Buying a pre-owned car can help you save a lot of money. However, unless you do your research, you could end up regretting your purchase. While getting the right used car can sometimes seem like a gamble, here’s a checklist of things that you can go over to ensure you buy the right car.
- Research Your Options: Before you start contacting car owners or visiting dealerships, it’s important to do a little groundwork. You can start doing this by understanding what type of car you need. For instance, if you need a car to commute to work on a daily basis, you may want to consider buying a hatchback, which is compact and perfect for city driving conditions. On the other hand, if you go off-roading quite often, you may want to buy an SUV instead. Also, make sure to check the basic maintenance costs, features and options, aging price points, and the type of problems that are likely to occur in the type of car you intend to purchase,
- Inspect the Car: Once you’ve done your research, you can contact dealerships or private car owners, and then go check out the car. When you go to see the vehicle, check the exterior for dents, uneven panels, condition of the tire tread, light function, etc. The interior should also not have any offensive smells, moisture damage, overly worn upholstery, etc. You should also check whether all the switches and controls inside the car are working properly. Check under the hood for any leakages too.
- Take the Car on a Test Drive: This is the most important aspect of your inspection. Your test drive should ideally last at least 20 minutes, if not more, so you get a feel of the car’s handling. Look out for any unusual sounds, check if the car accelerates smoothly, and make sure the brakes are performing well. Doing this will give you a good idea of how the car has been used and maintained by the previous owner.
After the test drive, it’s best to get the car inspected by a professional mechanic. Also, get the vehicle history report. It’s also best that you check whether the seller has the registration and title of the vehicle in hand.