When it comes to buying a car, reliability is a top priority. Nobody wants to end up with a vehicle that constantly breaks down or requires expensive repairs. So, how do you check the reliability of a car before making a purchase?
When considering a vehicle purchase, gather insights from reliable sources like JD Power, Consumer Reports, and MyCarVoice. Seek feedback from owners on internet forums, consult a mechanic and seek advice from trusted friends. Don’t forget to prioritize an inspection before committing to ensure reliability.
So you are in the process of shopping for a new car, and you know that you want something reliable. But how can you be sure that the car you’re considering will last for many miles?
Truth is, there are lots of factors to consider and resources available that can help ensure a successful purchase. You will want to thoroughly evaluate a vehicle by its safety and reliability.
For example, reliability ratings from sources such as JD Power, Consumer Reports, and MyCarVoice Vehicle Reliability Reports is essential. These reports take into account factors like owner satisfaction, common issues or defects, and repair costs.
Overall, they offer a better understanding of how dependable a car is likely to be.
In this guide, we’ll explore what steps every car shopper should take when evaluating a vehicle’s reliability. From doing your own research to consulting with experienced professionals, there are ways to get comfortable with the decision before committing.
Let’s dive into an overview of what efforts will yield valuable insight into whether or not the car is worth it!
Research the Safety of the Car You Are Considering
Considering the safety of a vehicle may not be the primary concern for everyone when buying a car. Truth is, most modern cars are designed with high safety standards. But there are certain models that just aren’t as safe as others.
Thankfully, assessing the safety ratings provided by both the federal government and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is an effortless task.
By checking the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) crash test results, you can obtain valuable insights into the car’s reliability.
These reports will help you determine how well the car has performed in safety tests and assess its overall reliability. So when asking the question, “how do you check the reliability of a car,” keep safety ratings near the top of the list.
Research Vehicle Reliability Ratings
To gauge the dependability of a car, it is essential to consult reliable sources for reliability ratings. Organizations such as JD Power, and Consumer Reports evaluate and rate cars based on performance and reliability. These are both great places to start your research when considering a brand new car.
If you are shopping for a used vehicle, our very own Vehicle Reliability Reports is the go to source for ratings based on real ownership experiences.
These reports combine data from reputable sources like the NHTSA and EPA to generate a comprehensive report based on owner experiences. They offer valuable insights into real world usage, and expose the presence of any defects in the vehicle you’re considering.
Additionally, our reports shed light on the manufacturer’s approach to handling customer complaints and provide information on any ongoing recalls.
Our reliability reports were developed based on direct input from car owners. And they prevent you from falling into the trap of regretting your purchase with thoughts like, “If only I had known about these issues beforehand, I wouldn’t have bought this car.”
Run a vehicle reliability report here.
Overall, reliability ratings take into account factors such as owner satisfaction, common issues, and repair costs. By considering these ratings, you can gain a better understanding of how reliable a particular car is likely to be.
Have a Professional Mechanic Inspect The Vehicle
While research and ratings are informative, nothing beats a thorough inspection by a qualified mechanic.
A professional mechanic can meticulously examine the car for signs of wear and tear, as well as hidden damage. They can identify potential issues that may not be immediately apparent.
But keep in mind, the policies regarding independent inspections of used cars can vary among different dealerships.
While some used car dealerships may allow independent mechanics to inspect the vehicles before purchase, others may not. Don’t be afraid to call ahead and ask about their specific policies on this.
Most dealerships may have their own inspection processes and provide their own warranties or guarantees on used cars. This could affect their willingness to allow independent inspections.
Ultimately, whether or not a dealership allows an independent mechanic to inspect a used car can vary. Just be sure to check with the dealership early in the process to understand their policies on this.
Review The Car’s Service History
A car’s service history is a valuable indicator of its reliability. If possible, request the seller or dealer to provide receipts for regular maintenance or major repairs that have been done on the car.
Or, have the brakes been serviced recently, and what kind of warranty do they come with. Is the windshield the OEM glass or a third party replacement? OEM glass will almost always be higher quality.
Finally, ask about the vehicle’s range performance in different conditions, acceleration capabilities, and potential issues with the regenerative braking system.
Simply put, a well-documented service history with regular maintenance and timely repairs indicates a car that has been cared for.
Inquire About The Car’s Past Owners
Knowing the number of past owners a car has had can provide additional insights into its reliability.
For example, multiple owners within a short period of time indicates potential issues or dissatisfaction with the vehicle.
However, a car that has been owned by the same person for an extended period of time suggests it has been well-maintained, and overall reliable.
While this factor alone may not determine a car’s reliability, it’s a valuable indicator to consider.
How do you check the reliability of a car – owner history reports are a great source to consider.
How Do You Check The Reliability of a Car – Take it on a Test Drive!
One of the biggest mistakes we see is not test driving the car thoroughly. And what I mean by this is, take the car for a test drive longer than 5 minutes. Because you want the vehicle to reach normal operating temperatures. This will help expose any hidden defects.
Make sure to take the car out on the highway and local back roads, and pay close attention to how the car handles, accelerates, and brakes.
Are there any unusual noises or vibrations? Does the steering shake or feel unresponsive? Does the air conditioner blow cold air? Do all the window switches work properly, and windows roll up and down smoothly?
If you’re ever in doubt, if it feels like the first few times weren’t enough to make a proper decision, don’t be afraid of going back for another test drive.
One vital factor to make sure of is testing the car out at night – when visibility can be scarce, bright headlights are a must.
So before you sign off that dotted line, give the car another test drive in darker conditions too. Too often we receive complaints of vehicles with poor visibility at night.
Truth is, a longer test drive allows you to assess the car’s condition firsthand and identify any potential issues that could impact its reliability. It also helps you determine if the car is comfortable and meets your needs.
How Do You Check The Reliability Of A Car FAQs
What is the Best Place to Check Car Reliability?
Both Consumer Reports reliability reports and J.D. Power’s vehicle dependability studies are useful resources. MyCarVoice’s vehicle reliability reports also provides insights direct from real car owners.
What is Considered Reliability in a Car?
Reliability in a car means that it consistently works well without breaking down or having frequent problems. A reliable car has durable mechanical parts and it’s built with high-quality materials.
Safety is an important factor too, with a reliable car being designed to protect you in case of an accident.
How do You Ensure a Used Car is Reliable?
Carefully inspect both the interior and exterior of the vehicle. Look for any uneven gaps in the body panels. In case the car has been in an accident, request a receipt as proof of the repair work and ensure that the repairs were carried out by a reputable shop.
Also, go online and investigate owner reviews about the specific make and model you are considering.
Final Thoughts: How Do You Check The Reliability Of A Car
In sum, reliability is key when considering a vehicle purchase. Especially a used vehicle with some miles on it.
With that in mind, do your research and look at the data from sources such as JD Power, Consumer Reports, and MyCarVoice Vehicle Reliability Reports.
Additionally, car forums can also provide valuable feedback for what owners experience in terms of long-term reliability.
And finally, don’t forget to prioritize the test drive and an inspection before committing to a purchase.
By taking all of this into consideration, you can be sure that you are making an informed decision and getting a car that will meet your needs both now and years down the road.
We hope this guide provides some guidance on how to properly assess reliability when getting ready to make your next car purchase. Did we miss anything? If so, drop us a comment below.👇