Hunting a second-hand car is not as easy as it may seem. You have to consider not only the condition of the engine, but also the history and supporting documents to ensure you won’t buy a lemon car. Just because you’re buying a used car does not mean you have to settle for a piece of junk.
Remember that even a car with a satisfactory reliability record can be a nightmare without proper maintenance. In this post, you’ll learn the best tips to help protect yourself when buying a used car. Let’s discuss them in detail.
- Check Your Options
Firstly, you have to determine what car model and price range you’re willing to spend before shopping around. Once you know what you want, do thorough research to get an idea of the important considerations and tips when negotiating a price.
You can check your options by:
- Checking out used car listings on newspaper’s car classifieds to determine how much your preferred model costs.
- Researching for the best dealers online, such as Vision Nissan. Visit the website of the car dealership and view used car options and availability.
- Compare Prices
When browsing buy-and-sell websites of second-hand cars for sale, it’s crucial to make a price comparison. There are many trusted online resources to compare the prices of used vehicles. Browsing these sites will help you get the best deal before making a purchase.
Here are some tips when comparing prices:
- Check the specifications of the lowest-priced units, such as higher mileage or older year model.
- For an auto loan, compute how much you will be paying for the interest. After which, compare the cost of monthly car payment versus the amount when paid with full cash.
- Read social media comments and car dealer fan pages to view price listings and customer reviews.
- Check the Mileage
Not because a car is cheap means you’re getting the best deals, because the cheapest cars are not necessarily the best. Used cars with higher mileage dictates its age and condition. Of course, the older the vehicle, the more parts need replacement.
Here are some tips when checking the mileage:
Ask the details of the mileage from the car dealer or check it yourself.
- Avoid buying used cars with over 60,000 km mileage because the parts of the unit are likely worn out and need replacement.
- Verify a used car’s mileage by paying attention to the steering wheel and pedal during your vehicle inspection. The condition of these parts speaks volumes about the used car’s real age.
- Check the Car’s History
The history should be a priority when buying a used car. Of course, you don’t want a car that has been stolen, flooded, involved in a crime, or met an accident.
Here are some tips when checking a used car’s history:
- Check the documents of the used car, including the original receipt or certificate of registration issued by New York’s transportation department.
- Make sure that the details on the documents are correct and consistent.
- If possible, contact the previous owner.
- Inspect the Used Car Thoroughly
Check the used car’s body for red flags that show the car has probably involved in flooding or accident.
Be meticulous and check for warning signs such as:
- Engine block filler
- Paint quality inconsistencies. Paint overspray found on the backs of door jambs and body panels may mean bodywork from a past accident.
- Touch-ups covering bent or scratched parts
- Malfunctioning components
- Mismatched tires
- Pulling to one side of the road is a telltale sign of a previous damage
- Smell of mold or mildew could indicate water damage that may lead to electrical problems.
- Don’t Skip Test Driving
After a visual inspection, the next step is to perform a test drive. Don’t waste your hard-earned money on a cheap, used car that will cause you a major problem in the long run. Don’t buy a used car with a substantial defect, and don’t assume that it is in good working condition just because the seller says so.
Here are some tips when test driving:
- Drive it at various speed rates.
- Observe strange sounds like rattles and squeaks, smell, and vibration.
- Check all components and ask relevant questions from the seller.
- A test drive should be around 30 to 45 minutes.
- Insure the Vehicle
Used cars are not exempted from accidents like brand new cars. Avoid draining your money by purchasing a used car that can be insured.
Avoid regrets by being careful and meticulous when purchasing a pre-owned car. You have to ensure that you checked the hidden damage from a flood, accident, or other incidents that can affect the performance and your safety. Now, you’re more confident to buy a used car and avoid the common car buying mistakes to get the best value for your hard-earned money.