Buying a Used Car for College
4 minutes

Are you tired of walking to college or commuting with buses that make you arrive late because of many stopovers? Well, why not think of owning your car? Imagining freedom, the exploration of fresh places, and so much more. Owning a car can be hard, especially for a student, but instead of going for the latest models, used cars are a great way to start. However, before purchasing a used vehicle, there are essential tips you need to know so you don’t make a choice that will drain your wallet. Let’s dive into it.

Check vehicle history

When purchasing a used automobile, checking its history is a vital detail that many buyers overlook and get deceived by the external appearance of a car. Why is it essential? Well, you can’t unquestioningly trust what the seller is telling you without doing your due diligence. For instance, a car may get involved in a crash and then be repainted, and all the damages may be repaired. The owner won’t give you that bad side history of the car because they know you will lose interest in purchasing it. Getting this data will help you avoid unexpected cases or legal issues in the future for things you aren’t aware of.

Furthermore, being aware of such information helps you make the right decisions, and you will avoid unexpected costs later. Remember, you want a vehicle to make your student life manageable. So you need to be sure the machine will not milk all your pocket money such that you can’t even afford to pay paper writers when you badly need their services.

Check the car’s mileage

A car’s mileage is the distance the vehicle has travelled since registration. A car with a lower mileage is recommended. However, if the mileage is excessively low, especially for an old car, it may mean the vehicle was unused. But why is it necessary to know the mileage of a vehicle? Well, a car’s mileage can basically determine the price and its value. An automobile with low mileage is more valuable than one with higher mileage. Why? Because a low mileage means the vehicle has experienced less wear and tear. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t buy a vehicle with high mileage. The model and make of a car can also determine its longevity regardless of high mileage.

Knowing a car’s mileage can also help determine its age. You may be short of finances to purchase a car and may be required to get a loan. Your loan application may not be successful if the automobile you are purchasing is at the phase-out age. So, ensure you get these details right.

Take the car for mechanical inspection

A mechanic will help you determine the vehicle’s performance and reliability. The mechanic will also check if the car has any hidden issues, like engine failure, alignment issues, improper brakes, and transmission problems. You can also check for other malfunctioning components like damaged windshield wipers, dashboard warning lights, and the engine light. The inspection will help you know if the car was regularly serviced or was poorly maintained. This information will guide you on deciding to finalize the deal. You do not want to get disappointed after purchasing a neglected car, and then it breaks down or the engine fails in the middle of your journey. So, taking early precautions will help you avoid such occurrences.

Check the title and ownership of the car

Knowing the real owner of a car you are about to purchase is essential. The car title helps you determine who the actual owner is. It means that if the seller is not able to produce the car title, this might be a red flag, and you should reconsider your interest in the vehicle. Picture this scenario: you purchase a car without requesting to see the title and proof of ownership. After making all the payments and it’s time for the owner to transfer ownership, you realize that the car has outstanding bank loans. You don’t want to get caught up in such scenarios as a student because they will drain you. Ensure the vehicle has a clean title by doing a thorough background check.

Verify the VIN

A VIN generally helps you summarize the car’s history. Since no two cars share identical numbers, the information will help you know if the car matches the title and other records. Vehicle identification lookup will also help you know if the automobile has been involved in a crash, plus all the accident details. Furthermore, a VIN lookup helps you know if there are details of the car recalls. A vehicle may be recalled for having faulty electric cooler lamps, airbags, or steering wheels, which can cause tragedies.

Take the car for a test drive

Take the automobile for a test drive to gauge its condition, performance and handling. You’ll also know if the vehicle is comfortable by evaluating the seat position, headroom, and legroom. It is vital, especially if you are driving a long distance to your college or you are using it regularly. Additionally, a test drive will help determine if there are other reasons to be concerned about. For instance, if there are strange noises while driving or warning lights. It will help you determine the vehicle’s condition and give you peace of mind when purchasing.

Final act

Purchasing a used car for college is a smart move if you are on a tight budget and don’t have much money to spend on a new machine or not planning to stay with the college car for long. But you should exercise extra caution to avoid getting a vehicle that’ll later drain your pockets or land you in trouble. For extra scrutiny, get a qualified mechanic to help you evaluate if the vehicle is in proper condition. Importantly, ensure it has the right documentation.

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