It’s not easy buying a used car. There are a lot of things that one needs to think about when buying one. Not properly preparing for the purchase of a used car could lead to you getting a bad deal. After all, it’s not exactly uncommon for people to sell cars that aren’t in good condition.
Unless you are a mechanic or a car dealer, however, you will probably have absolutely no idea what you are supposed to check for and look out for when you are buying a used car. Don’t worry though, because this post will tell you everything that you need to know.
1. Approved Dealers
If you are planning on buying a used car, then you need to make sure that you buy it from a respectable and approved dealer. Whether you are trying to find a Toyota, Mercedes, or even a Ferrari, an approved dealership is the only place that you should look. But what is an approved dealer, you might ask? An approved dealer is essentially a franchise of the manufacturer that the dealer specialises in selling. An approved Mercedes dealer is a franchise of Mercedes, for example. Approved dealers can therefore offer warranties and others things that non-approved dealers can’t.
2. Checking Tyres
Once you have found a reliable, approved dealer to work with, you can go ahead and start looking for cars. On every car you view, you need to check the tyres. Because tyres get the most use, they are often the first thing to show signs of wear or damage. While a damaged tyre isn’t the end of the world, tyres can be expensive to replace. There’s no point in buying a car, and then having to replace the tyres. Ensure your chosen car’s tyres are all in good order before agreeing to pay for them. If they are not, then ask the dealer to replace them for you.
3. Car Battery
Another thing that you need to check is the car’s battery, especially if it has been sitting around in the dealer’s lot for a long time, not being used. When cars are left unused for long periods of time it’s not uncommon for their batteries to run flat. It is especially important to check your chosen car’s battery if you are buying an electric car. Electric car batteries can cost a fortune to replace. If the battery isn’t in good condition when you buy a car, then you could have to replace it shortly afterwards, which could be very expensive.
4. Testing Electrics
You also need to test the car’s electrics. Make sure that the lights, radio, and anything else that is electrical in nature work properly. Very few people check car electrics when they are buying a used car, which is a big mistake. If a car’s electrics aren’t working then it is a sign that the car has been used excessively. While it is easy to fix electrics, it is usually best to just avoid buying such a vehicle.
What’s the point in paying big money for a used car if the upholstery isn’t in good order? The only time that you shouldn’t really care about the condition of the upholstery is if you are getting a fantastic deal or are buying a used car for next to nothing, just for work. It can be very expensive to replace or repair a car’s upholstery, especially if it is leather. If the upholstery is dirty, then ask the dealer to give it a clean before you buy it. If it is damaged, try to negotiate the price down, or just pass on the car.
6. Scratches and Dents
Check the car’s exterior for any scratches and dents, too. Minor scratches and dents are not the end of the world and do not really impact a car’s price. However, more serious ones will reduce a vehicle’s price significantly. If the car you are interested in buying has any scratches or dents, then try to negotiate the price down. You can easily buff out dents from a car, so they aren’t the end of the world. Use dents and scratches as leverage to get yourself a better deal.
7. Checking History
Lastly, check your chosen car’s history online. If you are in the United Kingdom, you can perform an MOT check. If you are in the United States, the process is a little different but is still very straightforward. Checking the car’s history will help you to get an idea of how it has been used, and what problems the car has had. If your chosen car has had to be repaired every single year or has had very serious issues in the past, then you should avoid buying it, because it will probably develop problems in the future.
Buying a used car can be difficult at the best of times. Car dealers are notorious for talking people’s ears off, distracting them, and then trying to make huge commissions on them. If you follow this post’s guide then you will be able to avoid buying a worthless car and ensure that you get value for money.