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Buying and Selling Tips

What should I look for when buying a used vehicle?

There are many details that need to be considered when choosing and buying a used vehicle. Four main areas that need to be considered are:

1. Vehicle Origin
2. Mechanical Condition
3. Cosmetic Condition
4. Vehicle History

The first thing you?ll want to know is the origin of the vehicle. In what country was it originally sold? It is important to know if the vehicle you are looking to buy was originally sold in another country because that may affect access to parts, the resale/trade-in value and registration/insurance.

The second thing you?ll want to determine is the mechanical condition the vehicle is in. This can be difficult to determine, it is recommended that you try to bring a friend or someone that has experience with the type of vehicle you are looking at to help you out when shopping. Things like maintenance records, starting and idling ability, and mileage can help give you insight into the mechanical condition of the vehicle but do make a checklist of things to look at and inspect. Whenever possible take the vehicle for a test ride and check its ability to accelerate, brake and turn smoothly. One great way to determine the mechanical condition of a used vehicle is to take it to a dealership and have a licensed mechanic inspect it for you.

The cosmetic condition is fairly easy to determine. Look over the vehicle, what scrapes, chips, dents or abrasions does it have. Remember to use your hands to feel the vehicle; your sense of touch will pick up things that the eye may miss. For example, feeling under the brake and clutch levers on a motorcycle will tell you if they are scrapped, and subsequently if the vehicle had at one point been tipped over or crashed.

Every vehicle has a unique history. Crashes, modifications, and liens will all affect your purchase decision. While most sellers are honest, it is a good idea to attain a vehicle history report. This way you know for sure what you are buying and are better able to judge if the asking price is fair based on the history of the vehicle.


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