5 Areas To Research Before Buying A Used Car

Used cars are a valuable commodity. Not only do they provide a way for people to get where they need to be, but the vehicles are often a smart financial investment. Before you take the leap, however, you need to be sure you're purchasing the right car. This starts with lots of preliminary research. Below are five areas you should look into prior to signing off on a purchase. 

1. The seller's website
The first place you should go to conduct research is the seller's official website. For NJ State Auto Auction, for example, you can go online and browse through the full collection of used cars for sale. Look over the hundreds of Carfax-certified cars, trucks and vans to find a few options that pique your interest. Then you can plan for test drives and get a head start on financing, as the site allows you to begin the registration and bidding process. 

2. Technical service bulletins 
According to the Traverse City Record-Eagle, checking out technical service bulletins could be a smart move for many shoppers. These documents are released by manufacturers to inform drivers of any problems. They aren't as serious as official recalls, but they often involve important issues you should know about. 

3. The official website
Although the car you're considering may be used, you should still head to the manufacturer's website to check out the initial specs. This will give you a better idea of the technology and features available. It can also make it easier to compare the original version with the one you're thinking about buying, allowing you to scope out any areas where care may have lapsed over the past few years. 

4. Consumer reviews
You should also take a moment to research reviews from other drivers. This feedback provides insight as to what you can expect with regard to future maintenance and repairs. It could also let you know what to look for when taking test drives. 

5. Official vehicle history reports 
Once you've researched what people think of the model in general, you should do a little more digging into the background of the specific car you're considering. Carfax and similar organizations can provide a look at any past accidents or major repairs. While the right servicing may have made some of these events a non-issue, it's best to know what you're dealing with before you buy.