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October 30, 2017

10 Questions to Ask Before You Buy a Used Vehicle

buy used vehiclePurchasing a vehicle from a used car dealer can be a wise decision. Not only can you get a safe, reliable form of transportation, but you can also save money as used cars for sale are often dramatically cheaper than brand new cars from a car dealership. Unfortunately, many people miss out on taking advantage of these great benefits because they are reluctant to shop at a used car lot.

If you are reluctant to shop for a vehicle from a used car dealer, we have a solution for you – ask questions. Asking questions both before you visit the car lot and while you are at the used car dealer can help you gain valuable information that will help you determine if the car is a good investment or if it is an opportunity you should pass on.

To help you in your quest to find a reliable used vehicle, we have gathered some important questions you should ask both before you visit a used car lot and once you have found a vehicle you might wish to purchase.


The 5 Questions You Should Ask Before Visiting the Used Car Dealer


Asking questions before you even step foot on the used car lot can save you a lot of time. The following five questions are ones you should ask before you visit a used car dealer.

1. How Many Miles are On the Car?

The number of miles that are on the car often indicate how much “wear and tear” a vehicle has been put through. A car with higher mileage has been driven a lot, of course, and may be closer to needing extensive repairs or breaking down as opposed to a car with fewer miles.

2.  Has the Car Been in an Accident or Had Other Problems?

Cars can be repaired after an accident and be in good working order, but not always. Use CARFAX or Autocheck to determine if a car has been in an accident. If it has been in an accident, you need to ask yourself the following questions:

  • How bad was the accident?
  • What was the damage?
  • Who fixed the car (private individual or an automaker)?

The answers to these questions can help you determine if you should pursue purchasing this used car or look for another one.

3. How Many Previous Owners has the Vehicle Had?

A vehicle with multiple owners may be an indicator that there is something wrong with the car. You can use CARFAX or Autocheck to learn how many owners a car has had in the past.

4. Does the Vehicle have a Salvage Title?

Salvage titles are a specific type of vehicle title. It is given when an insurance company has determined that the vehicle is either a total loss or has been so damaged that it is not worth repairing. The criteria for branding a car as salvage will vary depending upon the type of damage that occurred, the make and model of the car, and the state you live in.

Salvage title cars can still be sold, but it is important that you do your research on them. The cars may look – on the outside – like they are fine, but there could be extensive damage inside. If a vehicle you are looking at has been branded as salvage, you’ll want to be extra careful with your inspection of the car to make sure you are not wasting your money.

5. What is the Current Condition of the Interior and Exterior?

You don’t want to look at a car that has a poor exterior and is filled with dents, scratches and other problems. Asking the condition of both the interior and exterior of the vehicle can help you determine if you want to spend the time to visit the used car dealer to look at the vehicle in person.

Many used car dealerships have websites where they not only provide a picture and vehicle description of the car, but also include valuable information that will answer some of the questions that were listed above. If the car dealer’s website does not answer these questions, you can always call or email the car dealer.

5 Questions to Ask When You are Looking at Vehicle at a Used Car Dealer


Once you arrive at the used car lot, the questions you will want to ask will differ from the questions you asked while just browsing around for a car. Of course, you will still want to ask the questions regarding current condition, previous owners, title and miles, but you will also want to ask additional, more detailed questions.

The questions you will want to ask once you are at a used car dealer and you have found a possible car to purchase include:

  • Can I take this vehicle for a test drive?
  • What type of warranty comes with the vehicle or is it an “as is” purchase?
  • Do you know of any manufacturer recalls on this vehicle?
  • Do you have a detailed maintenance record for this vehicle?
  • Can I have a qualified mechanic look at the car?

Some of these questions are real “deal breaker” questions when looking at used cars for sale. For example, if a used car dealer does not let you test drive the car or have a qualified mechanic look at it, you should consider walking away and looking for another car. No matter how great the car looks, you should always test drive it and have a licensed mechanic look for any potential problems.

If you live in the North Texas area and are looking for a used vehicle, let PAACO Automotive Group help you. Not only are we a trusted used car dealer, but we will gladly answer any and all questions you have about the vehicle you wish to purchase.

For over 24 years, we have been a trusted used car dealer that has a vast inventory of previously owned SUVs, sedans, cars, trucks, and hatchbacks. We will gladly help you find the perfect vehicle. Once you find the perfect vehicle, we offer instant pre-approval lending. Visit one of our 10 locations across North Texas or browse our website to see our current inventory of used cars for sale.

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