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10 Questions to Ask and What to Look for When Buying a Used Car

The questions you need to ask in order to buy a used car with confidence.

Here's a list of questions you should ask the seller before you commit to buying.

  1. What’s the condition of the car and the current mileage?

This question gives the seller the opportunity to inform you about any known issues with the car or flaws in the appearance.

  1. Has anything on the car been replaced or updated?

New or recent updates could increase the value of the vehicle. From your perspective, these details will also let you know how much money you can expect to invest in the vehicle down the line.

  1. Why are you selling the car?

The seller might be ready for an upgrade or perhaps the car’s size doesn’t suit their lifestyle anymore. It’s good to know the reasons behind the sale because you might run into the same issuesdown the line.

  1. Who did you buy the vehicle from and when?

By asking this question, you should be able to get more details about how the car was driven, who the previous owners were and what’s happened over the lifespan of the car. It will also tell you whether the car was purchased from a dealership or a private seller, and if the car was purchased in a different province or country.

  1. Did the car have regular oil changes and maintenance?

If maintenance, service records or receipts are available, ask to see them.

  1. Do you have a CARFAX Canada report?

If the seller has already purchased a CARFAX Canada Vehicle History Report, then ask to see it so you can get full details on the vehicle’s history. If they don’t have one available, get the VIN so you can purchase a report yourself.

  1. Can I see the VIN, the vehicle ownership and your identification?

Check this information to confirm that the seller is in fact the legal owner and to verify that the registration information matches with the car’s VIN.

  1. How long of a test drive can I take?

Aim to spend up to 30 minutes on a test drive. You need time to evaluate how well the car runs and whether or not the car suits your lifestyle.

  1. Can I take the car for an independent inspection?

It’s important that you take the car to a mechanic for a pre-purchase inspection so you can get an expert’s opinion on what’s happening with the car under the hood.

  1. Can we fix this problem before purchase?

If you discover a flaw during a mechanic’s inspection, see if it’s possible to get this fixed before you purchase the vehicle.