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7 Questions to Ask When You’re Buying a Used Car

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Khatir Soltani
The answers will help you make an informed decision

Article provided by CARPROOF

Whether you buy a used car from a dealer or a private seller, there is a lot you need to know to be confident you’re making a smart purchase.

These questions will help with your information gathering:

1.    What is the vehicle’s condition and current mileage?

⦁    Give the seller an opportunity to tell you about any known issues with the car.

2.    Has anything on the car been replaced or updated?

⦁    Updates or replacements can increase the value of a vehicle – like a new set of tires or brakes. This information can help you predict expenses that may come up down the road.

3.    Can I take it for a test drive? 

⦁    This is an essential part of any vehicle purchase – it’s your opportunity to get inside the car, see how it feels and evaluate if it’s a good fit for you. There are lots of things to look and listen for, and little tests you can perform to get the most out of your test drive –  get a comprehensive list here

4.    Does it come with winter tires?

⦁    Most Canadians need winter tires. Ask the seller if they have winter tires for the vehicle – this could be the add-on you’re looking for to sweeten the deal.

5.    Why are you selling the car?

⦁    They could be selling for simple reasons like a growing family or change in lifestyle, or maybe they can’t stand the way it handles in the snow. Either way, this is important information that will help you decide whether to buy the vehicle.

6.    Was the vehicle serviced regularly? Do you have the service records?

⦁    The vehicle’s service history gives you a good idea of its condition and how well it was cared for, and records of this service give you proof that it was completed and an idea of what to budget for in the future.

7.    Do you have a vehicle history report?

Vehicle history reports tell you about accident history, lien status, registration history, unfixed safety recalls and more. Paired with a  pre-purchase inspection, this is the most important piece of information to inform your purchase, and you should never buy a used car without one. 

Arming yourself with the answers to these questions should give you the information you need to make an informed purchase. For more tips and tricks on buying, selling and owning a used car, visit CARPROOF’s Resource Centre

Khatir Soltani
Khatir Soltani
Automotive expert
  • Over 6 years experience as a car reviewer
  • Over 50 test drives in the last year
  • Involved in discussions with virtually every auto manufacturer in Canada