Used Car Consumer Checklist

Here are some general guidelines for avoiding the purchase of someone else's problem. When considering a used vehicle these are things that are, for the most part, universal for any automobile.

For those who do wish to take extra precautions, do both of the checks listed below:

  1. Run a CarFax report on a vehicle to ensure that the historical records on the car are clean. You do not want to purchase a stolen vehicle. Nor do you want to purchase a vehicle that had 80,000 miles on it two years ago, but now miraculously has just 45,000. This step is not foolproof, but for the most part, CarFax reports are as accurate as you can obtain.

  2. Go to your local dealer/manufacturer and ask them to tell you if there are any recalls on the make and model of the vehicle. Dealers keep records on the cars they service. Example: If a customer brings a Ford into a Ford dealer to be serviced, Ford keeps a record of this. You can actually see what the mileage was on the vehicle the last time it was serviced (provided that the vehicle was dealer serviced at one time). You can then ensure that the vehicle's mileage is not less than they have on record (someone turned the odometer back). This happens more frequently than you may think, so to be safe when purchasing a vehicle, you should check with your local dealer about its service history. There are no guarantees in life, but if a vehicle passes this checklist, then it's probably safe to assume that any future problems with the vehicle will be minor.

Disclaimer: Long Island Used Cars and its affiliates do not provide legal advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for legal, accounting or merchantability advice for any sale or seller. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances. You should consult your own legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any financial transaction. Please see our Terms of Service about information on this site.