Making phone calls
It may be a good idea to take the time to make
phone calls and enquire to confirm all vehicle information that
is important to you: mileage, color, transmission, Air
conditioning, ABS or for any other options that may be in your
interest. You may find a car to suit your purpose but it may not
have all the essentials you really need. For example, you may
find a car without air conditioning (A/C) but it will meet your
needs in all other aspects. Similarly, you may find a car that
is a two-door but you have a family of four and it would be much
more suitable if your purchase was a four-door.
Who is the Owner? How long has she/he owned this car, and how
many owners were there before of this same car?
Answers like: 'This is a friend of mine's car', or 'I bought it
a couple of months ago' may indicate something suspicious. You
need to deal with the actual vehicle owners and he/she has to
sign the bill of sale. If one sells the car after just a few
months, this may indicate that this car has a problem or the
seller is in the 'curbsider' business.
Did the car have any accidents, major repairs done? Where has it
been serviced and are there any records available for you to
Don't expect the seller to provide you with complete
information. He/she may be unaware about previous accidents or
other problems. Refer to the vehicle history report and the
result of mechanical inspection. I wouldn't recommend buying a
car after an accident or after a major repair, e.g., a re-built
engine or transmission.
Is the car drivable now? Does it have any problems or concerns
that need to be solved? The car may not have valid license
plates or insurance or have some mechanical problem at the time
you are conducting your search. Therefore you won't be able to
Here is the short list of questions to ask:
- When did you buy the car? How many previous owners? Current
- Any previous accidents? Major repairs? Any repair needed now?
- What's the mechanical condition? Any concerns?
- General condition of the car? Interior? Exterior?
- Any rust? Scratches? Any other damages?
- Where the car has been serviced? Are the service records
- What is the reason for selling the car?
- Any liens?