Used Car Buyer’s Checklist | Mobile AL
A pre-owned vehicle is always a smart buying choice, especially if it’s a Lexus. Most can get overwhelmed with all of the factors that go into buying used, like researching the history or safety ratings of your preferred vehicle. But here at Lexus of Mobile, we’ve simplified the process. Below, we’ve done our own research and compiled some helpful tips into a used car buyer’s checklist so that nothing slips through the cracks. Keep reading below to learn more about what to go over before purchasing a used car, truck or SUV:
Do Your Research
Before you drive down to our dealership, figure out what kind of vehicle best matches your needs, budget and lifestyle. Not only will you save yourself a trip for a vehicle you may not purchase, but by researching ahead of time, you’ll stand a better chance of making a better deal if you’ve familiarized yourself with prices and the Kelley Blue Book® market value.
Under the Hood
Always have your used car inspected by a professional before making your purchase. One of our technicians at our service center can do the job, but if that’s not an option (like buying out of state), check for any abnormal noises or vibrations (popping, squeaking, creaking, etc.), sights (leaky batteries, oil stains under the car) or smells (burning, fermenting) when the car is running. Mechanical issues are a big deal, so if you suspect problems with the engine or transmission, save yourself the headache and walk away.
Exterior and Interior Checks
Minor cosmetic problems, on the other hand, will cost much less to fix, so when buying used, expect your car, truck or SUV to have those imperfections. Small dents and localized scratches are common, but rust is more serious, as well as mismatched doors, paint colors and exterior panels. Inside the vehicle, check for broken electrical systems, dead light bulbs, sour smells or tears in the upholstery.
The Test Drive
Continue the inspection by starting the engine and taking the vehicle on a test drive, easily one of the most crucial parts of the inspection. Ask the seller your questions as you test the model on different roads so that you can test at different speeds. Check to see if the transmission shifts cleanly, the brakes offer safe stopping power and that the coolness of the air conditioning is working properly. All are smart assessments that will pay off in the long run.
Paperwork and Fees
If the used car, truck or SUV that you’ve tested has passed your inspection (and a mechanic’s), it’s time to negotiate the price with your seller. Ensure that you’re aware of the total fees, insurance costs and annual repairs and maintenance before signing the title. Request a CARFAX history report for even more detailed information.
If you have any questions about what you need to do before buying a used car or would like to test drive any used cars, please feel free to contact us or stop by Lexus of Mobile at 3024 Government Blvd, Mobile, AL 36606. We look forward to serving our customers from Gulf Coast, Daphne and Spanish Fort.