Things to do when buying a used car

Published: Nov. 1, 2019 at 8:59 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Buying a car is an emotional purchase, and dealers are banking on that emotional purchase rather than a “smart one.” So, there are some things you should keep in mind before driving a vehicle off the lot and ending up with a problem ride.

Some used car dealers hope you are so invested in the purchase you overlook certain things, but car buying does require a little work on your part.

Ask questions - especially about a vehicle’s history.

Pull up both Carfax and Autocheck reports to see if any accidents are listed. Many used cars are sold “as is,” meaning once you drive it off the lot, you have little or no recourse if something goes wrong.

Consumer attorney John Gayle says the most important thing you can do before entering a contract for a used car is to take it to a trusted mechanic and body shop.

“Have a mechanic look at it. Pay 'em 25 bucks to walk around the car while you’re on the lot looking for it...cause their eye can pick up things that an untrained eye won’t,” Gayle said.

Gayle says don’t depend on a salesperson to tell you the truth. It’s not their job to inspect every vehicle on the lot, and they’re trying to make sales.

He says it’s your responsibility to do your research before you hand over thousands of dollars.

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