When buying a used vehicle, obtain a vehicle history report before committing to the purchase, and examine the vehicle for signs of unusual wear and tear, which may indicate significant damage. Avoid vehicles that have been flooded, or that have had previous frame damage, and arrange to have a pre-purchase inspection to determine whether the major components of the vehicle are working properly. Test drive the vehicle, and test the switches, such as the blinkers, before making the purchase.
When test driving the vehicle, reach speeds of at least 65 miles per hour, and examine the vehicle's tires, underside and interior. Signs of rust on the metal parts of the vehicle, an extremely worn interior, mileage that seems too low or unevenly worn tires may indicate a problem with the vehicle.
To determine a fair asking price for the vehicle, refer to the Kelley Blue Book, and locate the vehicle make and model to find the current value of the vehicle. Consider whether the vehicle has extreme signs of wear when determining a fair price for the vehicle.
Negotiations are often possible when purchasing the vehicle from a car dealership, but private owners may have a firm price in mind when selling a used vehicle. To budget for a vehicle purchase, opt for a dealership that offers in-house financing and reasonable interest rates.