Used Car Checklist

Used Car Checklist


Buying a used car is an exciting process, one that’s best achieved with the right game plan. Whether it’s your first time picking out a set of wheels or your tenth, there’s a proven method to ensure you have a successful experience each time.

Here at Key Chevrolet, we help thousands of Middletown, Manchester, and Hartford drivers find the used car of their dreams. In fact, we like to think of ourselves as your personal used car gurus.

To prove our credentials, we created this handy used car checklist. Take a look before scheduling a visit to our dealership.


Used Car Checklist

Part One: The Prep Work

Next to your home, buying a used car is one the biggest investments you’ll make over your life. For the best outcome, we advise you to take time to answer some important questions:

  • How do I typically use my vehicle?
  • What’s my daily commute like?
  • Is parking an issue in my neighborhood?
  • Am I expecting any major life changes?
  • How much am I willing to budget for gas/maintenance?

Used Car Checklist

Setting a Budget

Not only do you want a used car you like, you also want a used car you can comfortably afford. No one knows your finances better than you. So, before settling on the prettiest vehicle on the lot, ask yourself: Is this a price I’m willing to pay monthly over the next 3 to 5 years?

Two things people sometimes forget to factor in are insurance and maintenance costs. Ideally, you don’t want to commit more than 10 to 20 percent of your annual gross income to your car expenses. So, make sure you account for these additional costs when setting a budget.

Have a specific vehicle in mind? Great! Use our handy car payment calculator to get a clearer picture of what your future payment might look like.

Thinking about trading in your current vehicle? Putting the value of your current car towards your next one is often an effective way to lower your monthly payment. To get an initial quote, take advantage of our Value Your Trade tool before scheduling an in-person appraisal.


Used Car Checklist

Part Two: Kicking The Tires

We all have stories of our dads scouring the local car lot, poking their heads under the hood, and peppering the salesperson with all sorts of automotive questions. The good news: Thanks to modern technology, you can skip the good cop/bad cop routine while still getting all the info you need.

Our team maintains a complete CARFAX® Vehicle History Report™ for each car on our lot that you can request to see at any time. Now you can be certain whether a specific used car meets your high standards.


Used Car Checklist

Inspecting the Exterior

As you walk around the vehicle, look for any obvious scratches, dents or discoloration. You also should check each individual tire, noting any signs of sidewall cracks, odd bulges, and the depth of each tread well.

Next, check the windows for cracks before moving to the exterior lights. Finally, check under the car to see if there are any leaks or damages to the underbody.


Used Car Checklist

Inspecting the Interior

Once you’re sitting behind the wheel, take note of how the upholstery and carpets look and feel. Any strange odors when you turn on the heat or AC? Does the radio and speaker system properly function? Is the check engine light on?

One thing drivers often forget is to check to see whether each window opens and closes. Go around the cabin and make sure each button and knob functions.


Part Three: Take a Test Drive!

The only way to really know whether a used car is right for you is to take it out for a spin! So, if you currently live near Middletown, Manchester or Hartford, visit Key Chevrolet or go online to schedule a visit.


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