Buying a used car? – Read our simple to follow used car buying tips.
When buying a used car, beware of getting a “cat in a bag”. Of course you’re not that naïve to buy a rusty old shell, but discovering what’s hiding under the bonnet is a hard nut to crack, especially if you’re not a mechanic. Here are a few tips that might help.
How Fat Is Your Wallet?
You might find buying an old Dodge Viper very attractive, but you should keep in mind that registration of that vehicle will cost you buckets of money every year, so don’t rush. The purchase itself is only a small part of what you’ll have to spend on the car.
Calculate the cost of taxes and fees, check the insurance rates for that car group, and how fuel efficient the car is. Buying a well maintained car will save you a lot in the long run. Last, but not the least important, unless you plan to keep this ride till one of you die, find out what the car is expected to be worth in the following years.
You Can’t Believe You’ve Found Such a Great Deal? Then Don’t.
Go online and search for the cars of similar type, age and condition. If there’s a big difference in prices, you should be suspicious because if the car is much cheaper from others of that type it was probably hit in a crash, stolen or the odometer was tempered with. It’s not worth your hard earned money!
Private Owner Versus a Dealer
It you decide to buy a car directly from a private seller, you have to be aware of the risk. Although these cars usually cost less and the price is flexible, car owners don’t provide any warranties. Buying from used cars dealers is much safer option, but there are a few bad apples among them. So, be careful to choose a reputable or a franchised dealer whose cars meet the standards of motoring organizations, but still be cautious. Avoid paying in cash, get a receipt and never ever sign a blank form.
Check The Car’s History
When buying a used car, do your homework. The thing of the utmost importance is to check the car’s history. Check that the numbers on the car’s VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) plate and engine plate match those in the car’s registration papers. For a small fee you can check the car’s history – is there’s a lien on the car, was it stolen or damaged in a crash.
Don’t forget to check the car’s service history as well. Ask the seller for details concerning the previous owners, maintenance and request for MOT certificates for the past years.
Take A Look
If you inspect the car in the dark or rain you could fail to notice defects like dents, scratches and lousy paint job. If you really can’t wait for the rain to stop, bring a cloth so you could dry certain parts of the vehicle – for example, the doors and wings to see if they match perfectly. If they don’t, the car has certainly been in a crash. Bring a magnet to see if some areas were repaired with filler.
Make sure that you or, even better, a mechanic you trust, take a thorough look over the car. Check for rust and welding marks, examine the tires, suspension, and transmission. Also take a look under the bonnet to see there’s no oil leaking from the engine. If you find anything suspicious – turn around and find yourself another car.
Test Drive A Car
When buying a car, especially second-hand, the test drive is of vital importance. Before you use the opportunity to check that the vehicle is in working order, find out if you are insured to drive other people’s car and if the car is licensed for use on the road. A test drive should last for half an hour minimum and cover different road surfaces so you could see the car’s behavior in various situations. Pay attention on the gear change – it should be smooth, without any strange noises. The brakes should respond well and the pedal must not drop when pressed. The steering wheel shouldn’t shake and wobble.
Remember, these are only some general tips. Every car is specific, so you’ll have to find additional information once you decide on the type and model of the car you want to buy. And Bey3 is the best place to start your search.