Schedule Your Vehicle Viewings
Scheduling can be done at the time of making your initial inquiry on a vehicle. But depending upon things such as location, distance, and availability, it might be best to do the scheduling after identifying several candidates first.
The best time to shop for and buy a car is under ideal conditions.
What are ideals?
- Best circumstance for shopping
- Not rushed or under pressure.
- Take your time to test, consider, & reflect.
- Not in a hurry or emergency.
- Best conditions for viewing & driving
- Good time of day. Good lighting & good weather.
- Good location. If not viewing the car at a reputable dealership, meet in a well-lit, public place. In buying as many cars as I do, I generally choose to meet at a convenient branch of my bank. It is safe, in view of security cameras, and a good place to transact if I decide to buy the car. This prevents me from having to carry a large sum of cash around with me or from being vulnerable to someone with ill intentions.
- Good test-driving weather and environment (not stop-and-go traffic).
- Seller is helpful but not overly contributory (if seller offers too much information, it might be to distract your attention so that you miss certain flaws or defects; take it as a sign of caution).
- Take someone with you to make additional observations including checking the brake lights, listening for warning sounds, looking for leaks, etc.
You have the right to ask, and the seller can always decline:
- Can I bring my mechanic with me? Or,
- Can I take it to my mechanic?
- I plan to connect my ODBII code reader, is that OK?
- Can I test drive it at highway speed?
- Is the vehicle currently insured? (also make sure that your own automobile insurance coverage is valid).
If the seller says no to your request, you should then ask “why not?”. If someone is trying to offload a POS (“piece of junk”), they will make excuses.
When you’re going to inspect the car do it at broad daylight and never when it’s raining, when it’s about to go dark, or in the evening when you can’t see hardly anything at all. Broad daylight, that means also no artificial light. If it’s in a garage ask the seller to move it outside for a better view. Make sure the car isn’t parked against something, prohibiting to give you a full view on all sides of the car.
It is best if the car has not been recently driven, thereby giving the best opportunity for observing a “cold start”. And if it has not been recently moved, it provides the best insight into leaks indicated by drip marks on the ground.