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Will Moss
Hampton University class of 1995
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Car Safety Checklist: 10 Items to Check Before You Buy
Posted By: Reggie Culpepper on January 13, 2020

When youíre buying a car, itís important to do your research. Fortunately, itís easier than ever thanks to online resources like car reviews and consumer forums.

However, all that information does little good if youíre not sure what youíre looking for. Shopping for a car, whether itís new or used, means digging a little bit deeper to make sure that you know as much as possible about the car to make an informed choice. Once youíve found a car youíre interested in, follow this checklist of items to make sure youíre getting a safe vehicle.

1. Go beyond the standard test drive

A quick drive around the block wonít tell you everything you need to know about a car. Spend more time in a vehicle to see if itís truly going to suit your daily driving needs. Things like a cupholder thatís hard to reach or a sun visor that doesnít quite suit your sight line can irritate you over time or even keep you from driving comfortably, which may compromise your safety. Here are some tips on how you can make the most of a test drive.

2. Donít let the vehicle history report fool you

Getting a vehicle history report should be a priority when youíre considering buying a used car. This document gives you the service history and other important facts about the car. But be aware that it may not tell the whole story. Often times, accidents or damage to a vehicle are not reported and therefore will likely not be disclosed.

For example, some unscrupulous sellers might resell flooded or damaged vehicles that theyíve failed to report, and if the work was done by the owner that wonít be included on the report. Look for things like stained carpet and debris in between the seats that could indicate flooding.
Another way to spot possible past damage, is to stand in front of the car and ensure the paint on the hood matches that on the sides. If itís mismatched, it may mean the car has been in an accident.

Of course, you should always consider taking a used car to a reputable mechanic for an inspection to ensure there is no hidden or major damage.

3. Find out what IIHS and NHTA say about the car

Both the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration oversee automobile safety in the country. Review reports from both organizations; they conduct different types of crash tests and use different criteria to rate vehicles. Then, look for a car that has the approval of both.

4. Let Edmunds and Kelley be your guides

Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds guides can provide you with a broad range of information, from reviews and safety ratings to the carsí actual values. This can help you get the right car both in terms of safety and your budget.

To find out more tips on buying a car, go to https://bit.ly/2glLaDj

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