At some point in nearly every person’s life, they will find that the time has come for them to buy a used car. It doesn’t happen to everyone, some lucky souls are blessed with riches from birth, while some others have created enough success in their chosen career to enable them to splurge on a brand new car fresh from the factory, but the reality for most of us average working folk is going to be throwing the dice and hoping we acquire a halfway decent formerly owned vehicle. There is always bound to be some risk inherent in making this purchase, you might even call it taking a gamble, but there are some things we can do to help us purchase a peach instead of a lemon.
Price Check – There are a huge variety of car models available on the used market, and not all of them were created equally. It’s important for you to run a car valuation on any vehicle you are considering purchasing in order to get at least a ballpark figure on a fair price to pay for it. Forewarned is forearmed when it’s time to make an offer!
Vehicle History – Obtaining a record of all that has befallen a used car is a critical step in the buying process. It’s possible that it really was only driven by the proverbial little old lady from Pasadena, but you had best double check that claim! A vehicle’s history report should include a list of the previous owners, any accidents it has suffered, all repairs and modifications made, and of course the odometer reading, because after all, it’s not the years, it’s the mileage! A car with a long list of accidents is much more likely to need more upkeep than one that hasn’t suffered any. You can’t expect perfection, but you should be realistic about how many warts you can reasonably tolerate.
Kick The Tyres – Well, not literally, but yes, you are going to want to perform a full vehicle checkup before you buy. It is important to check the tyres, of course, looking for uneven wear and sufficient tread depth. If they aren’t in reasonably decent shape then you must consider the cost of replacing them when deciding on the price you will pay! Also look for signs of body damage like rust, dents, knicks, and the alignment of the body panels, as well as signs of repainting. A car that has suffered a large amount of damage is likely to age faster than one that has not. Always look under the hood, that’s why you brought your mechanic friend with you!
Test Drive – This is where the deal hits the road, and it’s a make-or-break ride. Make sure to test all the lights and check the instruments, but the main thing is, how does it feel driving it? Trust your gut on that one!
Here in Australia, you should make sure to check your state or territory’s laws regarding your rights and responsibilities when making a used car purchase. We wish you all the best in acquiring your used car, and just remember, it will be new to you!