Buying your next vehicle can be an intimidating process. You are about to make one of your larger life purchases and with so many different options to choose from how do you know you aren’t going to purchase “someone else’s” problems?
Well unfortunately there is no way to be 100% sure your vehicle won’t have any problems after you buy it, but there certainly are many preventative measure you can take before your next vehicle purchase. One thing to remember is buying a vehicle can be very exciting! Try not to allow your emotions over a certain vehicle cloud your judgment. I have constructed a list of details we look at before purchasing a vehicle that I think you can use as well.
1. Do your HOMEWORK.
First, do your homework! With the advent of the internet we now have the ability to research hundreds, if not thousands of comparable vehicles in your city and province. This little bit of time can save you money. Sites like: kijiji.ca , autotrader.ca and autosalberta.ca can be an excellent resource to view comparable vehicles. This will help you in your search for the market value for your vehicle.
2. Ask the RIGHT questions.
Once you have arrived at your appointment ask for the vehicle history. Some questions you might want to ask should be, how many previous owners? Any previous service work history or repairs? Is there a lien on the vehicle? Is there an available carproof? View the registration and see if there is a rebuilt or salvage status. All of these questions will save you huge potential costs on your vehicle. Know your vehicle! If there is expected service work at 120,000 km like a timing belt or front end repairs and it hasn’t been replaced yet but the kilometers are close to that milestone you may have to make costly repairs quickly into ownership. (If you don’t have this kind of information try phoning us here at Davis GMC Buick to ask what different types of maintenance are expected and at what km or age should they occur.) Has there been a mechanical inspection? There are places that can provide you an inspection of the vehicle. It will be an extra cost to you but could save you significant cost in the long run. Two other items you should look at it is a carproof of the vehicle and ask to view the registration. When viewing the registration see if the status of the vehicle is coming up as a “rebuild” or “salvage” these are things that might not be disclosed in a private sale.
3. Know what to look for Inside and Outside the Vehicle.
Now that you are satisfied that these questions have been answered, do a vehicle walk-around in addition to deciding whether or not this is visually pleasing to you take a look for any pitting that could have resulted from hail damage. On each wheel well take a look at the tires and see what kind of tread depth is remaining. While at the wheel well take a very close look to any inconsistencies in the paint that could show some rust starting to form under the paint. Look for any obvious signs of damage. Once you are in the front of the vehicle check the windshield are there cracks or chips that are beginning to form cracks? This could be a $250-$400+ repair.
If you are satisfied with the exterior, check out the inside. Things to look for immediately would be any rips or tears in the seams of the seats. If leather, is there any cracking? Once you are seated inside look at the roof for any stains or tears. Look closely around the sunroof to see if there are any signs of water damage. A leaking sunroof is one of the most overlooked faults in used vehicles. Has it been smoked in? How are the floor mats?
Begin to test all of the functions of the electronics, try not to miss anything. Cycle through all of the audio functions and radio. If it has a DVD/Navigation test it out. If you don’t have a DVD ask if you can borrow one to test it. Look on the dashboard to see if there are any warning lights and cycle through the menu to find the engine hours and oil life remaining. Sometimes vehicles are used for companies and they stand idle for many hours. They will show lower kilometers but will in fact have many hours on the engine.
4. Test Drive Check List.
The final step is the test drive. At this time I would recommend to not have the stereo running so that you can listen to the vehicle. Take it to the highway so you can have a chance to cycle through all of the gears in the transmission. Is it a smooth transition or is it rough? Try taking your hands off of the wheel for a brief moment to see if it pulls in one direction or another. This could be an alignment issue. Listen to the road noise, is there a cupping noise? Is the engine 1 or knocking?
It is important to note that at the end of the day you should feel good when making this purchase and know that a vehicle is a vehicle and even the professional vehicle appraisers can’t foresee all repairs. These few things however, should save you potential money or even allow you to purchase if for a lesser amount.
Here at Davis GMC Buick we have a certified pre-owned program. This program means that we have gone through the vehicle with a fine toothed comb inspecting 150 different points of the vehicle and making sure they are above the standard of safely driving. These include most of this list, and we will also guarantee our inspection with a 3 month/5000km limited warranty to give you peace of mind. At Davis GMC Buick we care about our customers and understand the anxiety that can sometimes come with purchasing your next vehicle. Let us put your mind at ease to find a vehicle that you like, that is safe and fits in your budget.
-Tyler Ogrins- Lease and Sales Consultant