Asking a few simple questions before leaving your home, can save a lot of time
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10 Questions to Ask When Buying a Used Car from a Private Seller
Finally, you have selected a shortlist of desired cars out of hundreds of other classified ads. You are now ready to view the cars…or are you? Yes, it is very important to inspect any used vehicle before committing to a purchase, but by asking a few simple questions beforehand, you can save a lot of time by eliminating some unsuitable vehicles.
Instead of contacting the sellers to request a viewing, following are 10 questions you should ask before leaving your home. By getting a read on the seller’s responses, it could shed some light on the vehicle and owner that might be very helpful to your decision making process:
1. Why are you selling the car?
The seller could answer this question in many ways, but make sure the reason is convincing. Observe the language used or whether there is nervousness in the response. The most probable reason might be because the seller is upgrading his existing car in which case he could be inspired to sell quickly. Other reasons could be that it uses too much fuel or the owner is relocating.
2. Are you the original owner?
Single-owner vehicles are the most sought after, because the owner should be able to provide a full history on the vehicle. This question will also help with the questions that will follow.
3. How long have you owned the car?
If the seller only recently purchased the vehicle and are already letting it go, it could mean there is some sort of problem with the car. Have the owner elaborate, if you feel uneasy about this fact.
4. Who / where was this vehicle bought from?
If the seller is not the original owner, this question should shed more light on who the previous owners were and how the car was driven over its previous lifespan.
The response to this ‘where’ question is very important. You should find out whether the car was purchased from a dealership or another private seller, and if the car was purchased in a different province. Knowing this, could help indicate the likelihood of weather related problems, such as rust near the coast etc.
5. What’s the condition of the vehicle?
Ask this in a neutral tone and focus on the response of a seller. You will inspect the car at a later stage anyway, but this is the seller’s chance to disclose any past or current issues with the car. Ask the seller specifically about both the structural and mechanical conditions and take note of it. When you inspect the vehicle and feel that the seller could have been more honest about its condition, it could be a sign that this vehicle is not for you.