Tag Archive | "used car buying tips"

What Every Person Should Look Out for When Buying A Used Car

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Florida may be home to the happiest place on earth, but when you’re used car shopping you probably feel like Mickey and friends are halfway around the world instead of just down the highway. Successful used car shopping is all about information. When you have good information, you can buy with confidence. And the sooner you get a great deal on that new-to-you vehicle, the sooner you can plan your next vacation. Floridians face some unique challenges in their quest to purchase a used car.


Car History


Given the number of natural disasters in the gulf region over the past several years, it’s important to know if a used vehicle has flood damage or has been through any other major trauma. Every dealership, from a buy here pay here in Tampa to a statewide chain of dealerships, can provide you with a Carfax history report. No matter how good the car looks, if you’re seriously considering purchasing it, you should ask to see a Carfax report.


Vehicle history reports tell you where a car was previously registered. Not all used cars for sale in Florida have always been in Florida. Cars driven for long periods in more Northern locations may have body damage or rust from snow and road salt. Thoroughly examine the body of the car to avoid unpleasant surprises after you’ve signed on the dotted line.


Ode to Odometers


We’re all looking for that elusive low-mileage, low-cost used vehicle. If the mileage is too good to be true, it’s probably for one of two reasons. Firstly, the odometer may have been tampered with. The good news is that this is rare because this kind of fraud is easy to spot by checking a Carfax report or maintenance records (if they are available). Secondly, the car may have just not been driven much, which happens with lots of retirees. While that sounds like a great thing, hold on before buying, because it might cause you problems.


Cars are built to be driven, not to sit idle. When a car sits idle too long, lots of problems can pop up. Tires can lose not only air, but elasticity, cutting their useful life down significantly and putting you at risk for flat tires or blowouts. Pests can move in to the engine block, or in more extreme cases, to the climate control vents. Oil, gas and other fluids may need to be flushed or replaced. Windshield wipers can become brittle and on it goes. Whatever the case be skeptical of cars with extremely low mileage.


Check That Climate Control


Even if you’re buying during the winter, make sure the air conditioning works before you purchase. If it isn’t producing frigid air on demand, check if the entire system needs an overhaul (expensive) or if the coolant just needs to get topped off (quite reasonable). Floridians know air conditioning is essential to beat the heat and humidity.


Good luck out there fellow Floridians! Have you run into any unique challenges to used car buying here? We’d love to hear about it in the comments!



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