I NEED A GUIDE
I'm going to be buying a "new" car (used, under $15,000). Since I've never bought a car before, what are the best questions to ask about the car?
get a list of the recent maintenance that was done to get it ready for sale, get a copy of the vehicle history(carfax or autocheck) so you know if it has had any accidents and how many previous owners, and then what warranties may still be on the car from the manufacturer. or what ones can be purchased. It can also be helpful to know what kind of fuel economy you can expect. and what the book value of the car is. I hope this helps.
Carfax shows history of maintenance, as it might be hard to get those from a dealer who traded in the car - just because service records contain private info. You can also see any accidents on the carfax. If you have your insurance company run the VIN# for a quote, any accidents or claims will also show up. Fueleconomy.gov is a good spot to see real life MPG estimates of people who have actually drive the car. Use Cargurus to find the best deals. Remember, until a vehicle sells, there may be many things the dealer still needs to do, and sometimes they might wait, because if the car sits too long and they send it to the auction, they did spend money they didn't need to. A long test drive is a great way to discover a car, so take it out for a few hours. Your gut is a good place to get your subconscious thoughts as well.