What to Look for When Buying a Used Nissan Car 

2017 Nissan Rogue at Nissan of Orangeburg

Purchasing a pre-owned vehicle requires careful consideration. While used cars offer upfront savings, a hasty purchase can leave you at a loss, stuck with an unreliable vehicle that’ll cost you big time down the road.

Here at Nissan of Orangeburg, our used vehicle inventory has undergone a rigorous inspection process to ensure top quality – so you’re sure to find the right ride at the right price. Plus, our team has provided some helpful tips to keep in mind when shopping for a used vehicle. Check them out, then stop by your hometown used Nissan dealer to experience buying done right!

Preliminary Research

Making a great investment requires some research. But first, consider your needs and your budget.

Once you’ve listed your non-negotiables and calculated a monthly payment you’re comfortable with, start looking for vehicles that match your requirements. Conducting an online search is an efficient way to narrow down your search before stopping by a dealership for a test drive. Be sure to consider things like safety and driver assistance technologies, cargo space, seating capacity, infotainment features, and fuel economy.

Found a used car, truck, or SUV that matches your lifestyle and budget? Now it’s time to find out more about its past. Run its vehicle identification number (VIN) through a service like CARFAX or Kelley Blue Book to learn more about past owners, accident history, maintenance, and more.

Websites like Consumer Reports and US News and World Report are helpful resources too, offering rankings and reviews that provide valuable insight into a specific model’s potential issues and ability to retain its value over time.

Look at mileage too, and compare it to the average of 10,000 to 12,000 miles driven per year. If the vehicle dramatically exceeds this average, it may require major service sooner rather than later – and repair costs add up quickly!

Interior and Exterior Assessment

If your research doesn’t reveal anything concerning, a thorough visual inspection comes next. Take your time when performing these steps:

  • Check windows for chips and cracks.
  • Inspect tires for uneven or excessive wear, including bald spots.
  • Take a peek underneath to ensure no underbody rust.
  • Pop the hood and look for indications of wear, like fluid leaks or cracked belts.
  • Park on a flat surface to ensure the vehicle sits level to the ground.
  • Look for paint chips, rust, dings, dents, and other exterior imperfections.
  • Test all lights, including turn signals, hazards, and interior lights.
  • Make sure the trunk is large enough to accommodate typical cargo.
  • Double check that key fobs work and that there are two sets of keys.
  • Measure the vehicle’s dimensions if you’ll need to regularly park in a tight spot.
  • Check that seats are comfortable and in good condition – and that rear rows are easily accessible to passengers, if needed.
  • Confirm that the vehicle’s odometer reading matches the listed mileage.
  • Perform a sniff test to ensure the cabin doesn’t have any strange or unpleasant odors.
  • Make sure that each interior feature functions properly.

Trusted Mechanic Inspection

While the visual checks listed above are undeniably important, you’ll also want to have the used car inspected by a professional. Have a service technician you trust take a closer look, noting any issues. If any major problems are found, you may be able to negotiate a lower price. If you don’t have a local mechanic and are visiting a garage for the first time, make sure that it is AAA or ASE certified.

Importance of Inspection Before Buying
Here are some reasons why a vehicle inspection is a step you can’t afford to skip:

  • Identify hidden problems: While an issue may not be evident to the untrained eye, a mechanic’s thorough inspection may reveal serious problems, from electrical concerns to frame damage.
  • Ensure a wise investment: An inspection may prevent you from buying a vehicle that will require costly repairs in the near future.
  • Provide peace of mind: Because it’s not fresh from the factory, used cars carry an inherent risk. An inspection by someone you trust can give you confidence that your selection is a smart one.

Have More Questions About Buying a Used Nissan? Call Nissan of Orangeburg Today!


If you’d like more details about buying a used vehicle, contact our team today.

Here at Nissan of Orangeburg, we’ve stocked a diverse selection of cars, trucks, and SUVs – including all your favorite models! Check it out today, then come see us in Orangeburg, SC for a test drive! Reach us today!

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