7 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Used Car in Madison, WI

Posted Wednesday, Feb 23, 2022

In the United States, only 18% of households can afford the long-term payments for a new car. Rather than going into debt to buy a new car, you can purchase a used car to save money. 

However, not all used cars in Madison, WI offer the same value. To make sure you are getting a high-quality car at a good price, you must do your research before you buy a used vehicle. 

Do you want to learn more about how to buy a used car? Keep reading these top seven questions to ask when browsing used cars. 

1. Why Are They Selling the Car? 

One of the first things you should ask a car dealer or the current owner of the car is why they are selling the car. This can be very telling about the condition of the used vehicle and can help you identify any hidden issues.

For example, some families need to sell their car if they are planning on moving or if they need to upgrade to a bigger car to prepare for the birth of a child. This is a sign that you have found a high-quality preowned car

However, other people want to sell their car if there is something wrong with the vehicle or if they are expecting future repairs. If you notice any red flags when you ask this question, it may be a sign that this car will be more trouble than it is worth.

2. Is There Any Damage to the Car? 

Next, you need to learn more about the interior and exterior condition of the car. If there is any serious damage, this may be a reason to avoid buying the car. Otherwise, you may be able to negotiate a better price to make up for the damage. 

On the exterior of the car, you can look at the bodywork, car frame, mirrors and lights, and even the tires. If you notice any visible problems, you should discuss your concerns with the seller. 

After you examine the exterior of the car, look at the inside of the car. Is the upholstery in good condition? Are there rips or stains on the seats? If the car looks and smells good, it is a sign that the current owner takes good care of the car. 

3. Has the Car Been in an Accident? 

Another important part of buying a used car is to learn whether or not it has been in an accident in the past. While small accidents and minor dings on a car aren't a huge deal, you need to know if the car has been involved in a major car accident. 

If their car was totaled or salvaged, there is a chance that you will still experience issues with the car, even though it was fixed. 

Take the car to your mechanic to make sure it is in good condition if you want to buy a salvaged title. 

4. Can I Get an Independent Inspection? 

To make sure you are getting a good deal for your used vehicle, you should also ask your used car dealer or seller if they will let you get an independent inspection from your mechanic. 

While the seller may have a mechanic that will inspect the car for you, taking the car to a trusted mechanic will give you peace of mind. 

When a seller will not allow you to get a professional inspection, it is often because there are serious issues with the car and they are trying to hide something. 

5. Do You Have the Vehicle History?

Before you buy a used car, you need to learn more about the vehicle history. Often, you can get this information in a vehicle history report. This will give you information about accidents, recalls, service history, previous owners, and more. 

If they don't have this information, you can look it up yourself if you have the Vehicle Identification Number or license plate number. 

By learning more about the number of owners and how the car was maintained, you can make sure there are no hidden problems with the car. 

6. What Was the Car Primarily Used For? 

To learn more about the wear and tear a car went through, you should learn more about what the car was primarily used for. For example, if the car was mainly used for long-haul trips or offroading, you may find that the car is in worse shape than a car that was used for commuting or running errands. 

Asking this simple question will help you determine whether or not a used car is in good shape. 

7. What Repairs Need To Be Done in the Near Future? 

Finally, you need to learn more about what repairs or work need to be done on the car in the near future. For example, you can ask when they replaced the battery or other important parts of their car.

This way, you will know what car parts are worn out and will need to be replaced soon. You can also ask your mechanic this question to see if you will end up spending more money on the car in the future. 

You may also be able to learn more about what car repairs need to be done based on car mileage

Browsing Used Cars in Madison, WI?

When you are looking for local used cars, you must do your research to make sure you get the best deal. By asking your used vehicle seller each of these questions, you can find the best used cars in Madison, WI. 

Are you looking for a used Subaru in Madison, WI, or other types of used cars? Gates Auto can help! We are the best source for quality pre-owned cars. 

Contact us today to learn more about our current inventory and to see how you can get the best deal for high-quality, pre-owned vehicles!