After a consumer has picked out the used car he would like to purchase and taken it for a test drive, it may seem like the next logical step to take is to start the negotiation process and finish the transaction. However, there may be other steps that a driver should take to protect his finances, especially if the vehicle is being purchased from a private party.
Edmunds.com recommends that a potential buyer ask the seller for the vehicle’s service records. It may be important to check if all scheduled maintenance procedures have been performed on time, since this can give potential buyers an idea of unseen defects in the vehicle or let the buyer know if the vehicle has been victim of neglect.
Accidents and major repairs like engine overhauls, valve jobs and transmission rebuilds should also be noted.
It may also be advisable to take the car to a mechanic for a careful inspection before signing a contract.