Used Car Questions
Interviewing the Used Car Owner . . .
Asking the right questions about a used car purchase lets you can find out as much as possible about an advertised vehicle before you go to see it. It also provides as "early read" on the seller, whether it's an individual or a dealership, to try and reduce your chances of buying someone else's problems.
This interview accomplishes a few things. It helps you rule out some vehicles without leaving your home, and it gives you perspective on the vehicle before you see it and perhaps get distracted by some overwhelmingly positive or negative aspect of it (or of the seller!). It also gives you a record of the seller's responses. If you do go to see and test-drive the vehicle and something conflicts with what the seller told you on the phone, it's a pretty good sign that you don't want to do business with that person.
Note that most of these questions are legitimate for used-car dealers as well. The more documentation they have on the car, the better. You can ask for a phone number of the previous owner if the dealer doesn't have many details. How the dealer reacts to this request may be of interest to you.
To do this effectively, you'll need answers to the following questions before actually going to view it in person:
Dealership/Name of Owner:_________________________________
Phone: _________ Make/Model: ____________________ Year: _____
Mileage: ____________ Why Low? High?_________________________
Exterior Color: _______________ Smog:______________________
Interior Color: _________________ Leather: ________ Cloth: _______
Number of doors: ______ Engine: _____________________
Transmission: Auto: ______ Manual: ______
Is there a salvage title? _______ Do you have the title: __________
Are you the first owner? ____ Is it a trade in? ____ Lease return?____
Have any major parts been replaced? _________________________
Are any repairs needed? _______ Has it been in an accident?: _______
Is there anything else I need to know: _______________________
Asking price: _________________