used cars

How to Buy a Used Car Online – Questions to Ask

In the buildup to your decision to buy a used car, you probably heard one too many times and saw for yourself that used cars cost a lot less than new ones.

This, of course, is one of the many benefits of buying a used car, and it probably helped you make your decision. Fact is, nobody really tells you about the downsides you should be aware of.

Even if they do, it may prove insufficient. Knowing the vital questions to ask will help you get a better deal when buying a used car.

More so, buying a used car online requires a tad more curiosity cum inquiry so you don’t end up buying a total liability from a stranger. We have compiled a few important questions to ask:

Why are You Selling?

This right here is a very important question to ask. Although the seller may already have a prepared answer for you, it is best practice to hear the story behind the sale. It is now up to you to determine if the seller is being honest or not. 

What is the Condition of the Car?

You don’t want to buy a car without knowing its condition. Even though you plan on doing an inspection (which you should), also hear what the seller has to say.

Pay attention to these details as you’d need to check for any disparities during the inspection. Pay even more attention when the seller is selling the car “as is”.

Can you Tell me About the Ownership History?

If you plan on buying a used car in Canada that will serve you well, find out its history. When a seller has bits of information to share with you concerning this, that’s a potential red flag. It either means there is something shady or they haven’t owned the car for long. 

When and for How Long Can I Test Drive the Car?

Obviously, at this point, you like the image and specs of the car you see online. Now it’s time to give it a spin to see if it indeed measures up to expectations and suits your lifestyle.

Nothing less than 30 minutes should be your target for the test drive. If possible, agree on a day the seller can come along if you notice any hesitation.

Can I take it for Inspection?

As a matter of necessity, used cars in Canada or anywhere in the world should be inspected before making payment. So this is like a trick question. You obviously can’t and shouldn’t buy from a seller who doesn’t approve. Get a licensed mechanic for the inspection.

How Long have you Owned the Car?

If the time frame is short it could mean that the seller ran into some issues with the car – that you’re likely to inherit. It could also just be that they need the money to fund some other pressing need. It could be a number of things, still, you’re better off knowing.

What Features are not Working Properly?

It is normal to have a used car with one or two hiccups but you should learn about these before making a purchase. For faults that cannot be overlooked, get the seller to make repairs before continuing the transaction.

Can I see your Identification, Ownership Documents, and VIN?

Ask for the vehicle information number as well as the seller’s identification. You want to know if this person is the legal owner and is authorized to sell the car. You run the risk of buying a stolen vehicle if you fail to get this information.

Has the Car Been in an Accident?

Find out about any accidents that may have happened before. If there was any, ask for the exact parts of the car that were affected. Also, ask for what was done by way of repair. Then you determine if some adjustments or further repairs should be done first before buying.

How Did You Value the Car?

You can get a used car for a lesser price but you could also be ripped off. Well, if you don’t ask the right question. How did the seller arrive at the stated price? Did they just come up with a number that seemed right? If they used a pricing guide, crosscheck to make sure you’re not overpaying.

Do you see now, why the lower cost for a used car is not always the only good reason to buy? These vital questions will help you make an informed decision and save you avoidable issues. And remember, if you don’t ask they probably won’t tell.

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