If you have your heart set on buying a sport-utility vehicle, a jeep, or another type of vehicle that can be driven off-road, there are several factors to think about if you're buying used. While a new vehicle of the above varieties will be in pristine condition, this isn't always the case when you're checking out the used market. Used vehicles can present a considerable cost savings, but you'll want to ensure that what you buy is in good shape. Beyond the long list of usual things that you'll be checking when you shop for a vehicle, make sure that you look for these things.
If you get an inkling that the vehicle you're looking at has been driven off-road, it's a good idea to check the wheel alignment. You can do so partially with a visual assessment. Take a careful look at each of the tires; you want to see that they're worn evenly, rather than the inside or outside edges of some of the tires being more worn. Another way to assess the alignment is during your test drive. If you carefully reduce your pressure on the steering wheel, the vehicle should travel straight; if it's veering to either side, this could be an alignment issue.
When vehicles are driven off-road, they can potentially suffer damage to the underside. For example, this can occur if the vehicle's underside scrapes across jagged rocks. You don't want to buy a vehicle with such complications, so make sure that you're convinced that the underside is in good condition, free of scratches, dents, and other similar issues. You may ask to have a dealership technician photograph the underside of the vehicle for you, or you may even show up with a friend or family member who is a mechanic so that he or she can check the vehicle.
You also want to be sure that the vehicle doesn't have any cosmetic issues that arose from it being driven off-road. Thoroughly check each of the body panels for scratches or dents. You should also check each of the vehicle's side mirrors to ensure that they're tight, rather than slightly loose as a result of contact with tree branches. Finally, assess the condition of the front and rear bumpers. In addition to looking for cosmetic damage, you should ensure that each bumper is tight, rather than loose and possible to be moved by hand.
For more information, contact companies like North Lake Automotive.