So, you are looking to sell your car in Southern California. We buy cars in San Bernardino County, San Diego County, and elsewhere in the southern portion of the state. And yes, we think we are pretty good at what we do. We have been in the used car game long enough to know exactly what we’re buying and how much it’s worth.

Top 5 Things Smart Used Car Buyers Look For

We invite you to give Car Fast Cash a shout. We will offer you a fair price and pay cash. If you don’t like our offer, you can always try to sell the car to another consumer. Just be aware that smart car buyers know what they want. They know what is important to them and what to be wary of.

Today’s used car buyers are smarter than ever before. Thanks to tons of online research tools, they know a lot more about used car shopping than they did 20 years ago. We say that to say this: it is more important than ever to be upfront and honest with buyers. Any attempts to take advantage of them probably won’t work.

In light of all that, here are the top five things smart used car buyers look for:

1. Fluid Leaks

The smartest of the smart have always known to look for fluid leaks. But now, even casual used car buyers know the drill. The first thing they will do is look on the ground beneath the car. If they have any reason to believe the car may have been moved in order to hide fluid leaks, smart car buyers will actually get underneath and inspect the frame.

This might not necessarily be good for a seller who is trying to pass off a faulty vehicle as one in perfect condition. But we are confident you wouldn’t do that. You are going to be open and honest about your car with all potential buyers.

If your car does leak, you either have to pay to have it repaired or be upfront about the issue. Choosing not to make repairs means you will have to settle for a lower price, but that might still be okay. A car that is otherwise in good condition might still be attractive to a professional mechanic or weekend warrior who can make the repairs himself.

2. Evidence of Water Damage

People didn’t know enough to check used cars for water damage a few decades ago. But thanks to the internet and a plethora of online buying guides, things have changed. Used car buyers now know enough to look for water damage. They also know how to spot it.

Here’s the thing about water damage: it makes most cars nearly worthless to dealers. Why? Because there is always the risk that a car with water damage went through a significant flood and that the owner’s insurance company totaled the car rather than attempting to repair it. That says something. It says that water could have done damage that cannot be easily seen.

3. Uneven Tire Wear

Are you familiar with recommendations to maintain proper tire pressure? If so, you probably know why keeping your tires properly inflated is a good idea. Smart car buyers know that, too. They know enough to look at the tires and note any uneven wear patterns.

Uneven tire wear could mean any number of things. It could be something minor, like a failure to maintain proper air pressure in all four tires. But it could also mean something more serious. Uneven wear could indicate the car is out of alignment. It could suggest a bent frame, damaged wheels or axles, or bad shocks and struts.

Most of the major problems will scare buyers away. If it is just a matter of tire pressure, uneven tire wear isn’t such a big deal. Ultimately, it is up to the buyer to try to figure out why tires are worn unevenly and then make a decision from there. For your part, checking your car’s alignment might be well worth the investment. The amount it costs you to have the front end aligned could be recovered with a higher sale price.

4. Signs of Body Damage

So many people buy used cars based solely on exterior looks. That is neither here nor there, except to say that smart used car buyers go over the exterior looking for any signs of possible damage. The smartest among them are looking for signs that the car may have been involved in a serious collision at some point.

A bit of mismatched paint on the rear quarter panel suggests the car was backed into a wall or hit from behind. A front bumper that doesn’t quite fit right suggests a front-end crash. Above and beyond accident damage, smart buyers will also look for any signs suggesting corrosion that has been covered with a coat of primer and paint.

5. Fully Functioning Accessories

Believe it or not, people looking to buy used cars are just as interested in accessories as new car buyers. Smart car buyers satisfied with body, engine, etc. turn their attention to the accessories. They want to know that the AC is fully charged and working. They want to test the entertainment system to make sure it’s in good working order.

It is not unusual for used car buyers to put the windows up and down. They’ll check the headlights and taillights, test the turn signals, and even blow the horn. Count yourself lucky if buyers get to that point. That means they are satisfied about most of their major concerns.

Selling a used car in the 21st century is remarkably different. Fifty years ago, the average used car buyer wasn’t nearly as knowledgeable. But then again, cars were not nearly as complicated back then, either. It’s a whole new ballgame today.

If you don’t want to go through the hassle of trying to sell your car in Riverside, Santa Barbara, Ventura, etc., contact Car Fast Cash instead. We make selling your car an easy and pleasurable experience.