The Questions You Need to Ask When Buying a Used Car

The Questions You Need to Ask When Buying a Used Car

girl holding keys to a used car 

What to Ask When Buying a Used Car

If you've thought about what to ask when buying a used car, this guide is for you! Here's how to save money (and the environment)by purchasing a used car!

Do you know what to ask when buying a used car?

There's been an ongoing debate between buying new vs. used car for years. The stigma of dealing with 'used car salesmen' selling lemons has long been a part of the industry, putting people off from buying a used car.

While that stigma exists, it doesn't stop people from buying used cars. In the U.S., over 40 million used cars are sold every year, far outpacing new car sales.

Buying a used car doesn't have to be a draining process. It can be a smooth process if you understand why used makes a better choice and you know what to ask when buying a used car.

Keep reading for our guide to buying a used car that's sure to make the process stress-free.

Why Should I Buy a Used Car?

If there was one word to tell customers why they should buy a used car it would be depreciation. Sure, it's obvious that a used car costs less than a new car. Did you know that if you purchase a new car, you'll lose on average of 11% of the car's value as soon as you drive the car off the lot?

Let's say you bought a new car for $23,000. That means that the car will lose $2530 in value by leaving the lot. Think of it as a very expensive ride around the block.

On top of that, the chances that your car will be underwater in a few years is high. In the U.S. over a third of all cars are underwater. That means that you'll still owe money on the car after you trade it in or your lease expires.

Your options are limited if your car is underwater. Some people opt to roll the amount still owed into their next car's payments. All that does is increase the monthly payments. That doesn't make sense, especially if the added costs are for a car you're no longer driving.

With a pre-owned car, you don't have to worry about the car being underwater.

Can I Save Money on Car Registration?

In Idaho, you'll even save a little money on car registration for older vehicles. If your car is one or two years old, you'll pay $69. If your car is 3-6 years old, you'll pay $57 and $45 for cars seven years older or more.

These amounts may vary depending on the weight of the vehicle and where you live.

What's My Car Budget?

The first step is buying a car is to determine what your budget is. Most finance experts say that you shouldn't spend more than 15% of your monthly income on your car payment.

If you do the calculation and you wind up disappointed, don't be. There are many financing options available.

Plus, buying a pre-owned car means you get more car for the money. You can afford to go for a higher end model Subaru.

What Do I Need to Do to Maintain the Vehicle?

A common perception of used cars is that they're less reliable than new cars. The argument is that people should buy new for peace of mind and less maintenance.

That's not true. Today's cars are more reliable than ever and improving every year. J.D. Power says that today's cars are 5% more reliable than they were a year ago.

That doesn't mean you don't have to maintain the car. It's necessary to keep the car running smoothly and extends the life of the car.

If you're not sure what you need to do to maintain the car, you can always check the maintenance schedule. We have one for Subaru cars here. All you have to do is enter your VIN number.

How Many Owners Has This Vehicle Had?

Here's what to ask when buying a new car. How many owners has this vehicle had? Why is this question important? For starters, it could be a tell-tale sign of car issues.

Ideally, you want to buy a car that's had one owner. Chances are they've taken care of the vehicle while they had it.

If you're not sure how to find out how many owners a car has had, you can check CarFax, or AutoCheck or check the service history of the car.

What's the History of the Car?

It's highly recommended to use CarFax or AutoCheck for the car's history as well.

You'll want to know if the car has been involved in any accidents. You'll also get the title history, and reports of any flood damage, or salvage history.

Is This a Certified Pre-Owned Car?

If you want to know what to ask when buying a used car, you'll want to learn more about certified pre-owned cars.

Certified pre-owned or CPO cars are newer cars that have been previously owned. These cars have been inspected and refurbished according to a manufacturer's standards.

For example, Subaru CPO vehicles are less than 5 years old and under 80,000 miles and go through a 152 point inspection.

CPO cars often provide more assurances than other types of new cars. This doesn't guarantee that there won't be repairs in the future, but these cars also tend to have warranties.

What's the Warranty?

This is the next question on your list of what to ask when buying a used car.

Subaru CPO cars include a 6 year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty and other perks like roadside assistance.

This is a must-ask question to protect yourself in case something happens to your vehicle.

Now, Do You Know What to Ask When Buying a Used Car?

After reading this guide you should have a good sense of what to ask when buying a used car. That's an important first step to avoid buyer's remorse.

One other important step in the process is to pick a dealership that you can trust.

Subaru of Twin Falls is your go-to dealership for used Subarus.

Check out our inventory of pre-owned vehicles today.

Categories: Pre-Owned Inventory
Tags: used cars
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