If you’re in the market for a car, a used car is a great route to take. Often, a previously-owned vehicle will hardly show any signs of wear and will still come at a fraction of the price of the newest model. However, because you’re not the original owner of the vehicle, there are things to look out for to make sure you make a wise purchase. After all, for many people, buying a car is one of the biggest purchase you’ll make (outside of owning a home). Read on for some tips to make you confident in your used-car buying experience.

Do your research

Before seeing any vehicles in person, make sure you’ve done your research ahead of time. Find out which makes and models have a good reputation. You don’t want to waste your time with an unreliable car. You should also look up the Kelley Blue Book and dealer prices to make sure the prices listed are fair and in your price range.

Go for a test drive

First things first. Going for a test drive is always the best way to tell if this is a car worth pursuing. Before getting in the car, look at the vehicle for damage and signs of wear and tear. Do the same with the interior, and then ask to take it for a spin. Be sure to take the car on the highway and get up to a high speed to be able to see how the car performs. Note the stereo and AC functions, and make sure everything is working properly.

Have a mechanic inspect the vehicle

A classic rookie mistake is to not take a used car to a mechanic before committing to the purchase. Even though a test drive is a great way to get a feel for the overall performance of the car, a professional mechanic will be able to catch any issues that you might have missed (or didn’t know to look for). Ask the current car owner if you can take the car in for an inspection. If they don’t have anything to hide, they’ll happily oblige, and you’ll have more peace of mind. Whether you’re in the market to buy or sell a used car, Cascade Collision Repair is ready to help with any auto body repair needs you may have. Find a location near you, or request a quote today.