Purchasing a brand-new vehicle has become increasingly tough these days, due to the shortages caused by Covid. However, you still have a chance to own a ride cheaply if you go for a used car. With that said, this purchase will not be a walk in the park; you can’t be over vigilant and let go of the vehicle you like or take it easy and end up with a spitting old piece of scrap wrapped in glossy new paint.
In other words, you need levelheadedness and a good understanding of vehicles to get one under your budget. In this post, we will explain things that you should look for when buying a used car. So, let’s get started!
The first thing you should consider before buying a secondhand vehicle is your requirements. Ask yourself the following:
• What should be the size of my vehicle
• How many miles I have to travel everyday
• How much luggage space I need
• How powerful the engine should be
• What should be its fuel efficiency
• And lastly your budget
With these questions answered, you can narrow down your car type. For instance, if you need a vehicle for your family offering a good luggage space, an SUV would be an excellent choice. On the other hand, if you need it to commute between home and office, an executive sedan is definitely more suitable. Apart from these, you should consider other aspects, such as your choice of drivetrain, safety and security facilities, and so on.
Now that you have decided on the type of vehicle you require, it is time to start your search. We suggest you first consult with your friends and family having experience in buying used cars. Ask them about the best-used car dealerships, the best online automotive marketplaces, the most reliable pre-owned vehicles, and other relevant questions.
Furthermore, you must study the resale value of the vehicle you want to buy because it will matter a lot when you have to sell it later. A car that you like with a low resale value will be a hassle in your selling pursuit. Similarly, a fuel-thirsty vehicle will be a hard sell, so consider good fuel efficiency as a crucial factor in making your buying decision.
Other factors you should keep in mind are the vehicle’s reliability and safety features. You do not want your vehicle to spend most of its time at a workshop, asking you to pay hefty bills for repairs.
Inspect the Vehicle
Either you find your dream vehicle on the internet or at a dealer’s forecourt; you should thoroughly inspect it before the purchase. If you are a novice in this regard, bring a petrol-head friend or a mechanic for inspection. Here are a few things you should inspect:
The first thing you see is the vehicle’s exterior, so start by searching for scratches, dents, and rust. Leave the little dings and scratches and focus on bigger sections of damage. Check the body panels for signs of accidents, and open & close the doors, hood, and trunk to find how smoothly they move. Moreover, inspect the coat on the inside of the hood, trunk, and doors to identify restoration and recoating.
Hop in to inspect the seating, and wear and tear signs. Beware of the musty smell; it could be due to a leak or water damage.
Besides checking the exterior and interior, you must inspect the vehicle for leaks. Lay under the car to observe fluid leaks; black, green, yellow, pink, or red - any fluid outflow is a big red flag.
Take a Test Drive
Once you feel gratified with the exterior and interior inspection, it is time to take the vehicle for a spin. Turn the key to the accessory position to see all the dashboard warning lights. If a light does not illuminate here or stays on when you turn the ignition, you should be suspicious.
Once the engine starts, listen to its sound. A tapping and clicking sound is a sign of trouble. During the test drive, make sure you run the vehicle on different types of roads. Drive it fast and slow to experience the transmission's efficiency. Use all the electronics and apply various safety systems while driving to see if they are operating properly. Apply the brakes, be cautious of any noise, and ensure the vehicle does not pull to one side.
In addition, check the fuel efficiency if you are concerned about keeping your fuel bills low.
Verify a Fair Purchase Price
If everything is good to go for the purchase, the last and most crucial thing is the vehicle’s price. Remember, you always have room to negotiate the price with the seller, but for that, you must know the fair purchase price. Fortunately, we have classified sites and online tools from KBB, National Automobile Dealers Association Guides, etc, where you can analyze the prices of used models.
Following these used car buying tips, we are sure you will be able to get yourself a robust vehicle. Do not rush into things; take your time, and do not mind repeating the process for another used car if you find a discrepancy.