3 Tips For Buying A Pre-Owned Car

Buying a pre-owned car can be a great investment -- not only will you save money compared to a new car, but if you choose a reliable model that depreciates slowly, you can recoup some of your cost in a few years. That said, you'll want to be careful when purchasing a pre-owned car, as there's quite a few things that can make your investment less than worthwhile. So take a look below at three tips you should keep in mind while looking for a pre-owned car. 

'Certified' Doesn't Always Equal Reliable

The word 'certified' is thrown around a lot when dealerships advertise pre-owned cars. As a consumer, it is in your best interest to find out exactly what a seller means when they claim that a car is certified. It may well be that the dealership puts its cars through an extensive certification program to ensure that what they're selling you is of the highest quality. On the other hand, it's also possible that the car you're being sold was a rental car in its previous life and doesn't have anything more than a standard warranty. Inspect the certification process yourself to get a better picture of how thoroughly the car has been vetted.

Compare Financing Options

If you're looking to finance the purchase of a pre-owned car, be sure to compare various options. In fact, it's smartest to get quotes from local banks and before you ever set foot in a dealership. That way you can use the best offers as leverage, and have the dealership competing with banks to provide you the best overall package. Dealerships make money off of financing just like they do sales of cars, so compare and contrast offers diligently.

Ask for Service Records

One of the best ways you can make sure that the car you're planning on purchasing was properly cared for by its previous owner is to ask for the service records. Be wary of any car that comes without a handful of receipts verifying the work that has been done on it over the past few years. In addition to having the receipts for regular maintenance work such as oil changes, you'll want proof of replacement for parts such as tires and brakes. Paperwork that is in order and in accordance with an owner's verbal history of the car is a good sign that you're getting exactly what you see and not a lemon.  

To learn more, contact a company like Northlake Auto.