Used Car Guidelines

Black Book Used Car Guidelines

Use the following guidelines to verify the condition of vehicles. It is important not to over classify a vehicle when determining the price. If in doubt, use the lower category.

  • Extra Clean - Like new for year model, perfect paint, no visible signs of wear, very low miles.
  • Clean - Very little interior or exterior wear, matching tires with good tread, mechanically sound.
  • Average - Visibly normal interior and exterior wear, still a good vehicle with substantial service remaining.
  • Rough - A vehicle with below-average interior or exterior condition and/or one with excessive mileage. Limited serviceable life remaining.

Pre-Purchase Inspection Guidelines

It is recommended that a full inspection be completed prior to purchasing. Many shops will do this service at a reasonable price, generally in the $39 to $49 price range. A certified repair shop will inspect for items such as:

Brakes Suspension Steering
Transmission Cooling system Heating & air conditioning
Clutch Engine Charging system
Starting system Computer Fluid levels
Belts & hoses Tires & wheels Emissions
Exhaust Body (paint, rust) Lamps (headlights, tail-lights, turning signals, brake & back-up)
Frame Cruise control

Test Drive

A test drive should be completed driving at different conditions. Drive the vehicle in city traffic (stop & go) and at different speeds. Likewise, drive the vehicle on an interstate highway. This is your opportunity to check for comfort, visibility, roominess and noise. Check the heating and air-conditioning for comfort level and also check the sound system. Any defects discovered during this drive or by a certified mechanic should be repaired (by the seller) prior to you taking delivery.

AutoCheck (Vehicle History Report)

Purchase a detailed report from AutoCheck. This report is essential prior to purchasing. A major investment requires a clean vehicle history report.