Buying privately-owned used cars is a great way to save money – but if you’re not careful, you could end up getting stuck with a “lemon”, and spending money on a poor-quality vehicle.
However, it can be hard to differentiate between a legitimate seller who simply needs to sell their vehicle – or someone who’s just trying to pawn off a low-quality used car on you.
IN this article, we’ll look at 5 questions you MUST ask private sellers – these questions will help you screen for legitimacy, and ensure you find a great deal on a gently-used car.
Why Are You Selling The Car?
This is a question that few people actually think to ask – but it’s important. If the seller can’t answer this question immediately, you should be suspicious. There’s always a reason that someone sells their car – and if they won’t give you a straight answer, that means there’s probably something wrong with the vehicle.
Good answers include “I just bought a new car”, “It was my [relative’s] car and I don’t need it”, or “It was my son/daughter’s car, and they relocated and don’t need it anymore.”
Who Did You Buy The Vehicle From?
Ideally, you want to buy a used car from its original owner. If you see that a used car has been resold multiple times, it may be low-quality – and there’s no way to know how well it was maintained.
So ask who the vehicle was bought from – the best answer is “new from the dealership”, though other answers are not a dealbreaker.
Where Was The Car Bought?
It’s best to buy cars that were purchased in the same Canadian province that you reside in. Different provinces have different regulations for things like salvage titles and the past history of a used car – if the car is brought from one province to another, it could be “washed”, and past mechanical failures or issues may not show up on sites like Carproof.
How Long Of A Test Drive Can I Take?
Most owners will let you take a test drive of up to 30 minutes – this is usually long enough to get a good idea of a car’s condition.
If a car owner won’t let you take a test drive at all – or restricts it to non-highway roads or to a very short time period – be wary. After all, you’re buying the car to drive it – you deserve a comprehensive understanding of the how the car drives and operates.
Are You Willing To Let Me Inspect The Car Independently?
Some private sellers won’t let you get a car inspected independently. If this is the case, walk away. The car is likely damaged or in poor repair – and even if it’s not, a private seller who won’t let you pay for an independent inspection is likely not someone you want to deal with.
A private, independent inspection is certainly the best way to get a comprehensive understanding of a vehicle’s condition. Even if it costs you a bit of money, it’s best to take these precautions and avoid purchasing a low-quality used vehicle.
Need A Used Car? Need An Inspection? Come To Ride Time Now!
If you don’t want to deal with private sellers, we totally understand! Ride Time has a huge selection of inspected, verified, and high-quality used cars – see our stock online, or come in for a viewing today!
And if you need a car inspected, we’re happy to help – our new Winnipeg location has 8 service bays, experienced technicians, and advanced tools.
So whether you’re interested in buying a used car from Ride Time – or need another car inspected – come in today, and see why we’re the best used car dealership in all of Winnipeg!