Photo by Vasyl Dolmatov @123rf.com
Are you thinking of buying a car, and your budget is a little tight? Well, you’ll want to consider getting a used car. Buying a used car is the easiest way to get your wheels on the road without digging deep in your pockets.
Buying a used car can be a hassle – you don’t want to end up with a car full of defects that’ll get you visiting the mechanic every week. However, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. The following tips will help you acquire a quality car.
Inspect the Exterior
Park the car on level ground to check out for as scratches, sagging parts underneath the vehicle, or rusted metal parts. If they can easily be fixed, you can overlook that. However, if they are significant, you’ll want to reconsider.
Ensure the tires are in good condition or evenly worn out. Uneven wearing is an indication of poor wheel alignment, which is a driving hazard.
Don’t overlook the trunk. Ensure it opens and closes easily without any obstacles. Be on the lookout for water damage and rust, holes cracks, or any other signs of wear and tear.
Inspect the undercarriage and the exhaust system of the car. Black spots and rust on the exhaust could be a sign of leakages. If you notice greasy grime on your finger when you touch the exhaust pipes when the engine is cool, there’s possibly a bigger underlying problem.
Check the Vehicle History
Some sellers resort to selling vehicles with severe underlying problems, or an ugly history of accidents and severe damage.
In the vehicle history, you’ll find information on the car’s performance, underlying problems and repairs. The owner updates the report anytime they take the care for service.
Other cars might lack maintenance reports because the servicing was done at home. In such a case, receipts will suffice, don’t hesitate to demand them.
Check the Vehicle Interior
Sit inside the car and check out all its interior. Ensure the seats don’t have any signs of tearing, ripping, staining, or any other damage, and they’re also freely adjustable.
Turn on the air conditioner to make sure it is working correctly. If the car has an onboard computer, check out if its also working correctly.
Check out the speedometer, rare cameras, digital displays, hazards and indicators, and any other sensors and ensure they’re working correctly.
Take an Expert With You
Bring along a trusted friend with vast automotive know-how, preferably a mechanic. Such will check out things you could have overlooked, or you’re not aware of.
Ensure the mechanic you carry along has good reviews to avoid getting scammed. Where possible, go for used cars with warranty.
Negotiate the Price
A car sale is an agreement, and often the price is not fixed. The seller usually starts with a higher rate to allow room for negotiation. No matter how good the deal sounds, always negotiate a better price. Use the car’s unflattering parts to gain an edge of the negotiations.
Be sure to stick to your preset budget. Remember, it’s alright to walk away if the deal is unreasonable or way above your anticipated spending.
Take a Test Drive
The test drive is the most critical stage of buying a used car. Be alert to watch the car movement, response, and sound to identify possible underlying problems.
Drive the car at different speeds and watch its response. Start by driving it at 15-20 mph on a flat road, then accelerate further to 60 mph while watching for such things as wobbling and car stability on the road.
While at it, slightly move your hands off the steering wheels. If the car swerves to the left or right, then it might need wheel alignments, or worse, it might be a sign of a bigger problem.
Test if the brake pedal is working correctly. The easiest way to do this is by pressing them down hard while driving at 30 mph in a low traffic area. Vibrations or strange sounds from the brakes is an indicator of malfunctioning.
Ready for The Ride?
Getting a used car can be the easiest way to hit the roads. Tempting as it may seem, don’t rush through the process. Thoroughly inspect with a trusted professional to ensure it’s in good condition. The above tips will help.