Purchasing a used crossover or SUV allows you to save money and avoid a new vehicle’s often high initial depreciation rate. However, there are several factors to consider when looking for a used SUV to ensure you get the best possible deal. Of course, you will prefer a car that can offer you value for money and take you to all the places you wish to go without frequently breaking down. In this post, the New Jersey State Auto Used Cars explains some of the essential tips for buying a used SUV or crossover vehicle.
Search for a Fair Price
Compare prices of the same make and model of the SUV with different dealerships and ascertain whether you are getting a fair deal. You may also check the prices of different models and their variations in terms of the standard features they offer. Sometimes you can find a better model at a slight price difference.
For example, if you are looking for a crossover or SUV, choosing between a Honda SUV HR-V and a Toyota Tundra comes with a price difference of a few hundred dollars. On the other hand, a Mazda CX-9 offers a spacious sitting space and modern technology at a higher, but fair, price.
Also, a dealership can offer certified pre-ownership vehicles, meaning you will get a car that has undergone a thorough inspection and has a certified seal of approval. Getting financing for a certified pre-ownership is easier.
Search for the Car’s History
Conduct an online search on the car history to establish its previous owners, if it has any charges, and whether it has ever been involved in an accident in New Jersey or out-of-state. You would want to own an SUV with a clean record.
Confirm the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), which is a number the automotive manufacturer assigns to a specific car. The information includes details such as the vehicle’s model, engine size, type, and country of origin. Ensure the information the seller presents to you is correct.
Assess the service chart to determine when and where the car was last serviced. Although some SUVs have longevity and go for many miles before needing an oil change, it is still prudent to check.
Inspect the Exterior
Go around the car while carefully checking for any signs of rust, paint chippings, and dents. If there is deep rust on the metal, think again about purchasing the vehicle. Take a look at the panels, and if they are not well aligned, the vehicle was probably involved in an accident and was not well repaired.
Inspect the tires because their state can give you more insight into the alignment and suspension of the crossover or SUV. A well-aligned car has evenly worn-out tires, all four of them.
Open the trunk and check whether the paint inside matches the exterior.
Inspect the Interior
Check the upholstery and ensure the seats are in good condition in terms of fabric wear and tear, no stains, and they can recline. Buying a car whose upholstery is in tatters means extra costs that come with repairs.
Check the electronics. It is essential to have a properly working dashboard display for safe driving. Ensure there is no check engine light. You may also want to listen to music or radio shows as you drive, so test the radio. Make sure the interior lights are also working fine.
Lift the mats and check for water damage, interfering with the vehicle’s wiring, and upholstery. Although such damage can be costly to repair, you can get comprehensive insurance coverage.
Check how spacious the SUV is and whether it will serve your intended purpose. If you need a family car that can carry up to seven passengers and bulky cargo, inform the car dealership of your requirements to get an ideal vehicle.
Conduct Mechanical Inspection
Get a qualified mechanic who specializes in crossovers and SUVs to look at the vehicle’s engine and its condition. The mechanic can also check the engine’s performance and the chassis of the car for any issues. This way, you can identify any potential problems, such as gas or oil leaks, and determine their causes and repair options. The professional will then advise you of the viability of the purchase, whether to buy or not.
If you are looking for a car in New Jersey with a history of no engine problems, take time during the inspection to ascertain the proper functioning of all components.
Check the Mileage
By checking the odometer and dividing the number by the average annual figure, you will know how long the car has been in use. Low mileage for a used SUV can mean longer life and minor wear and tear. On the other hand, low mileage can also mean that the car has not been in regular use, and damages may come with a car that stays stationary for extended durations.
Keep in mind that the general state of a car is more valuable than checking mileage. For example, some SUVs are designed for short journeys and would probably serve you better, even when showing low mileage. Such cars often have low mileage despite being in regular use.
Go for a Test Drive
A test drive is essential because there are issues you can only see when the car is moving. Observe the dashboard lights for any abnormal signs and listen for any clanking or screeching sounds while you drive.
During the drive, you will know the condition of the steering wheel, get the opportunity to test the gas and brake pedals, check the air conditioning, and ensure other essential aspects of the car are in proper working condition.
Get a Used SUV/Crossover at New Jersey State Auto Used Cars
Buying a used SUV or crossover is an excellent way to cut costs while still enjoying the qualities of a spacious car with off-road capabilities. When you perform due diligence, you can purchase a used SUV or crossover within your budget and even get access to low-interest car financing loans. Contact us today to learn more about our inventory of used crossovers and SUVs in New Jersey that you can get depending on your requirements and preferences.