Car Buying Tips

  1. Considering your needs is probably the best way to approach car shopping. Think of what you need to do with the car and you will quickly build a list of qualities you must have in your new car. The list should be labeled “must-haves.”
  2. Research the reliability history; select a target group of make and model cars that have a good reliable history and fit you’re buying needs list.
  3. Test drive and evaluate items that are important to you; some items to check:
    • Acceleration
    • Engine noise and road noise
    • Braking (do the brakes “grab” suddenly?)
    • Steering (does it have any play in the wheel?)
    • Cornering (does it “hug the road”)
    • Suspension (how does it ride?)
    • Seat comfort
    • Rattles and squeaks
    • Cargo space
    • Is it easy to get in and out of the car?
    • Is there enough head, hip, and legroom?
    • Is the driving position comfortable?
    • Are the controls easy to read and use?
    • How is the visibility?
    • Are the pedals situated to match your body type?
  4. Check the cars safety features be sure all safety features include ABS brakes, electronic stability control, side air bags, smart frontal air bags.
  5. Examine the upholstery, safety belts and carpeting; if the seats have covers look under them. Badly worn carpeting or upholstery may be a sign of heavy usage.
  6. Take the car out on the road, examining the drive shaft and rear end. Drive the car at speed of approximately 35 miles per hour. Listen for rear end whines. If the car bounces or shakes, it’s usually caused by tires out of balance.
  7. Find a vehicle that is well maintained with a complete car history.