Questions To Ask When Buying A Used Car

2018 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring 


The process of buying a used car must be carefully thought out, since used cars come with the disadvantage of a history that's hard to uncover without asking the right questions. Knowing what questions to ask is an essential skill for purchasing a used car, as these questions will reveal details about the car's lifetime that let you know about its overall quality.


Some dealerships come with certifications and reports which outline clearly the history of the car and any issues to be aware of. Other times, especially if from a private seller, the only way to know is by asking questions. At Walker’s Renton Mazda, look for one of our friendly staff members and make sure to find out more about the following.


Here are key questions to ask when buying a used car:


2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring

  1. How many miles has the car driven?

A good indicator of a car's health is understanding the number of miles it has covered. If a car has spent more than 15,000 miles a year on the road, there's a chance to be concerned as the wear and tear can reduce the lifespan of the car. 


While the Mazda is a reliable car brand, it is never a good idea to purchase a secondhand car that has been used too much. A good reason to look at miles is it’s a better indicator than the age of the car. A young car with 100,000 miles in two years is a worse choice than a seven-year-old car with only 50,000 miles. 

  1. Was it ever in an accident?

Accident history is essential when buying a used car. Accidents can reveal the scale of the accident and the type of repairs performed. Commonly, a car that's been in a crash will never be as well assembled as one that's brand new without any body repairs. This is because, after accidents, owners to save on costs will opt for cheaper materials. 


There will also be vehicle inspection reports that accompany these accidents and can illustrate any red flags one should be aware of when purchasing the used car. Whenever possible, choose a used car that has undergone fewer dramatic repairs.


2014 Mazda3 i Grand Touring

  1. Can I see the car's service records?

Every potential buyer should ask this question when getting a used car. A car’s service records can indicate whether the car has undergone annual maintenance throughout its life. This is important as it’s been shown annual maintenance is the best way to extend the life of a car. Failing to do so increases reliability issues significantly. 

  1. Can I have the car inspected by a mechanic?

It’s good practice to have a used car inspected by one’s own mechanic or a professional technician. For $200, a professional pre-purchase inspection can be performed. This lasts an hour and involves a comprehensive assessment of the car’s condition. 


In some states, this inspection is considered mandatory by law, but regardless, always use a technician that’s trustworthy and independent to the dealership or private seller to avoid any bias.


Getting an inspection carried out is important as they can capture potential issues with the car that can turn into expensive repairs later on after purchase, or outright make it a dangerous vehicle to drive. 


Walker’s Renton Mazda carries out a rigorous 150-point inspection for certified pre-owned vehicles, each carried out by a factory-trained Mazda technician to guarantee the reliability of your used Mazda vehicle.


2018 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring

  1. Has the care undergone any modifications?

Many car owners will carry out modifications on their vehicles as a way to boost functionality, comfort, or power. Many changes are minor and harmless, but certain major modifications can void the car’s warranty coverage. A new owner may not know how modifications were carried out, if they were suited for the car, and if they are safe. When shopping for a used car, it’s best to understand and proceed with caution if the car has been modified. 

  1. Why was the car sold by the previous owner?

Many times a car is sold for personal reasons such as upgrading to a bigger model as one’s family grows. But other times, the reason may be issues such as the performance of the car, or the frequent servicing or maintenance required.


2016 Mazda3 i Touring

  1. Can I take it for a test drive?

Finally, the best way to know if a used car will perform well is to take it for a test drive. This gives the driver a chance to truly understand how the car maneuvers and if there are any immediate issues with driving it. Immediate assessment during a test drive can tell one whether the used car is easy to handle, if the steering wheel is misaligned, brake performance is adequate, and if it produces any odd sounds. 


Moreover, the electricals can be tested while in the car, and even storage space within the car and in the boot can be checked out. 

2016 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring (2016.5)


Buying a used car is a great way to own a vehicle without breaking the bank. Many used cars are in tip-top condition, delivering great bang for buck versus purchasing a new model. However, it’s important to ask the right questions when buying a used car so that one’s getting a car fully aware of its history and flaws, if any. Buying a used car from a dealer is often safer than buying a used car independently, since there are more checks in place to certify each vehicle. Browse Walker’s Renton Mazda online or in-store to find the perfect used vehicle for you.




Categories: Pre-Owned Inventory