Buying a used car

Buying a used car can be a great way to get away with the hefty price tag of a new car. this article gives a guideline and checklist to look for when buying a used car.

1. Buying a used car, here is what to look at

Buying a used car can be a great way to get away with the hefty price tag of a new car. But finding the right vehicle can be hectic when at first sight all of them look clean and nice, such that your hands are itching to touch every steering wheel and put the cars on the road test. But still, there are risks whether you are buying from an independent trader or an approved dealer.

Before closing the deal, you might want to keep this rule in your mind: but with your head. Cars, like clothes and electronics, are resold. Resold ones tend to have hidden problems if not checked properly; they can go undetected during a short road test or a simple visual check. Once your head is in the right place, it’s time to go shopping.


Here is a guide to help you when planning to take one home:

Where to buy

There are just many places to shop for used cars. Each shop tends to have a different service and price range. Check out at service providers, individual sellers, or private car dealers.


Choose the right car

Before contacting sellers, make sure you have researched the car you want to buy and the price range.  Be at the frontier, with more knowledge about the general features, and the specifications of the car you desire. Choosing your seating can be another way to help you get the right one. A small car has 2-3 seats, medium, 4-5, large,6-8, extra-large car has 9+ seats. Ask for leads and pointers from friends and colleagues who have bought second cars. Their opinions and suggestions can be helpful. Also, check out the latest car listings in newspapers, magazines, or websites.


Define your budget

Planning your budget helps you get the car you can afford. Your budget can consist of the cost of owning it, that is, the cost of interest on your loan, how much you will have to pay to insure your car, parking, and most maintenance costs.


Condition of the car 

  •  The interior and general conditions are also checklists you should look in. The car should be free from any defects. The average car will rack up to about 20,000km each year. With such mileage, the car should be almost like new. Worn-out seats and steering wheels could be enough proof that something is hidden. Check all the equipment if they work. That is, from the lights to the locks and general controls of the cars. Check for rips, tears, and holes on the dashboards, window, and sunroof. Air conditions, fans, parking sensors, reverse camera, power windows, the navigation system, and stereo, are part of the interior. Check for any damage. If you spot anything, alert the trader, to repair it or you can budget for the repair.
  • Engine -Before taking the car, you might also want to check if the engine is running smoothly and mostly quietly when driving. Check if the oil dipstick is normal. If normal, the oil should be honey-colored or black if it is diesel, but when different color is seen, you should see the service book to confirm that the car has been serviced properly and regularly.
  • Leaks - Look around the engine, and underneath for any signs of leaks. Such leaks indicate poor maintenance, and potential repairs could be costly if not detected early.


Vehicle history.

It is a written report by the car owner to help you know what you are buying and the details of where the car has been. The car's history allows you to know the mileage against what is displayed on the dashboard. It helps you know if the car was involved in accidents. Check if there are suspicious markings on it.

Vehicle history also contains the Vehicle Identification Number that can reveal a lot about the car.  Look up the Vehicle Identification Number starting from the Department of Motor Vehicles, Registry of Motor Vehicles, or police sources, to see if the identification number matches the vehicle's title and records.


Test drive

After checking the general condition of the car and you feel satisfied, it’s now time to take the car for a test drive. This is the most important part when buying a used car.  Put the car through paces to the mileage it can go. Test its maneuverability and braking. Test the car on the highways, rough roads, or try parking it anywhere to get a feel for any blind spots the car might have. Have someone to help you check the car. Most traders are willing to take the driving test with you.


Double-check paperwork

When it comes to paperwork, make sure you cover all including transfer documents, insurance, car logbook, double-check if they are correctly filled and done.  If you feel contented with everything, purchase your lovely car and enjoy the comforts that come with it.