Important considerations when buying a used car
When a car’s been owned before, there’re a few things you should keep in mind that don’t come up with new cars. Most importantly, you’ll want to pay attention to the history of the car and the title.
Know the car’s history
One way to find out more about the used car you’re buying is to have it inspected and pull a vehicle history report, sometimes called a car history report, based on the vehicle identification number (VIN).
If you’re buying from a dealership selling certified preowned cars, they might offer you a full report for free. If you’re buying a used car another way, you might need to get your own report.
You can ask the seller if they have a vehicle history report, but if they don't you can get your own. Some websites offer limited information about a car's history for free, but if you want a more comprehensive car history, you’ll have to pay a fee. It might be worth getting a report from more than one company to make sure you have all the facts.
Check the car’s title
If you buy from a private seller, it’s important to ask about the title. The person you're buying from should be on the title as the owner to be allowed to sell the car. Ask if you can see the title before the purchase. It might also be noted on the title if the car had any factory defects that needed to be fixed, was wrecked and salvaged, or was rebuilt.