The word ‘second-hand’ in current time has been wrongly associated with bad quality and risky transactions. Especially when you are, where the money at stake would be high, there is much to be thought and planned before buying it. It is generally seen people who intend to buy a second-hand car are unnecessarily stressed out as they generally know very little about automobiles and what to check when they are buying a used one. Some stores might give you a deal too good to be true, dealing in substandard and faulty cars. There are some simple tips which have to be kept in mind to ensure that you get the best deal.
- Know your needs: This is the first step to go for when you are indulging in a purchase. Make sure that the type of car you need, matches with the type of car you are going for. Where a hatchback car is good for your daily use, an SUV would be fit for you if you need a big boot space and seating capacity whereas a sedan gives you the feel of luxury and comfort.
An impulsive action in making a decision could end up in spending a lot on a car which would give you only a short-term benefit. You should be clear about your budget and the source of that money which could either be your savings, loan or both.
- Looks can be deceptive: When you see a car which is totally spic and span from the outside, you might assume that the car as a whole is in a good condition. However, there is a great chance that the engine health, brake system or the frame could be damaged or in a bad condition. So do not let yourself be tempted by the looks of the car alone.
- The Test Drive: The easiest way to learn about the health and condition of the vehicle, even for a layman is taking a test drive. Even small glitches during a test drive could be a clue to a major problem. Testing the acceleration, braking mechanism, and mileage during the test drive can give you a hint about the engine’s health. If the engine is noisy while acceleration or brakes screech while testing the braking mechanism, could point towards the requirement of major repairs in the automobile.
- A visual inspection (engine specific): A visual inspection might just do the drill to point out superfluous errors in the car. Checking the exteriors is not the only thing which you should do while inspecting a used vehicle, but also checking the interiors (the dashboard, seat covers etc.) and the engine could be important. If you see leaking fluids or a dirty engine, you should directly refuse the car as it could mean an overused vehicle with a lack of maintenance. Use your olfactory senses and check under the hood for a burnt odor, which could very well point towards burnt oil.
You can also have a quick look under the car to check for any oil leaks. Smoke from exhausts, low levels of oil and some modifications should make you question the quality of the vehicle.
- Vehicle history report: A vehicle with some major accidents or repairs could mean that the condition of the vehicle is highly deteriorated. You should ask for the number of accidents of the vehicle and the miles it has been driven, the lesser the number the better the car.
- Selection: Buying a used car from a dealer would mean more number of choices but could be costlier, and from an individual, it could be riskier but cheaper. It is preferable if you choose a dealer who refurbishes a car and takes a mechanic for expert inspection of the vehicle.