buying a used SUV can help you to afford a better, safer car without spending a fortune on something brand new. However, if you read this guide about buying used vehicles, you’ll know that there are lots of things you need to keep in mind when buying a used SUV.

Let’s take a quick look at 6 of the main things to keep in mind when shopping around for a used SUV for you and your family. Let’s get to it!

1. Check for undeclared flood damage

Sadly, a lot of used SUVs in the United States and Canada have undeclared flood damage due to some of the turbulent weather we’ve had in recent years. Oftentimes this damage is difficult to see with the naked eye and won’t become obvious until later down the line.

It might be a good idea to have the car inspected by a professional unbiased mechanic before buying it. Flood damage often won’t show up on CARFAX reports, so it’s hard to know if you’re getting a healthy car or not.

2. Be wary of odometer fraud

Unfortunately, a lot of people turn back their odometer before they sell a new car. It’s illegal in many parts of the world to do this, but many used SUV sellers still will. The idea is to make the SUV look like it’s done fewer miles than it actually has.

If the SUV you want to buy is 10 years old and visibly aging, yet it’s odometer shows a suspiciously low amount of miles, it might be a cause for concern.

3. Can you afford the maintenance?

buying a used SUV is a great way to reduce your monthly payments or just buy the vehicle outright if you have enough spare money. While this sounds like a great option financially, remember that you need to keep the SUV running when any problems or repairs are needed.

The older the SUV is, the more problems it’s probably going to have. Can you afford to keep getting repairs when the vehicle starts to enter its twilight years? Also, think about fuel economy as well because with all it’s benefits, it’s going to cost you a little extra in terms of fuel as compared to a small car.

4. How big of an SUV do you need?

When buying a large vehicle like an SUV, it can be tempting to go the whole way and buy a really big vehicle with space for everything. However, if you’ve just got a couple of kids and a dog, do you really need a huge 7-seater vehicle? Probably not.

Think carefully about your needs for a used SUV. Although it’s tempting to be extravagant when buying a used vehicle because of the cheaper price, it’s pointless to buy a huge vehicle when you only need a medium-sized one.

5. Do all the safety features work?

As well as essentials like seatbelts and airbags, you need to think about the safety features that apply if you have small children to consider. For example, do the doors and windows have child-safety locks on them?

There’s no point buying a used SUV if it’s not safe for your children to be in! Also, make sure that your child car seats will fit in the vehicle properly if you need to use them.

6. Don’t get features you don’t need

When buying a used SUV, some dealers might try to throw in extra things like satellite navigation and cruise control for added costs.

Though this sounds appealing, basically any smartphone has Google Maps Navigation and a lot of people don’t really need cruise control, so think carefully about these add-on features.

Originally Published