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5 tips before buying a used vehicle

5 tips before buying a used vehicle

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Buying a new vehicle is an exciting step, but it must always be done in a thoughtful way, otherwise the beautiful dream could turn into a nightmare. After all, there is a lot of money at stake!

This is all the more true in the current inflationary environment when the market for used vehicles has increased enormously in value. 

Retailers like HGregoire – which offer a wide selection of quality – are definitely a top destination to shop. But before buying, several thoughts and steps are necessary in order to be sure of finding the vehicle that suits you best. 

1. Define your criteria and priorities  

This first step is the most important. Will it be a primary or secondary vehicle? How will you use it and under what road conditions? How many people will you need to transport? How many kilometers will you average per day? The answers to these questions (and many more) will help you determine the ideal type of vehicle for your situation.

Then, what attributes are you looking for: performance, sturdiness, fuel economy, comfort, safety, practicality? More specifically, do you absolutely insist on all-wheel drive or do you need precise towing capacity, for example? Do you prefer a manual or automatic gearbox? Also, if there are options you really care about, like heated seats or a sunroof, list them.

2. Plan your budget  

The bill for a car is not just about the price displayed! The interest rate offered to you could significantly influence the amount of payments. The same applies if you have a trade-in vehicle. Also keep in mind that you will have to pay for registration, insurance and fuel. Then, don't forget any repairs, maintenance and winter tires.

About insurance: some vehicles in the same category may cost more, especially sports category cars and most commonly stolen vehicle models. 

Moreover, a model whose initial manufacturer's warranty is still valid and another that you will have to protect with an extended warranty do not have the same financial impact. 

In short, it is better to calculate your monthly budget and stick to it. You will thus avoid an impulse purchase following a crush!

3. Ask about vehicles  

Before heading to a dealership, find out which makes and models have a better reputation for quality and reliability. There are several studies and rankings online to enlighten you on this subject. 

Test drives by automotive journalists, specialized websites, owner testimonials on social networks and discussion forums can teach you more about the strengths and weaknesses of a particular vehicle. 

Also, do not hesitate to ask a friend or relative who knows the automobile well to accompany you during your visits. Two heads are better than one!

4. Dig deeper  

When it comes to used vehicles, it's important to dig deeper and find out about the maintenance history of the model you're looking for , because the main factor of good long-term reliability remains preventive maintenance. 

The Carfax report is very useful here. Also be aware that some vehicles may have endured much harsher conditions than others, such as work vans. Finally, if there have ever been repairs due to an accident, you should know about it.

Ask for a mechanical inspection report from the dealer or independent workshop of your choice, then check to see if any safety recalls apply and if the fixes have been made. Finally, consult the Register of personal and movable real rights (RDPRM) to make sure that the vehicle is not subject to any right of retention. 

5. Give the vehicle a good test drive  

Expert opinions, reports and photos will give you a good idea, but the last step and not least to find a vehicle that meets your needs is to test drive it.

So, after your exterior “overview”, confirm that the doors (including the trunk or tailgate), the seats, the sunroof (if applicable), the heating/ventilation system, etc. are working properly. How do you find the driving position and the ergonomics of the controls? Is the space really right for you? Think about the luggage and equipment you will need to carry or the baby seats to install, for example.

As soon as you start the engine and hit the road, keep an ear out for any unwanted or suspicious noises. See how the vehicle behaves when accelerating, braking and cornering. Do you like the handling and ride comfort, even on rough roads? And what about visibility and soundproofing? You should not neglect these aspects!

By doing your homework as an informed consumer, you will have peace of mind. 

Appointment at a used retailer HGregoire, which brings together only certified quality vehicles that have been inspected at more than 150 points. With the 7 day money back satisfaction guarantee, you can't go wrong!

HGregoire is the leader for the purchase or sale of used vehicles. opportunity in Quebec. Visit www.hgregoire.com for the largest selection of cars, trucks, vans, sport utility vehicles, and more.

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