4 Key Things To Look For When Buying a Used Foreign Car

Buying a used foreign car has its benefits and drawbacks. One of the major benefits of buying a pre-owned vehicle is the fact that you don't have to worry about falling victim to steep depreciation as soon as you drive the vehicle off of the lot. With this being said, finding a reliable used foreign car can be challenging. You'll need to be a resourceful buyer, do your homework, and look for the red flags before you buy if you want to invest in a vehicle that'll last. Here are 4 key things to look for when you choose to buy used:

1. Do Thorough Research On the Car's History

It's easy to get emotionally attached to a vehicle when you take it for a test drive. If you've always dreamed of owning a BMW, finding a used BMW in your price range can be enough to make you overlook important details. Get past your emotions and do all of your homework before you even see the car in person. If you're buying from a used car dealer, get the VIN of the vehicle at the top of your list and run a vehicle history report. This report shows you if the vehicle has been involved in an accident, if it's been maintained, and how many people have owned it.

2. See What the Consumer Reports Say

After you look at the report, you should do even more research to verify that the year, make, and model you are looking at doesn't have any serious recalls or consumer complaints. If a model has transmission problems, you want to know right? Sites like Edmunds have reviews on every vehicle you could imagine and checking these reviews could be the difference between buying a car that'll last, and buying a car that will be in and out of a shop specializing in BMW repair in Austin, TX. If the complaints are consistent across the board in forums and review sites, this might not be the car for you.

3. Don't Just Look Under the Hood, Inspect the Entire Vehicle

If you don't know much about cars, you might lift the hood up and take a glance just to let the seller think you know what you're looking at. You don't have to be a professional to spot some serious problems. Start by inspecting the sides of the front fender and the trim around the vehicle. If there's damage, the cars been in a serious accident and the frame hasn't been repaired. Look for rust under the car and around the wheel wells. If there's rust, run! When you look under the hood, don't just look, check fluids and look for leaks. If you really are inept with cars, you can always bring a mechanic with you to point out potential problems.

4. Check the Status of the Title and Registration

If you're buying from a private seller, you might just assume that the vehicle is registered and smogged. Don't assume this because it can cost you money. You should check the status of the registration through the DMV website with the license plate number, verify the title has no liens, and make sure there are no parking tickets or other fines that you'll be responsible for when registering. Make the seller pay for a passed smog and never sign the purchase agreement until the vehicle passes.

Buying a used foreign car is a big investment. If you want to make the right investment, do the research even if the seller seems trustworthy. You'll be happy you did in the long run.


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