• Don’t Fall in love with the car before you’ve done your homework.
  • Let someone else take the depreciation hit. (2-3 yrs old is best)
  • Walk around the car and check paint, body panel gaps for evenness, chips, dents, etc.
  • Check maintenance history (any records).
  • Contact the previous owner (get the name from the title).
  • Check the fluid condition (oil and transmission fluid should be clean and clear).
  • Test drive the car and listen and feel for noises, vibration, and handling problems.
  • Go to www.nada.com and check the retail price.
  • Check the title history using the vin# at www.carfax.com.

If the above checks good, have a complete mechanical inspection done by an independent shop on the vehicle. Use the items that need attention on the car, to bargain with the dealer.