When you compare two seemingly identical cars of different prices, the cheapest one is not always the best value for your money. A range of factors influence the value of a used vehicle—its mileage, general state and mechanical condition. Remember, a vehicle’s value is not just about price, but quality.
Inspections are not all the same. A simple safety inspection, for instance, only tells you that your vehicle’s brakes worked on that day, and not much else. You can buy a vehicle that has passed a safety inspection, and your brakes can fail the next day. The best inspection is the dealer’s. Performed by mechanics trained by the manufacturer itself, it guarantees the condition of every main component.
Buying a car without driving it is like signing a blank cheque. Far more than appearance, a car’s mechanical condition is crucial, and only a road test can establish a vehicle’s general condition. Ask to see a detailed report of the inspection. Don’t forget: If you’re unsure of something, you have the right to get an independent evaluation.
Guarantees are not all the same. Some of them include more stringent conditions than others; some cover only a part of your vehicle. Most importantly, guarantees are only valid if the vehicle is in perfect condition at purchase. They don’t cover reconditioning of defective parts. To ensure your guarantee covers repairs, demand the kind of thorough inspection and reconditioning of defective components your dealer can do—another reason why inspecting your purchase is so important.
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