How to Distinguish Between a Clunker and a Quality Car

used cars greensboro ncOn the hunt for a new set of wheels? Splendid. There are plenty of quality used cars in the Greensboro, N.C., area to choose from. Sadly, there are also quite a few clunkers…raising the question, how does one distinguish the deals and steals from the lemons and letdowns?

While scheduling a test drive is always your best option, there’s actually a lot you can tell about a used car just by looking at it.  All you need to do is follow these six simple rules:

1. Be Skeptical.

Approach used car buying like a pessimist would approach a blind date. A little healthy skepticism never hurt anybody, so we recommend requesting a vehicle history. (Although we must warn you, this won’t go over as well on the blind date.) If a dealer refuses to cough up a complete car history, we recommend you drop everything and run far, far away from their dealership.

2. Be Practical.

In general, buying a used sports car isn’t a brilliant idea. Think about why the previous driver probably purchased their “hot wheels” in the first place. To drive. Fast. Sports cars are rarely treated gently, and that means lots of stress on the car’s engine, suspension, etc.. If you’re looking for a dependable used car to get you to and from work each day, a used sports car or other performance vehicle is rarely recommended.

3. Be Smart.

Play detective. Find out a little bit about the reputation of the used car dealership in question. Check with the Better Business Bureau or the Chamber of Commerce to find out more. You can also tell a lot about a car dealership by interacting with its sales staff.  If a car salesman makes you feel uneasy, don’t be afraid to trust your instincts.

4. Be Handy (Or Find Someone Who Is.)

Pop open the hood and look around. Check the car’s oil and transmission fluid. This alone will tell you a lot about the car in question, as well as the car’s previous owner. As a good rule of thumb, black and gritty oil is never a good sign. Neither is dark brown or smelly transmission fluid. If you loathe getting your hands dirty, call over your trusted mechanic. They’ll know what to do.

5. Be Aware.

Don’t fall for discount fever or the deals that seem “too good to be true.” If a used car seems like too good of a deal, it probably is, and there’s something your dealer isn’t telling you. Before comparison shopping, check out sites like Edmunds or Kelley Blue Book to find out the estimated cost of the used car you have in mind and use that price as a starting point. Then you’ll know that anything slightly above or under that price is probably a fair deal.

6. Be ‘Wheely’ Mindful.

Most people pay more attention to the car than the wheels it’s on. However, a quick check of a car’s tires will tell you a lot about the vehicle’s previous owner – things that may not be on the vehicle history report. For instance, if the tires look worn or are mismatched, the car was most likely handled roughly or mistreated.

At the end of the day, distinguishing between a clunker and a quality car isn’t rocket science. But it sure does help to start your search at a respected used car dealership like Monarch Auto Sales in Greensboro, N.C. If you’re looking for quality used cars in Greensboro, N.C., stop by today for a test drive!

For more information on our used car inventory and special Buy Here, Pay Here financing options, visit Monarch Auto Sales online, shoot us an email, or give us a call today!


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