Five Things to Ask a Private Seller When Buying a Used Car

The purchase of a vehicle is one the the largest investments you will ever make on a single item, so it is crucial to have a good understanding of the car or truck you may have in mind. While there are advantages of buying from a private seller, there are no warranties, so it is important to ask five crucial questions when buying a used car from a private seller.

Reason for the Sale

Behind every car sale from a private owner, there is a logical reason why the transaction is taking place. The first question you should ask a private seller is what their motivation is for the sale. If they are selling because they purchased a new vehicle, this means they want to sell quickly, and this can be advantageous for you. Some owners will be completely honest and admit that the vehicle is not economical, reliable, or fuel-efficient, which is important to know.

Past Owners

Once you meet with the seller, it is time to inquire more about the car’s history. Make sure to ask them where they bought the car. If they are the original owner, this is a good sign. They should be able to provide all of the maintenance records. If they cannot provide an adequate record of the vehicle’s history, a specialist from a used car dealership in Utah recommends that you walk away. An incomplete car history could be hiding parts replacements, repairs, and illegal ownership—none of which any new owner would want to deal with.

Condition of the Vehicle

This is a question that can be asked over the phone prior to the first meeting. Ask the seller how they would describe their car’s condition. Terms such as "excellent", "good", and "fair" are all positive responses, and it could be worth the time to check out. At the same time, be wary of hesitation or unwillingness to provide pictures of any part of the vehicle.

Independent Inspection

After you have taken the vehicle on a test drive, ask the seller if they mind if you get an independent inspection done. If they are at all hesitant to agree, this should be a huge red flag that something is not right. An inspection performed by an unbiased third party is your best chance at receiving a complete and accurate evaluation of the vehicle’s condition and should be performed on any used car you consider purchasing, especially from a private seller.

Oil Type

A clever way, recommended by experts from used car dealerships in Utah, to discover how well maintained the vehicle has been is to ask what kind of oil it uses. A seller able to quickly answer this question likely did oil changes themselves and took care of the vehicle. If hesitant, it is a good idea to have a mechanic look over the vehicle.

Getting the Best for Your Money

Buying a used car from a private seller can be a bargain, but there are bad apples in every barrel. By asking these five questions, you can rest assured in your decision. A car is a major purchase, and a used car can be quite a gamble, but by standing your ground and employing the tips discussed above, you can ensure the vehicle you buy is in good shape and priced fairly.

Carsurfer Admin

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