If you are in the market for a used vehicle, here are three different tools that you can use to research any used vehicle that you are interested in and make sure that it will meet your needs, that it works well, and that it doesn't have too many major known problems or issues.
#1 Consumer Report
The first thing that you should look for is a consumer report for the vehicle that you are interested in purchasing. This will allow you to see the overall ratings given to this vehicle at the the time it came out, such as its road test ratings and predicted reliability rating. It will also allow you to see detailed information about that particular vehicle, such as how the seating is set up, what type of engines were sold in that make and model, etc.
It will also allow you to see how satisfied customers were with their purchase of the vehicle, as consumer reports also provide owner satisfaction ratings. This will help you see if people really liked the vehicle that they purchased after they were able to use it for some time.
Next, you should search for forums that are directly related to the make and model that you are looking for. There are forums for almost every vehicle on the market today, including very old models. This is where consumers come together to share information about the work that they have done on their vehicles as well as the things that have broken down on their vehicles. It is where people come to ask questions when something goes wrong with their vehicle and they are not sure what happened.
Forums are a great place for you to get information about the most common repairs and issues that owners of the vehicle you are interested in purchasing run into. You can generally find out if a specific part on the vehicle tends to need to be replaced at a certain mileage.
This will help you ask more detailed questions about the repair history of the vehicle that you are purchasing to see if it matches up with what others say about their vehicle. It will also help you estimate, based on the year and mileage of the vehicle, what type of repairs that you should budget for in the future.
#3 Mechanical Check
Finally, before you purchase any used vehicle, you should take it to your mechanic. There they can run a full systems check. This usually covers a specific number of points on the vehicle. The more points the inspection covers, the more in-depth that the inspection will be.
This will allow you to really determine what condition the used vehicle you are interested in purchasing is in right now, and what work you would need to put into the vehicle right away and in the near future in order for it to reach optimal driving conditions.
Before you purchase a used vehicle, do some in-depth research, starting by looking at consumer and safety report and ending with having an actual mechanic let you know the state of the specific vehicle that you are interested in purchasing.