It doesn’t matter if you are buying new or used. Do the research. You should buy a vehicle that suits your needs and still be safe. Before you go shopping figure out what you are looking for. Make sure you know what your budget can handle as well. Do not let a salesperson pressure you. If you feel pressured leave and tell them why.
To find out if a new vehicle is safe read some kind of consumer report about the vehicles you are interested in Check more than one place.. There are magazines and web sites devoted to this information. They tell what crash ratings are, how the brakes work, traction control features and how well the vehicle behaves over-all. You can also find the prices and warranty should roughly be as well. Now take this information and you should be able to find a safe new vehicle.
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Used vehicles have a good potential for information as well. Again use the consumer and magazine reports. Also online you should be able to find out if vehicles have recall issues. After you have narrowed your search and are looking at used vehicles make sure you inspect the vehicle visually. Do not let the dealer use pressure to make you look at other vehicles.
Try to follow these steps. If you are unable or don’t know how then take someone who can.
1. Check tires and body for unusual wear.
2. Look for leaks under the vehicle.
3. Inspect the interior for signs of abuse.
4. Make sure seat belts are intact and air bags are not deployed.
5. Look under the hood and check belts, hoses and leaks.(on an older engine expect some mess)
6. With the hood up start the car.and check lights and electrical items and warning lights.
7. Go look under the hood and make sure everything sounds and looks ok.
8. Now it is time to take a test drive. Make sure the car adjusts to fit you. This is very important for people with special physical needs so they can drive safely.
9. Make sure brakes and steering all feel right. Make sure all gears work including over drive. The car should not shake and shimmy going down the road. Shifts should be smooth and no clunking or grinding noises should emanate from under the car.
10. Make sure you get the car to operating temps and watch the gauges or lights.
11. Once you are back and all is going good find out what the dealership has done to the vehicle and find out if there is any warranty on the vehicle. Do not take their word for it and get it in writing.
12. Before you sign any papers take this information home and do a search for the vehicles history. There are web sites that specialize in this area. You may find information the dealer did not know about.
13. When you go back to the dealer make sure all warranties and everything you talked about with the dealer is in writing before you sign the agreement.
If all looks good you should end up with a reliable and safe vehicle.
By: Alisa Mantall