Important Things You Need To Check Before Buying A Used Car
Owning a car is so important for many people.
13:41 20 August 2020
It is often necessary to get to work, to get the kids to school and to go grocery shopping for our families. If you live in a rural area or in a city where there is a lack of public transport available, it can be impossible to get by without a car. Due to the costs and other difficulties in purchasing a new vehicle, used cars have become a more attractive alternative to many people. We all know that the value of a new car declines enormously the moment you drive it out of the dealership. However, purchasing a quality used car presents its own set of challenges, and requires a lot of technical knowledge about cars and what to check for.
This article will explain some of the fundamental aspects that you should check when buying a second-hand vehicle, so you will be much better prepared the next time you want to buy a used car.
Inspect the Car’s Interior and Exterior
You need to check both the outside and inside of the used car before buying, paying far more attention to its condition than you need to when buying a new car. For the exterior, you should check for everything from minor dents to large areas of damage. A used car that has not been in an accident will have its body panels line up evenly, and it will be easy to close the door, trunk, and hood.
For the interior, you can try sitting in all the seats and see if there is anything not in its right order. You should also look under the carpets and floor mats for any signs of water damage, and check under the car for signs of leakage. Black fluid might indicate oil leakage, red fluid could be a leak in transmission or power, and other colors of fluid such as green, yellow, or pink might be a leak in antifreeze. Any type of leakage could be a problem that will require potentially costly repairs after your purchase.
Check the Seller’s Driving Record
If you are buying the car from a private seller then it is a good idea to check their driving record to make sure that they don’t have a history of care related crimes or hit and runs. The experts at dmvrecords.us.org explain that if a deal seems too good to be true, the seller may be trying to get rid of the car in a hurry because it is stolen or it has been involved in some kind of incident. Always be aware of what a car should be worth and if it seems suspiciously cheap, be very wary. The DMV can provide you with various information about the seller’s state and federal records so make sure you do your due diligence before you hand over a large amount of money to a stranger.
Go for a Test Drive
There is no better way to find out a car’s performance and whether it will suit your needs than to go for a test drive. A test drive will show you the condition of the car, whether it has any noticeable issue while running, and if there’s an issue with the brakes, windscreen wipers or lights. It will also give you a sense of how well you can handle the vehicle and whether it will be comfortable for you and your family. It is best to drive the car on different types of roads and at different speeds so you can pinpoint any issues with the transmission and suspension. While doing the test drive, you should pay attention to any strange clicking sounds which may indicate a problem with the engine or the electronics in the car.
Look Up the Vehicle History Report
As well as the seller’s record, you can also look up a used car by using its Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). This will help you verify if the car’s VIN information matches its vehicle title and records. There are some websites where you can check this information such as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or the NHTSA's Safety Issues and Recalls, which will provide information if the car needs to be recalled for repair. You can also use the VIN to get the vehicle history report online, although with a fee, or directly through your dealer.
Consider the Mileage
The mileage can provide useful information, but it’s not necessarily the determining factor for a good or bad car. You can however use this information to confirm your doubts on other aspects and reach a conclusion on the overall condition of the car. For example, a car with high mileage might mean it has been used a lot, and if you spot other small matters with the engine, then it probably means the engines and components are probably not as good as the dealer advertises. Low mileage may seem more appealing as it suggests less wear on the car, but if the car is not used consistently, but rather infrequently, it may cause the plastic and rubber components to dry out and need more repairs in the long run. So checking the mileage should go hand in hand with checking how the vehicle has been kept up with maintenance.
Buying a used won’t set you back financially as much as buying a brand new car, but it is still a significant investment. You must take your time to check these important aspects of the car before making the decision. It is best not to let the dealer rush you or take advantage of your lack of knowledge but gently resists their advances, maintain a healthy amount of doubt about the dealer’s claims regarding the car and assert your rights as a customer to demand as much information as you need from them. Remember that the more you understand about the car, the more likely you will be to buy a car that fits you, and the better position you will be in negotiating for a good price.