If you are looking at purchasing a vehicle but don’t want to break the bank, buying second-hand is a great option. A lot of the time, You will need to make sure that the vehicle has a valid roadworthy certificate. If you or the seller buy one too early, it may expire. can find an incredible deal, and if you do need to get a loan, it won’t take as long to pay back.
However, you do need to be careful when going about the process. The last thing you want is to hand over your cash and have it break down less than a day later.
Below, we are going to be discussing some important tips that you should remember if you are considering buying a used vehicle.
Sound interesting? Then keep on reading.
Table of Contents
Establish your budget first.
Before you make any significant life purchase, the first thing you need to do is establish a budget. Second-hand cars come in all different shapes, sizes, and price points, and you want to make sure that you don’t overspend.
Remember, it’s not just the initial cost of the vehicle you need to keep in mind. From your insurance to gas, inspections, and maintenance. It would be best if you calculated it all.
Search and compare prices online.
If you haven’t purchased a vehicle for a while or are buying a car for the first time, heading online to get an idea of what is available is a wise choice. Check out this Suzuki Swift price, for example. Alongside seeing the cost, you can access a wide range of information regarding the model, size, and amount of miles.
As well as checking out your options, you can also use this time to assess the reliability of a dealership. Look for reviews and complaints to see if any other customers have had issues. While the odd one here and there is to be expected, any more than a few should be considered a warning sign.
Prepare a list of questions.
When you have found a vehicle that you are interested in, you want to contact the seller first to confirm that all of the online information is accurate. Before you make the phone call, prepare a list of questions so that you don’t forget anything. Some to help you get started include:
– How long have you owned the vehicle? Did you buy it new or used?
– Has the vehicle ever been badly damaged and repaired?
– What is your reason for selling it?
– Are there any issues that did not show up in the photos?
– Has there been any modifications?
– Can you provide any documentation of its previous history?
– What features does the vehicle have?
Know what you need to check.
Once you do go to see a car in person, whether it be at a dealership or privately, it’s essential to understand all the things you need to check. Some areas, such as testing the radio or horn, can be easily forgotten about. Here are a few things you’ll need to look into:
– Engine – Check under the hood for any strange noises. You’ll also need to look at the oil dipstick and oil filler cap.
– Tires – Observe tread depth and overall wear and tear. If one tire is worse than the other, there could be an alignment issue.
– Fluids – Radiator coolant and other fluids should be clean and rust-free. It’s also essential to check for leaks as they could end up leading to significant repairs.
– Lights – Have a friend nearby to let you know if all the lights are working correctly. This includes your taillights, indicators, headlights, etc.
– Equipment – From the air conditioning to the reverse camera and power windows. Test every little piece of equipment to ensure it is in working order.
– Exhaust – Smoke and strange noises that come from underneath your car indicate an exhaust issue.
– Body – Observe the exterior of the vehicle for any severe damages and scratches. It’s also important to make sure each door/exit opens and closes correctly.
– Interior– Look for stains, broken parts and damages to the upholstery. A poorly kept interior generally means a poorly maintained vehicle.
Take a look at this 27 point checklist for more information. Trust us when we say you won’t regret being prepared.
Always take a test drive.
One of the most vital things to remember before you make your decision is to go for a test drive. This will help with your final checks to ensure everything is in working order. Start when the engine is cold and test out various speeds on different surfaces. This will give you a good indication on how it will operate in certain conditions.
Remember to use your senses and pay attention to any interesting sounds and smells. If something doesn’t feel quite right, it’s better to wait and look for something else. This is one of those times when you should trust your gut.
Request for all important documents.
If buying privately, it’s absolutely vital that you request all the necessary documents before finalizing the sale. You’ll need to inspect the registration papers and check that everything matches accordingly. Without doing this, you may end up buying something with illegal modifications or, worse, a car that has been stolen. You also want to see a record of any inspections and maintenance so that you are aware of any previous issues.
Apply for insurance ASAP.
Finally, the last thing you’ll need to do after you have found your new “used” car is to make sure that you apply for insurance ASAP. An accident can happen at any time, so realistically you should get it organized before you even think about getting behind the wheel. You’ll have greater peace of mind knowing that you are financially protected.
And that’s it. While it might seem like a bit of a daunting process at first, by following the above, doing your research, and being patient, you can find a great second-hand car that ticks all of your boxes.