Dealer-certified used car. You hear that all the time now, but is it enough? We here at Hummel’s Automotive Diagnostic & Repair don’t think so. The dealer wants to get the used car off the lot, so it has its own service department inspect the vehicle. That’s not really an unbiased assessment of the vehicle. It’s better to protect yourself with research and a pre-purchase inspection so you don’t buy a lemon.
Start With Online Research
Research used cars online first to narrow down your choices. Search for makes, models, and years that fit within your budget and have all the necessities and accessories you want and need. Choose your favorites and then search for them by their specific year, make, and model. Read what professionals and owners have to say about the cars. Weed out the vehicles with bad reviews and then pull up the safety reviews on the NHTSA website for the remaining cars. Pick the best car from your list.
Get Specific When You’ve Found the Car You Want to Buy
Search for the used car that ended up top on your list. Once you’ve found it, either from an online or brick-and-mortar dealer, get more specific in your research. Ask the dealer for a car history report on the vehicle they are selling. Run a car history report from an independent reporting service, as well, to compare the information. Request maintenance records to ensure the vehicle was well cared for, and ask for all of these things even if you’re dealing with a private seller.
Visually Inspect the Vehicle Yourself
Set up an appointment to see the car. Inspect the car as thoroughly as you can. Walk around the exterior and look for damage. Look for poor bodywork, such as paint that doesn’t quite match. This can clue you into an accident that was never reported, and thus a lemon. Inspect the inside of the vehicle and test all of the components to make sure they are working properly. Take the vehicle for a test drive that includes slow driving, fast driving, and driving on uneven, bumpy, and steep roads.
Let the Professionals Step In
Finally, have an automotive professional inspect the used car. They know how to spot hidden damage, such as fire or undercarriage damage. They also know how to check the electrical system with a diagnostic test. An automotive professional can even spot poor preventative maintenance work, or that the previous owner never maintained the vehicle at all. This ensures you don’t buy a lemon when you purchase your next used car.
If you live in St. George, UT, call Hummel’s Automotive Diagnostic & Repair for your used-car inspection. We’ll certify it above and beyond the dealer, so call us today.