Many people feel stressed out at the thought of purchasing a vehicle. Using a VIN decode service helps to take the stress out of the vehicle purchasing experience. In this post, you will learn five things to watch out for when buying a used car.

1. Visually Inspect the Automobile

Viewing a car listing online and seeing it in person can sometimes be two totally different experiences. It’s always wise to see a vehicle in person before making any purchasing decisions. You will be driving this automobile which means seeing the interior is important. Stepping inside of a used vehicle will instantly let you know how it smells and appears. You will want to ensure that all seat and floor coverings are in decent condition. Not every used car will be spotless but a quick visual inspection can help root out the worst offenders.

2. Bring Knowledgeable Friend Along

It never hurts to have the help of a friend, especially when purchasing a vehicle. Certain buyers might find that they have no idea what they’re looking for. No one wants to visit a car lot at feel like they are being duped into a certain vehicle. It makes sense for an untrained buyer to bring along a knowledgeable friend with them to the dealership. This friend can help you make an educated car buying decision. If a salesperson is telling you half-truths, your knowledgeable friend will be able to let you know. In some cases, buying a used car can mean dealing with a few unsavory dealerships. A friend that knows automobiles helps to ensure you don’t get swindled while on a car lot.

3. Take the Vehicle on a Test Drive

Many drivers feel that a test drive is necessary. A test drive allows you to experience what it’s actually like to drive a car off of the lot. Test drives are often taken with a salesperson sitting with you. If a car has immediate issues, they will usually pop up during a test drive. Before taking a test drive, you will start the vehicle. It’s wise to check how the air conditioner, radio, and other functions work before you take the car on the road. In the event you aren’t allowed to test drive a vehicle, it’s probably a red flag about the car.

4. Thoroughly Check VIN

The VIN or vehicle identification number is something that only belongs to one automobile. This number is similar to a fingerprint for humans, as a method of unique identification. Having a VIN is an essential part of any car history search. A car history search gives you information related to past accidents and repair history. It’s always wise to check VIN number of any potential vehicle purchases.

5. Obtain Value of Your Trade 

Certain dealerships allow you to trade in your vehicle. In most cases, the cost of a trade-in is deducted from the total cost of your future vehicle. It’s wise to have a rough idea of what your trade-in is worth before handing it over. You will need to remember that the dealership will need to make some form of profit. A knowledgeable friend will help provide you with a rough value of your vehicle.

In summary, there are several steps to take before purchasing a used automobile. It’s important to check the VIN of a vehicle to ensure you receive an accurate history of the automobile.  You can go to CarProof for a free VIN check.