If you’re ready to buy a car, you might consider buying a used car since it offers so many benefits. Buying a used car is an easy process when you know what to look for and review important details about the vehicle.
When buying a used car, you’ll want to inspect the vehicle to ensure it meets your standards. This can ensure the quality of the car and help you decide which vehicle on the lot is the best one for you. While buying from a trustworthy dealership is an easy and safe practice, it’s handy to know the top signs of a good used vehicle. Read on to discover nine green flags for used cars. If you have any questions, call us at (201) 200-1100.
The Body Work Doesn’t Have Defects
The first green flag you can notice is the car’s body and exterior being in good shape. This means that you can’t find any rust, dents, or scratches. You also may notice if the car’s paint job still looks fresh and doesn’t have any sun damage. A car without body defects can indicate that the previous owner took great care of it or that the vehicle is relatively new. Each one is a green flag, as this may point to the vehicle’s overall condition.
You Can Review the Car’s History
You should always try to review a used vehicle’s history before making a purchase. This can ensure that you collect as many details as possible about the vehicle. A history report for a vehicle often includes information such as the car’s ownership history, title status, last reported mileage, a record of any natural disaster damage, and accident history. This information can help you consider if the vehicle is in good condition and help you budget for any repairs it might need.
It Has Low Mileage
Mileage tracks the number of miles the car has traveled. Having relatively low mileage is a good indication that the car has average or minimal prior use. The average mileage a car may have depends on the age of the vehicle. It’s estimated that the average driver adds 10,000 to 12,000 miles per year. This means that if a three-year-old car has 45,000 miles on it, the previous owner may have used the vehicle excessively. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but low mileage sometimes indicates that you can use the car longer with fewer problems.
The Tires and Brake Pads Are in Good Shape
Inspect the vehicle’s tires and brake pads. You can find a car’s brake pads by looking in between the holes of the wheel with a flashlight. You can also ask the car dealer for help in finding the brake pads. It’s a good sign if the vehicle’s brake pads are still thick. If they look rather thin, that means the brakes are worn and you’ll need to replace the car’s brake pads. It’s helpful to know this so you can budget for any upcoming repairs a car may have. Or, you might choose a different vehicle that doesn’t need fairly immediate repairs.
Check the vehicle’s tires to ensure the tread is still in good condition. If the tires look smooth or have low tread, you may have to replace the tires if you purchase the vehicle. So, you can either add this to your budget and negotiate the price with the dealer, or you might start looking at different used vehicles.
The Interior Is Thoroughly Cleaned
Check the interior of the car to ensure that it’s clean and free of any warning lights. Warning lights are the signs that flash on the car’s display, near the speedometer. If the interior is very clean, it’s a sign that the dealer or previous owner had the car detailed before trying to sell it, so they sanitized the car already, which requires little work from you after you purchase it. Having the car detailed can also be an indication that the dealership cares about the customers and are detail-oriented.
The Engine Is Washed
Check under the hood to inspect the engine. If the engine is washed, this is a great sign and can help protect the vehicle from future damage by cleaning rust or other buildup on the engine’s surface. It shows extra attention to detail from the dealership or previous owner if they paid to have the engine cleaned before selling the car.
Even if the engine isn’t washed, it’s important to check the vehicle’s oil and windshield wiper fluid levels. Look at the car’s battery to ensure there isn’t an excessive buildup of rust there. It’s also important to check that all the hoses in the engine are free of leaks or cuts. These practices can help you determine if the engine is in good condition.
The History Matches the Listing
After performing the history check on the vehicle, be sure that it matches the listing for the used car. This can help you determine if the listing is accurate or not. It also can help you determine the trustworthiness and competency of the seller. The mileage of the car may differ depending on how recently the previous owner reported its mileage, but it’s still helpful to determine if the listing accurately displays previous accident history or the number of owners the car’s had.
You Can Test Drive It
Take the car for a test drive before making a purchase. This can help you determine if the car can meet your everyday needs. On your test drive, you can also pay attention to any weird quirks, such as strange sounds or odors coming from the engine. While on your test drive, use the heating and cooling, the window controls, and the radio to ensure each feature functions as needed.
You Trust the Seller
Finding a trustworthy used car dealer is a great green flag for the buying process. Often, it’s helpful to find a dealer with flexible financing options. You may also inquire about any warranties or trade-in programs the dealership has.
At New Jersey State Auto, we’re committed to helping you find the perfect used car. You can trust us to guide you through the buying process and help you buy a car perfect for your needs. Contact us to let us know how we can assist you.