Key Questions To Ask A Used Car Dealership

How to help yourself get a great deal at a used car dealership.


You can start by getting a checklist of things to specifically inspect on the car. There are many around. As an example, you can have a look at the suggestions on wikiknow (here).

This is a good basis, but nothing is better than asking your preferred mechanics to do a thorough inspection.

The following is to help you make a great purchase when you will be buying that car because you are satisfied of its condition.

1) Where does the car comes from?

Prefer the ones that was maintained and bought at the same dealership you are shopping. You will be able to have access to the maintenance history.

Also, they have decided to have the car in their own inventory for sale. It increases the chance that the service department has a positive opinion on the car. Otherwise, they probably would have send it to a wholesaler.

2) Are they doing a 100 points + pre-sale inspection?

It will reduce the risk of you getting away with a car still having a few problems.

3) Do they know the product?

It usually is better to buy from the same dealer that carries the brand. A used Mazda at a Mazda dealer. They will have done a better inspection and will more easily honor their guarantee: it is their image and brand.

4) Did an individual owned it or is it coming from a rental company?

I do not recommend buying a vehicle coming  back from a rental company. You probably will get attracted by the deal. If they tell you it was a rental, they will offer you a great rebate. You never know how it has been used. Be very careful.

Even them, don’t know. In many cases, they bought a lot and they didn’t check much on each car. You are taking a risk here.

4) Ask to try it for a longer ride than 5 minutes…

They don’t drive like a new one. It might have wear out differently depending on the previous owner. No two cars wear exactly the same depending on how they were used. 

You might need more than just going around the block to find out. Think of your usual driving. Try to do the same kind of road test and for at least 20-30 minutes. Are you getting tire? Do you hear any strange noise? Do you feel you are seated well? The car seats might have ¨suffer ¨ with the previous owner…

5) How long do they have it for sale?

Dealerships like fast turnover.

If they have it for a while, it signals they have difficulty to sell it. Look for issues with the car. Or is it overpriced? 

Do like the others before you and don’t consider that car or make a better assessment, inspection and offer much less. Be a tough negotiator. They most probably are getting tired of seing its value going down: they will want to let it go ASAP.

If they just got it, you still can try to low bid. As we said they like fast turnover. They might agree just because, they get a nice profit within a few hours: it is tempting.

6) If possible, go at the end of the month

They might still have to make their sales number. 

7) Start low

Take of 20% of his asking price as your initial counter offer. He might scream but it is a show. Start there and see what happens. They often have a much bigger margin than with an new car.


Do you know anyone planning to buy a used car. You would be surprised how many just overlook the above suggestions.

If you tell them but you are not yourself an expert, they might not listen.
Send them this post as a suggestion to read. They might do it, after all it is from