Used Car Buyers Checklist

  1. Don't Fall in love with the car before you've done your homework.
  2. Let someone else take the depreciation hit. (2-3 yrs old is best)
  3. Walk around the car and check paint, body panel gaps for evenness, chips, dents, etc.
  4. Check maintenance history (any records).
  5. Contact the previous owner (get the name from the title).
  6. Check the fluid condition (oil and transmission fluid should be clean and clear).
  7. Test drive the car and listen and feel for noises, vibration, and handling problems.
  8. Go to www.nada.com and check the retail price.
  9. Check the title history using the vin# at www.carfax.com.
  10. If the above checks good, have a complete mechanical inspection done by an independent shop on the vehicle. Use the items that need attention on the car, to bargain with the dealer.