What to Check When Buying a Used Car

Used cars on a car lot


The vast selection you’ll find on most used car lots in the San Diego area can be a little overwhelming. With so many different types of pre-owned vehicles available, you want to make sure that you select one that will be the best value for your money, and will provide dependable transportation for years to come. Knowing what to check when buying a used car can take some of the risks and worry out of your shopping experience. Take a look at this guide from Kearny Mesa Acura on things to check when buying a used car, then visit our dealership in San Diego to find the pre-owned car, truck, or SUV that is the best fit with your lifestyle and budget today!

What to Check When Buying a Used Car: Preliminary Steps

The best way to simplify the used car buying process is by doing some research beforehand to help narrow your search and ensure that you choose a vehicle that will suit both your budget and your personal driving needs. Consider the following: 

  • Your Budget: Knowing how much money you can afford to spend upfront will help you focus on vehicles that fit your budget. You can use our convenient online payment calculator to determine what your monthly payments will be, and if you have a car to trade, our value your trade-in tool will provide you with an estimate on how much your car is worth. 
  • Automotive Reviews: Websites such as Kelley Blue Book and J.D. Power and Associates offer information on the reliability and resale value of various makes and models, while the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has safety ratings for vehicles from many model years. These sources can also give you the information on the cost of ownership by make, model, and year, which you can then figure into your calculations. 
  • Choose Your Year, Make, and Model: Narrow your choices down to your top three makes and models based on the financial and vehicle information you have researched. Our Vehicle Finder Service can help you locate your perfect car, truck, or SUV.

What to Check When Buying a Used Car: At the Dealership

Some of the things to check when buying a used car at Kearny Mesa Acura include: 

  • Vehicle History Report: You want to find a used car that has been kept up to date on all scheduled maintenance services, has a clean title and hasn’t been involved in any accidents. Make sure to verify the miles on the odometer with the vehicle history report, and make a note of how many owners the vehicle has had.
  • Test Drive: Whether you buy a new or used vehicle, you’ll want to see how it feels to drive it. Make sure it has the amount of power you want, responsive brakes, and that there aren’t any unusual noises or vibrations. 
  • Inspection by a Mechanic: Every car in the used vehicle inventory at Kearny Mesa Acura has been thoroughly inspected by our service department, and our certified pre-owned vehicles have passed a multi-point inspection in accordance with the Acura CPO Program. That being said, you still have the right to have a vehicle inspected by the mechanic of your choice before you buy it. 

Shop the Used Vehicle Inventory at Kearny Mesa Acura Today!

Ready to upgrade your National City or Carlsbad commute with one of our quality pre-owned vehicles? Don’t forget to browse our used vehicle specials and check out our featured selection of used cars priced under $15,000. If you’d like to learn more about what to ask when buying a used car or want more information on used vs. certified pre-owned, please feel free to contact us.

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