Purchasing a pre-owned vehicle doesn’t have to be a hassle. For decades, buying a used car has come with a stigma of being an unpleasant experience. But long gone are the days of highly questionable ethics and unscrupulous business practices. In today’s age of transparency, pre-owned car dealerships have earned much more respectable reputations.

When looking at used cars for sale in Muncie Indiana, knowing what kind of vehicle you want is only a small part of the process. Most importantly, you need to know what’s important when buying a used car, specifically. To help, we put together a 6-point guide to use when shopping for a pre-owned car or truck:

The Vehicle’s History

The first thing you should do is run a check on the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). This will give you vital information about the condition and maintenance records of the potential automobile. This includes info pertaining to:

  • Maintenance/Repair history
  • Floods
  • Accidents
  • Fire damage
  • Salvage title
  • Outstanding recalls

Most dealers will simply share their copy of these reports with the customer when they are asked.

A Thorough Mechanical Inspection

This is something you should always do when shopping for used cars for sale Muncie Indiana. Before finalizing the terms of any agreement, you should make certain that the vehicle is in sound mechanical condition. This means the engine and transmission are strong, the electrical system is functioning correctly, the safety equipment is in proper working order, and that the vehicle is in otherwise good shape.

A Thorough Exterior Inspection

This one you don’t even need a mechanic for; you can handle it yourself. Carefully examine the outer portions of the vehicle, looking closely for dents and dings, scratches, or signs of rust or other corrosion.

Look for spots where the paint feels smoother or rougher than the rest of the car. Check for gaps and uneven spacing between body panels. Also, go over the tires looking for wear and tear, as lopsided wear could indicate alignment problems.

A Thorough Interior Inspection

Just like the outside of the vehicle, the inside also needs a proper once-over. The condition of the interior can tell buyers a lot about how well taken care of a car has been.

Look for rips or tears in the upholstery. Pay attention to any odors, stains, or signs of water damage, such as mildew or new carpeting. Check all the buttons and knobs (A/C and heat, radio dials, windows, door locks, lights, and any other electrical features).

Other Things To Consider About Used Cars For Sale Muncie, Indiana

In addition to the tips already mentioned in today’s article, it is also prudent to take the vehicle on a good test drive, taking it up on the freeway and hitting higher speeds. This can give you an idea of how it handles, as well as help to detect problems that don’t reveal themselves at residential speeds.

Also, make sure that you have all the available documentation, such as warranty paperwork, the owner’s manual, and any relevant maintenance documentation.