A test drive around the block is not enough.
To find out if you will like a car,
rent it first. Most major airports have the new car you are looking
to buy, usually at a great weekend rate. After a few hundred miles and
three days in the car, you'll know if you are going to like
Don't rent the car with the least miles on it.
Ask the rental agent for the car with the most miles so you can see
how your new car will hold up 20,000 miles down the road.
Avoid getting stuck with car about to undergo a major styling
change by the manufacturer. Find out before you buy. Ask the dealer. Better yet,
pick up some new car magazines. Most will tell you what's ahead for the model
you are looking to buy.
a mechanic inspect the car before you buy. If you don't have a mechanic, find one.
If your mechanic is too far away, find a local reputable garage nearby. Make an appointment on the day you will
look at the car.
Advise the owner you will have the car inspected.
on the exact make and model before you buy. Then
research the car in magazines and consumer reports. Learn the history of your
drive many cars, especially the beat up ones. Test drive as many used cars
that are the same make and model as the one you plan to buy as
possible, especially cars that
are so used and worn you would never consider buying them. By test driving many
cars, you are very likely to detect any recurrent mechanical
problems, then see if you notice similar symptoms in that gem you
are looking at.
to people with the same car. If you see someone with the same car you want to buy, ask them how they like it. Most people will be
happy to tell you.
at the house, not just the car. Look around the house of the person you are
buying the car from. If the house is not well cared for, chances are the car was not
taken care of much better.
regular stuff. Look at the oil on
the dip stick. It should be golden, not black. Look before you test drive
the car, then again after you drive it. If you notice any change in
oil color after the test drive, chances are the oil was changed just
before you got there. Check tires for uneven wear. Ask to see