If you want to purchase a new used vehicle, you are going to want to make sure that the vehicle is worth the investment. Here are three different ways and things to check for and look for that will help you determine if a used vehicle is worth investing in.
#1 Safety Ratings
If you want a vehicle that is reliable and will keep you safe on the road, you are going to want to investigate the safety ratings that this vehicle received. Two organizations that test all vehicles are the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Both of these organizations are well-known for the high quality of their tests.
The vehicle you purchase should have received good marks on these tests. These marks indicate that the vehicle met the safety standards of the time when it was built. If the marks are poor, you may want to pass on the the vehicle.
#2 Consumer Ratings
Second, you are going to want a vehicle that is dependable, reliable and well-made. One of the best ways to determine that is by researching the consumer ratings that the vehicle has received. The two most reliable industry sources that provide this information is Consumer Reports auto issue as well as the information that J.D. Power and Associates puts forth via polling consumers about vehicles.
You can also find information on vehicle forums about the experience that owners have had over the years with the specific vehicle you are interesting, to see if things add up over time.
#3 Vehicle History
Finally, make sure that you know the specific history of the vehicle that you want to purchase. You can find this by getting the VIN off the vehicle and paying for a vehicle history search. Watch out for flood damage and evidence of extensive accidents. This will let you see any accidents the vehicle has been in as well as how many owners the vehicle has had and where it was owned. For example, if the vehicle was in the Midwest, you may want to check carefully for rust damage and if the vehicle was located in an area that floods frequently, you may want to check for unreported flood damage.
See if you can also get a service record for the vehicle. Some service may show up in the VIN report, but a personal service record should show you additional information. This will help you determine if the vehicle was taken care of and give you an idea of what type of upcoming repairs may be needed.
Be sure to really do your research on the make and model of vehicle that you are interested in purchasing, and the specific vehicle that you want to buy to ensure that you are getting the best deal for your money.