Buying a used car is a great way to save money when you're in need of a vehicle but can't afford a brand new model. The savings are so great that some drivers never buy a new model. Used cars do come with some risks that could leave your wallet empty if you aren't careful. Fortunately, taking the proper precautions can reduce your risk and leave you with a car running at peak efficiency. Here are a few things to look for when buying a used car.


Certified Pre-Owned

You can forego a full inspection by choosing a vehicle that's a part of a manufacturer's Certified Pre-Owned program. While it will be a little more expensive than a standard used vehicle, most vehicles come with a manufacturer-backed warranty. Almost all Certified Pre-Owned programs include a rigorous, thorough inspection to determine if the car meets the high standards set by the manufacturer.

Vehicle History Report

All certified dealerships will be more than happy to provide you with a free vehicle history report. A comprehensive vehicle history report will include all dealership-provided maintenance, mileage, accidents, major repairs, and more. If a dealership refuses to provide a vehicle history report, it's probably a good idea to walk away.



The internet has made it incredibly easy to determine if you're getting a fair price on the vehicle. Use websites like Kelley Blue Book to compare your price to what others paid in your area. If your price seems excessive, try to negotiate or walk away altogether.


The condition of the car is usually the main factor drivers consider when purchasing a used vehicle. Examine the exterior for rust, scratches, dents, or other major problems. Check out the interior, keeping a close on the upholstery. It wouldn't hurt to see if there are any odd smells, like cigarette smoke, lingering around. Park the car in a clear area of the road and let it run for 30 seconds or so. Move the car to see if any fluids leaked out. Take your time and don't let a salesman rush you!


If you have any other questions about used car buying tips, just contact us at Tri Ford and we'd be happy to help!