Buying A Used Car Or Truck: Four Questions To Ask The Seller

With the high cost of new cars, many people opt to buy used cars and trucks instead. It's a rational decision and you can save a lot of money doing so. Unfortunately, it requires a great deal of research and negotiation to ensure you actually get your money's worth.

The good news is that you can score a great deal, especially if you take your time and ask the appropriate questions. If you are looking to purchase a used car or truck, keep these four questions in mind when you visit the dealership—or private seller's home:

1. Why Are You Selling the Vehicle?

This question may seem a bit rude, but it is important for you to know. If the seller answers the question with hesitation—or gives you an odd reply—you may want to further investigate the vehicle for issues. It is possible the car no longer works or has a huge issue with it, such as a leaky transmission.

2. What Condition is the Vehicle In?

The condition of the vehicle will determine whether—or not—you purchase it. Obviously, if the vehicle is in poor condition you will want to pass. However, minor incidents and damages may be fixable and worth considering.

This neutral question is also a good one for gauging the trustworthiness of the seller. If the seller says the vehicle is in excellent condition and you notice some dings, leaks, or other issues, you will want to pass—as the vehicle may have more severe issues under the hood.

3. Does the Vehicle Have Any Special Features?

A vehicle with special features will always cost more, unless the features don't work. If you are looking for a luxury-type used vehicle, be sure to ask for special features and then get a good look at them. You should also ask for any special or new technological gadgets, such as a TV on the seat or a touchscreen on the dash.

Finally, make sure the special features are in good condition and work properly. If the gadgets and features are in poor condition or do not work properly, you will want to eliminate them in your price negotiations.

4. Are There Service Records for the Vehicle?

Another important thing to ask is whether—or not—the owner has service records for the vehicle. In general, people that care for their vehicles keep their service records. So if possible, try to purchase a vehicle that has records of all its services: oil changes, fluid changes, and repairs.

Buying a used car or truck is tricky, but you can make it easier. No matter where you are buying the used vehicle from, ask these questions to gauge the situation and determine whether the vehicle is a good fit for you and your budget. You can start shopping for uses trucks by checking out a used car dealer online at