More drivers than ever are now choosing to shop for used cars instead of new cars. Used cars are more affordable than new cars and, if you choose the right used car, can become yours in like-new condition at a much lower price than you would pay for a brand-new model in similar condition. However, it is still important to tread carefully when you’re in the market for a used car. While many used cars are in excellent condition when sold, others are sold in dangerous conditions and end up requiring extensive and expensive maintenance and repairs just as soon as their ownership is transferred into your name. That doesn’t mean you should avoid buying a used car. It just means you need to be smart about how you go about the purchase process. Here is part 2 of our list of tips of things you want to check when buying a pre-owned Ford, or any used vehicle for that matter. 

  1. Vehicle History 

An important unspoken rule of buying a used car is to never buy a used car of questionable origins. You should ideally know the full, official vehicle history of any used car before you buy it. A car’s vehicle history discloses all previous owners of the car as well as a detailed report of any maintenance services, repairs, or alterations that have been performed on the car in the past. It also tells you other very important information, such as whether or not a car has been involved in an accident or if there are any liens on the vehicle that might come back to bite you in the future. 

If the previous owner of a used car you’re considering buying does not have an official vehicle history to present to you at the time of purchase, that’s a telltale sign that they probably haven’t taken very careful care of the car or at the very least kept up with its scheduled maintenance services. If this happens, you should either avoid the sale altogether or at least run the car’s VIN number through an online service that offers a full vehicle history report before you buy it. 

  1. Paint Condition 

Minor scratches and dings in a car’s exterior paint are fairly inexpensive to fix, but keep in mind that after-market paint jobs don’t always look exactly like the car’s original paint job. 

You might be able to notice discrepancies between the original paint and the new paint, even if you get the scratches and dings professionally repaired. If that’s going to bother you, it’s a good idea to prioritize finding a used car with a pristine paint job that doesn’t require any touch-ups. 

  1. Interior Tech 

Will you be able to live without a Bluetooth connection in your car? Is a backup camera a dealbreaker for you? High-tech vehicle features have become much more advanced—and much higher priorities for drivers—over the past few years, so it’s important to consider the interior tech features that are included in a used car before you buy it. This is especially important if the used car you’re considering buying is an older model that might be missing certain high-tech modern amenities you have come to take for granted. 

Make sure that any used car you might buy has all of the interior tech features that are important to you in a vehicle. Also, don’t just take a car’s tech features for granted at first sight. Test out the controls inside the car to make sure all of its tech features all function as they’re supposed to before you make your purchase. 

  1. Upholstery Condition 

If the rest of a used car is in great condition but there are some stains or tears in its upholstery, you might be tempted

ford mustang interior

pre-owned ford mustang interior

to overlook those imperfections. However, make sure before you buy a used car that you’re willing to live with any existing upholstery issues it may have—or pay a pretty penny to get them repaired. 

Upholstery issues can be much more expensive to repair than you might expect, so it is ideal to find a used car with upholstery in like-new condition. If you love a used car but it has some upholstery issues, just make sure that a full upholstery replacement fits into your budget. 

  1. Mechanic Inspection 

It is always a good idea to schedule a professional mechanic inspection of any used car that you’re seriously considering buying. Professional mechanics are trained to uncover tough-to-spot issues with cars, and it’s very likely that they will be able to reveal any serious problems that you might have overlooked. 

Scheduling a professional mechanic inspection of a used car is especially crucial if you are considering buying a used car from a private or independent seller rather than from an official auto dealership. If the seller of a used car is wary about you scheduling a mechanic inspection, that’s likely a good sign that something serious is wrong with the car and you probably don’t want to buy that model anyway. 

Don’t let fear and uncertainty stop you from making a smart financial decision and buying a used car as your next vehicle. Just be smart about it and consider the 5 things detailed in this article before you make your purchase.