Used Car Buying Checklist
Shopping for a new-to-you car near Harvey, New Orleans, and Metairie, LA, is exciting. With so many model years, body styles, and features to choose from, the possibilities are seemingly endless.
So, how do you narrow down those options and find the right used car for you? Bohn Toyota put together this used car buying checklist to help! Keep it handy when you’re ready to start your search, and don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.
1. Plan Ahead
The process of shopping for a used car starts before you even head to the dealership. We recommend doing a little preliminary research to save you time and effort farther down the line. This includes things like:
- Planning your budget. If you’re going to finance your used car, determine how much you can set aside for those monthly payments.
- Knowing what you want. How will you be using your car? If you need room for DIY materials or furry friends, keep that in mind when choosing a body style. Make a list of must-have features, like cloth seats or Bluetooth® capability.
- Seeing what’s out there. Start browsing used car inventories to find cars, trucks, vans, or SUVs that match your qualifications.
- Scanning the history report. Most dealerships, including our own, offer a free CARFAX® Vehicle History Report™ that you can browse online. Use this resource to see how well the car’s previous owner or owners took care of it.
2. See it in Person
Hopefully, these steps will leave you with a short list of vehicles you’re interested in learning more about. Now it’s time to schedule a test drive! That way, you won’t show up at the dealership only to find the car you’re interested in is out of gas or at a different lot.
Before you start the actual test drive, you’ll want to do a full scan of the vehicle. Look at things like:
- The paint job. You should expect to find minor scratches and dings on any used car. However, keep an eye for bubbling paint, as this is a sign of rust. Meanwhile, if the paint doesn’t quite match somewhere, this could mean the car underwent extensive bodywork after a collision.
- Tire quality. Cracks or bubbles in the tire indicate structural damage, which means the tire may not last much longer. Check the tread depth, too: If they’re looking bald, they’ll need to be replaced soon.
- Interior space. In addition to making sure there’s enough room for your gear, you want to make sure everything’s in good shape. Check for a sagging headliner, missing cupholders, musty trunk, or torn upholstery.
- The engine compartment. Do a quick scan to make sure everything’s in good shape. Pay attention the battery; is there any corrosion on the terminals? Is the battery case misshapen or cracked?
3. Take your Test Drive
After inspecting everything in- and outside of the vehicle, you’re ready to start the engine! A thorough test drive includes the following steps:
- Start the engine. Are there any weird noises or smells when you start the car?
- Check the dashboard. Make sure no warning lights are on. If there are, ask about them.
- Try the technology. Test both the heating and air conditioning. Turn on the radio. Test the windows.
- Start driving. Take your test drive through back roads, highways, and parking lots. Make sure the car rides smoothly: You don’t want weird engine noises, a wobbly sensation, or transmission lag.
- Check the brakes. How responsive is the brake pedal? Does it take a long time to come to a stop? Listen for any screeching or grinding noises.
Find Your Used Car Today
Follow these used car buying tips, and you’ll be well on your way to finding the perfect used car near Harvey, New Orleans, and Metairie. Now that you have this used car buying checklist in hand, it’s time to start shopping. Browse the used car inventory at Bohn Toyota and contact us when you’re ready to schedule a test drive!