Cookie Policy Used Car Buying Checklist - Inspired Ideas Solutions
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  • Look at title carefully
  • Don’t buy quickly/don’t feel rushed.
    • Think it over
    • At least 1 day
    • Some dealerships give you time to return the vehicle if you change your mind
  • Print out Carfax or equivalent -Everytime!
    • Many service garages/dealerships can print this out for you for free.  It is worth the cost to help avoid poor purchase decisions.
    • Look for flags
      • Odometer fraud-Carfax has a free odometer fraud alert
      • Accidents
      • Salvage title
    • Check mileage 
      • Is it consistent with the odometer reading?
      • Did the car sit? 
      • Miles unusually low/high- 12,000mi/year is standard
    • Is service/oil change done consistently
    • Has timing belt and other needed items been done timely
    • Look at manufacturer’s service recommendations-  have these been done?
  • Pre-Buying Inspection at trusted garage
    • Consider if needed repairs match mileage
    • Cost of needed repairs?  
    • Leaks?
    • What do they recommend?
    • Is this a model/year that has issues?
  • Has an emissions inspection been completed?
  • Seller reliability
    • Do you know them/trust them
    • Good reviews?
  • How many owners?  If it has been sold 5 times in the last month this is a definite issue!
  • What is the vehicle worth?  Look at a site like KBB or Edmunds for comparable sales and current estimated value 

This list is not intended to identify all issues you could have with buying a used car.  It is intended to help you think about and evaluate for yourself if you are making a choice you will not regret.