What to Look for When Buying a Used Car

Car dealer giving car key to buyer

Are you in the market for a pre-owned vehicle, but don’t know what to look for when buying a used car? You’re not alone! Many car shoppers in Lee's Summit face the same dilemma. But don’t worry, you don’t have to become an auto mechanic to make an informed decision. Here’s a handy list of what to look for and what to ask when buying a used car.

What to Look for When Buying a Used Car

If you’re eyeing a car on our lot and want to make sure it’s in top condition for your Independence commute, feel free to have your mechanic inspect it before you make a purchase. Honestly, any dealer who won’t let you do that should raise a red flag. But even if you don’t have a mechanic at your disposal, there are plenty of things you can do to assess a car’s reliability on your own. Take a look at this checklist we’ve put together to help you out when buying a used car:

What to Look for When Buying a Used Car

  • Check for any dents or scratches on the exterior of the car.
  • Look for signs of rust on the car’s body.
  • Check for cracks in the glass of the windows, mirrors, and windshield.
  • Test how well the doors, windows, trunk, and hood open and close.
  • Make sure all the lights on the car are working correctly.
  • Check the vehicle’s maintenance record to see if it has been well taken care of.
  • Look at the mileage history report to see how much the car has been driven.
  • Test for any musty odor on the inside of the car, which could be a sign of water damage or mold.
  • Inspect the condition of the hoses and belts under the hood.
  • Check the engine fluids like oil and transmission fluid.
  • Look for any black or greasy residue on the tailpipe, which could be a sign of engine problems.
  • Take the car for a test drive to see how it handles on the road.
  • Research what consumer reviews have to say about this make and model of car.

What to Ask When Buying a Used Car

It pays to be inquisitive when shopping for a used car. Ask the seller as many questions as you can about the car’s history. While we’re happy to let you know everything we know about the cars we sell, some dealers or private sellers in Blue Springs may not be forthcoming with information, so it’s up to you to get all the details. Here are some important questions you should ask:

What to Ask When Buying a Used Car

  • Has the car undergone regular maintenance?
  • Is the vehicle history report available?
  • Do all the features and amenities work correctly?
  • What is the ownership history?
  • Is the odometer reading accurate?
  • Are there any current recalls on the vehicle?
  • How was the vehicle priced?
  • Can you take the car to a mechanic for an inspection?
  • Do you have the title on hand?
  • Is the car sold as-is, or is it under warranty?
  • What is the “out-the-door” price, including taxes and dealer fees?

Check Out the Reliable Used Cars at Aristocrat Motors Lee's Summit

We’re transparent about our used cars and encourage you to ask as many questions and to look them over as carefully as you would like. We have a wide selection of quality used cars for sale, so come take one or more for a test drive. While you’re here, check out our other car buying tips, like our post on whether used Mercedes-Benz vehicles are reliable. We’re just a short drive from Kansas City, so drop by or contact us today!


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