

Ask if there are any chips in the glass that might crack. Ask about rust, which can be a problem in the Northeast. Look for any paint overspray that indicates a repair.

5. Can You Sweeten the Deal?

Once you've settled on a price, ask if there are any further incentives available. Maybe the dealer can throw in some floor mats and winter tires. Or, if the vehicle is nearing 100,000 miles, a complimentary timing belt could be in order.

See if you can trade in your current car, which, in addition to giving you a financial boost, saves you the hassle of selling it. It doesn't hurt to ask about dealer financing, but it might be cheaper to just get a used car loan.

Give It a Try

Come and test your list of questions to ask when buying a used car on us. Save time at the dealership by browsing our online inventory or by scheduling a test drive online now. With customer service as our most important value, you'll like the answers you get. More than 20 years in business in a city with a rich automobile history has earned the Vision Automotive Group the Number 1 spot in the Rochester Business Journal for vehicle sales.


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