Top 5 Used Car Buying Tips

Before buying any used car, even a certified pre-owned vehicle, it's important to be informed before you go shopping. Here are some used car buying tips for anyone thinking about purchasing a certified pre-owned vehicle:
  1. Know the difference between a manufacturer-certified vehicle and a dealer-certified vehicle. It's best to choose a vehicle that's been certified by the manufacturer rather than just the dealership. Generally, they're more reliable and go through more rigorous testing. You'll also be protected if the dealership goes out of business. In addition, manufacturer-certified vehicles often come with perks similar to those offered with new cars, like roadside assistance and loaner cars.
  2. Understand what the manufacturer's certification covers. By following this used car buying tip, you'll have a good understanding of what the certification means and what the warranty covers.
  3. Read the inspection report. Once you've researched the make and model you want to buy, ask the dealership to show you the actual inspection report for that vehicle. Check the vehicle identification number (VIN) and make sure it matches the one on the inspection report.
  4. Get behind the wheel. Take a test drive and make sure you inspect the vehicle from top to bottom. Another important car tip is to look for mismatched paint—a telltale sign that the car's been in an accident. You may want to get a vehicle history report from websites like CARFAX®.
  5. Know what it's worth. Before purchasing a vehicle, it's important to research it online and know the true market value. That way you can negotiate a better price for yourself.