Buying a car is not an easy task because slight carelessness can cost you a lot of money. It doesn’t matter if you are buying from a registered dealer or a private seller because in both cases you need to take precautions. Especially when you are buying a used car from an individual you save money but you don’t get the same protection and warranties as you get from the dealer. So here we have mentioned some key tips and advice you need to consider before handing your cash for a used car.
Check vehicle history
Car history is very important when buying a car. You can find out if it has any outstanding car finance, is recorded as stolen, or used for any criminal activity. There are many companies that provide history checks for cars. If you buy a car and later get to know that it was registered stolen or is under any loan agreement then you will not own the car at all. Your purchase is most probably not protected so there would be no obligation to have your money returned to you.
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A used car check is important even if you have to pay a small amount for it because later it can save you from unexpected issues. Running through a paid service can tell you if the car has been in an accident if there are any liens on it, and if there are any recalls on the car.
Do some research
It is important to do research on what cars are available before contacting a seller. Research means having an idea of used car values in the market so you know what to expect for the money you want to spend. This will prepare you to pay a fair price for the vehicle and condition you want and know whether the seller is overcharging you or not. You should also check the reviews of the car you prefer to see what people say about the car. It is always better to go into the sale with all the knowledge available.
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Take a test drive
Although it is not easy to arrange a test drive with a private seller but still you can request them to see how the car handles. During the test drive, you need to listen out for any strange noises coming from the engine or any other parts of the car. Also, check the suspension and note how the steering and brakes feel on both town roads and on the highway.
Take for inspection
Even if you have good knowledge about cars still it is better to take it to a trusted mechanic for an inspection. A mechanic can determine if the vehicle has any underlying issues or areas that might become an issue in the future. Check the upholstery of the vehicle for any tears or stains and on the exterior check for any bumps, dents, or scratches and ask the seller what happened. Also check for any accident damage, a new paint job and for any leaks.
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Some other things you must not forget to check in the car:
Check the condition of the tires noting the tread depth and side-wall damage. Tires with uneven wear could mean that the wheels are not correctly aligned.
Check the car from outside for any rusty spots or paint chips. Small rust patches can be ignored because they can be fixed easily but if the metal is totally rusted then you might need to reconsider.
If the mileage looks too low for the age and appearance of the car then the odometer might have tampered. This is known as “clocking”, in a clocked car the miles have been wound back to increase the asking price.
During the test drive check the interior electronics and make sure stereo and the other electronic components are working properly. Turn on the air conditioner and heat as well to inspect.
See if all the locks and window buttons are working including the sunroof opens and closes normally.
Buying a used car could save you a fortune over the equivalent brand new model but there are risks involved too. You certainly want to avoid buying a damaged or badly maintained used car.
You will need to do your research beforehand ask the seller important questions and take the car for a test drive. A great amount of care needs to be taken to ensure you make the right purchase and aren’t sold something that could come back to haunt you. If you decide on a vehicle make sure you know its market value and how to deal with the seller.