North Shore Driving School understands how important cars are to our lives and culture. Whether it’s for your first car, to add a second one for the family, or due to budget restrictions, a used car can be an accessible and affordable option. However, finding a problem-free used car requires good research and investigative skills—as knowing how to spot potential problems and determining how reliable a used vehicle is can save you from expensive automotive repairs and ensure you are safe on the road.
Do Your Homework to Ensure a Safe Vehicle
To reduce the risk of purchasing a trouble-prone vehicle, identify models with a good reliability record before you begin shopping. Speak with friends and review consumer reports online. Car condition however, is much more important than the brand. Use an independent source to determine the wholesale and retail values of your target vehicle. Vehicle History Reports (Carfax) are inexpensive and can contain very valuable information. Certified cars cost a little more but have some assurances and usually a warranty. Ask your insurance company on claims made, if any, to find out the accident history of previous ownership. If the car will be driven by a new or elderly driver rather than an experienced driver, it is particularly important to ensure the car is in good working condition. Car trouble can be dangerous for drivers with little driving experience.
Checking Under the Hood & Inside the Car
No matter whom you buy from—a dealer, neighbour or stranger—always look over the vehicle thoroughly and, if possible, seek out the professional opinion of a qualified mechanic and get a complete inspection, especially if this the first time you are buying a car or if you have little or no experience with cars. For older models, make sure it passes an environmental test—this can easily be combined with a vehicle inspection. Get a copy of the vehicle’s maintenance records.
Dress in old clothes and give the car a good going-over. You can learn a great deal just by using your eyes, ears and nose. Take along a friend for help. Do your inspection in broad daylight on a dry day as floodlighted lots can make cars look shiny and hide body defects. The car should be parked on a level surface and shouldn’t have been driven for at least an hour before your inspection.
Test Driving the Car
This is perhaps one of the best ways to know the condition of the car. You should not feel any vibration from the brake pedal, or hear any squealing or strange noises. Slight trepidation during a small speed interval may mean wear to mechanical parts. Keep the radio off and listen for odd noises, smells and vibrations that can indicate the need for repair.
Drive Safe with Driving Lessons at North Shore Driving School
North Shore Driving School in BC knows a good vehicle is part of being a safe driver. Contact us for more information regarding our Graduated Licensing Program serving Vancouver area residents or our top-rated truck driving courses serving Surrey and surrounding areas today.0