What to Look for When Buying a Used Car

Buying a car is a big deal. Whatever vehicle you choose is going to be your new mode of transportation for everything from weekend getaways to crosstown trips in search of the best tacos in San Diego. Luckily, you don’t have to drain your savings to buy a ride that’ll get you where you need to go – and show off your style as well. While many car enthusiasts scoff at the idea of driving something that isn’t brand new from a dealership, buying a used car can be a really sensible option if you know what to look for.   

Do your research

You don’t have to know the exact make and model you want, but it’s smart to have a few options in mind. Before heading to a dealership, do some thorough research on the specs and find out other drivers’ experiences with reliability.

Take it for a spin

The only way to know how a car really drives is to take it out on the road. Make sure you test it on local roads, so you can gauge how the car responds to sharp turns and braking, as well as the highway so you can see if the engine runs smoothly.

Do a thorough inspection

A quick once-over isn’t going to tell you everything you need to know about your future car. Check the inside and outside thoroughly and make note of any damage – no matter how minor. Also, look under the hood to make sure the engine and parts are free of rust.

Don’t forget the leak test

Any car that’s leaking fluid is a huge red flag. During your test drive, park the car on a clean patch of pavement and let it idle for at least 30 seconds. Then, move the car and inspect the ground to look for any leaking substances.

Look for a certified pre-owned car

Buying a used car can be risky. To minimize your chance of ending up with a lemon, look for a certified pre-owned car. A CPO vehicle offers you an extra level of quality assurance and may even come with a warranty that extends beyond the initial coverage.

Do a background check

You wouldn’t go on a date someone without Google-ing him or her first, so why would you buy an expensive car without doing a background check? A vehicle history report will tell you about any title problems, service points, or previous accidents.

Ready for an upgrade?

At QWIK Auto Center, people often come to us looking for ways they can upgrade their driving experiences without having to splurge on a brand new car. We love when this happens. Seeing the look on your face after our highly skilled installers work their magic to give your used car some extra oomph is the most rewarding part of what we do.

Whether you’re looking for a new car audio setup, custom window tinting, or a performance exhaust system, you’ll leave our shop wondering why you didn’t treat yourself to an upgrade sooner. Give us a call or come see us in Pacific Beach to talk about your ideas today. We can’t wait to help you build the car of your dreams.