What Are The Best Questions To Ask When Purchasing A Vehicle?

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Making sure that you ask the right questions at the dealership could be the defining moment between a future of headache and peace of mind for years to come. Overlooked, the car buying process is a major purchasing decision. For some, this is the first purchase with financing or first major purchase in general. Making the right decision is definitely the only decision you want to make when that time comes. Questions like “What is my APR rate?”, are great, but may not give a complete view of your future vehicle.

Many vehicles you will find, unless new, at a car dealership, could come from one of two places. The first being your auctions. These are powerhouses for dealerships because of the variety of vehicles that can be purchased here. The second of which, trade-ins. While auctions have a negative connotation associated with them, most dealers would agree that sometimes the worst vehicles, actually come from trade-ins.

Below you will find a list of 6 questions to ask when purchasing a used vehicle.

1. Does The Vehicle Have A CarFax Report?

A CarFax report will provide a semi-detailed view of the vehicle’s history allowing you to see deeper into any issues that may have been experienced. From purchase to service, this is typically a good way to eliminate many of the questions you may think that you have. While most vehicles come with a complete and detailed report, some may have discrepancies. These are best addressed at the dealership before that final decision to purchase is made.

2. Are There Any Current Recalls On This Vehicle?

Having a recall on your vehicle could be the difference between life and death in some circumstances. Defects such as airbag deployment issues and steering malfunctions can be most detrimental. In most cases, this can be something as small as a sensor module. All issues reported by the NHTSA, are free to fix at one of the original manufacturer’s dealerships. This is definitely worth your time to ask, make sure to drive away safely.

3. How Long Has This Vehicle Been In Your Inventory?

If a vehicle has been sitting for too long on the lot it can experience some minor issues that can gradually become worse if left unattended.

4. How Was This Price Determined?

When examining the quality of the vehicle you’re wanting to purchase, it’s also important to understand how the price was determined. Many dealerships will simply use market values to determine, but in other cases, the quality may be used to determine the factor. Feel comfortable to ask if the quality of the vehicle is the reasoning behind the price. If the price is too low, it may be due to a repair that needs to be done. If it is too high, there may be additional aftermarket enhancements that were made.

5. Has The Vehicle Been Inspected?

In most states, for a vehicle to be sold it must have been inspected. Unless it is being sold out of state. When examining the condition of the vehicle, be sure that is also state inspected. Such a simple step can help prevent future issues that could arise if it were uninspected.

6. Has The Car Had Any Issues That Needed To Be Fixed?

Knowing the mechanical history of a vehicle could help you understand what future repairs may be needed. If there was recently one headlight replaced, it’s then safe to assume that the other may need to be replaced in the future. Small items like these have a larger purpose that is often overlooked.


We hope that with these questions, you feel much more comfortable with asking the right questions while in the dealership. Looking for the right vehicle? Check out our inventory here


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