You’ve Found the Perfect Car! Now What?

You’ve been looking for a new car for months. Well new-to-you anyway. You’ve opted to purchase pre-owned to save some money. There are still plenty of dealer-certified beauties on the lot from which to choose. It’s safe to pick one, buy it, and drive off, correct? Not so fast. Mark’s Auto Service recommends you do the following once you’ve found the perfect car, whether on the lot or online.

Check the Safety Rating

Before you move forward with the following steps, check the safety rating of the vehicle you wish to purchase first. You want to buy a car, truck, or SUV with a high safety rating because this means the automobile can withstand an accident better, i.e., if the safety rating is poor, shop for another vehicle. To check the rating, go to the NHTSA website and enter the vehicle’s year, make, and model.

Thoroughly Inspect the Car

If your dream car has a good safety rating, inspect it next. Do this in person – not online. No matter how good the pictures are, they can still mask damage. Slowly walk around the vehicle and look for

  • Corrosion
  • Dents
  • Dings
  • Rust
  • Scratches

Look for anything that doesn’t seem right. For example, if one headlight lens is clearer than the other, the headlight has either been replaced or isn’t sealed properly. This could mean a previous accident.

Test Drive the Car

If, after inspecting the exterior and interior of the vehicle fully, you still want to buy it, take her out for a spin. Don’t just drive around the block. Drive the car on city streets and highways. Also, drive up and down hills and curves. Check for any performance or handling issues. Also, check to make sure the vehicle doesn’t have any blind-spots while you drive it. Can you see all around the vehicle clearly?

Check the Car, Truck, or SUV’s History

Whether from the dealer or a private seller, make certain to get your hands on the vehicle’s history before you write the check. You want to ensure the automobile was properly maintained throughout the previous ownerships and also whether it has been in a recorded accident. If the previous owner can prove the vehicle was cared for and has never been in an accident, you probably have a winner.

Car buyers in Rockford or Loves Park, IL, can ask Mark’s Auto Service to inspect the vehicle prior to purchase. 


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