Car shoppers know that a new car depreciates by as much as 20-percent the moment it leaves the dealer's lot.
Buying "pre-owned" can mean big savings because the first owner took that initial depreciation hit. That is why
so many bargain hunters prefer used vehicles, but for some, buying a used car can feel like a bit of a gamble.
Here are some steps you can take to help even the odds.
Do Your Homework - Check all available resources and data, including consumer reports and automotive
magazines, about the car you are planning to buy.
Take a Look - Make sure the body parts line up, the paint matches, doors open and close easily and the tires show even wear.
Lift the Hood - Check under the hood for leaky hoses, worn belts, and dirty oil. Automatic transmission fluid should be clear
and reddish, and not smell burned. Radiator water should have a light yellow or green color.
Take a Seat - Turn the ignition key to accessory and make sure all of the warning lights and gauges work. Start the car and
check all lights and accessories and make sure no warning lights remain lit on the dashboard. Pay close attention to airbag warning lights.