Top 10 Tips for Buying a Second-Hand Car

Despite the prevailing excellence of brand-new automobile models and choices now out in the market, there will always be good reasons to purchase a used or second-hand car. Foremost, buying a second-hand car gives you the opportunity of acquiring a particular model at its depreciated price, which you were not able to afford when it was launched at its model year. Secondly, you may have perhaps the funds to purchase a second-hand car and just don’t prefer scheduling payments over a longer time period like the usual instalment procedures of purchasing a brand-new car. Lastly, you may have perhaps wisely decided and viewed the value in a second-hand car in lieu of a new one, especially when you use it in your business operations and discover that you save more money in that manner.

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However, purchasing a second-hand car has its disadvantages too. The unit’s trustworthiness and reliability will now usually depend upon several factors— vehicle mileage, driving and maintenance habits of the erstwhile owner and the engineering standards of the vehicle’s manufacturer— compared to buying a brand-new unit, where the vehicle is expected to have everything operating perfectly. Hereunder are some guidelines to consider and evaluate prior to revving up and taking the driver’s seat of a second-hand car:

Top 10 Tips for Buying a Second-Hand Car.

1. Avail for a copy of the vehicle’s schedule of periodic maintenance. Just to let you know what it is to buy a used car, it is important to have a background of the vehicle’s maintenance schedules. More spare parts will actually require replacement as the vehicle possesses a higher mileage. Generally, parts start to wear out upon reaching the 60,000km to 70,000km mileage range. Initially, this range incurs relatively affordable replacement expenses such as fuel filters and brake pads, but it could gradually and steadily call for much more expensive replacements like a new A/C compressor and radiator, or even an overhaul of the transmission and engine itself.

2. Be thrift-wise. It is desirable to be thrifty when purchasing; but, holding off on a new part replacement tends to be costly in the long run. Delaying a much-needed part replacement usually creates a domino effect of damages. And, instead costing you only a petty sum on a minor replacement in the first place, you will be spending more on eventual major repairs.

3. Create two different purchasing budgets. First, have a budget for purchasing the unit. Second, set aside a budget for the expenses of making the car trustworthy and roadworthy. As a rule of thumb, the budget for repairs should be at least 20% of the purchase price. You will certainly be stressed and pressured when you don’t have this secondary budget midst rising parts replacement, repairs and other car problems. But on the brighter side, maintenance and repair costs occur occasionally, and do not really pose as much of a constraint as the frequent monthly amortizations of purchasing a brand-new car.

4. Investigate and research on the car. Check out the car’s features, values and reputation at the Internet, or with friends who have once owned a similar model that you desire. Being aware gives you the necessary points in weighing out your decision of buying. Visit a few second-hand car dealerships to compare with its prices, or websites for relative costs of parts replacements, and note down the following auto sales shops that have a wide inventory of parts for your prospective car.

5. Perform thorough inspections on the vehicle. It pays to have the vehicle thoroughly inspected together with a mechanic. Check minor issues regarding the vehicle’s paint quality during daytime, and see for spots that slightly match with the other panels. These are hints that some of the vehicle’s portions may have been dented, scratched, and retouched with masilya or body filler putty, and repainted over. As for the vehicle’s interiors, check out the seats if they still have appropriate cushioning; tug on seatbelts if they are still in working condition; try out the instrumentation panel if all the lights, wipers, windshield washer and gauges still operate; and, test for the lowest and highest settings of the air conditioner, and witness its immediate cooling time duration. Major issues call for checking the engine bay and search for hints of body fillers; this will connote that the car has undergone a front-end collision, which entails unreliability and unworthiness.

6. Check out pairs of rubbers. This does not mean that you don’t have the capacity to buy a new set of tires; but, you must be alarmed about mismatched pairs of rubbers, and the previous owner’s incapacity of at least replacing these basic car parts with its standard specifications. It only reflects the previous owner’s attitude relevant to other maintenance issues of the vehicle.

7. Get the vehicle’s servicing records. You should avail the vehicle’s maintenance information— either it is the log that was primarily issued to the car, or filed receipts accumulated by the seller from having the car serviced outside the original car dealer’s in-house shop.

8. Test-drive the unit. It is a basic, yet, very important requirement for you to test-drive the car. This test, along with other simple tests, reveals the car’s performance and its nature that you ought to know. It is advised that you hire and bring along a mechanic with you, so you will be informed about the problems of the car. Jot down all of these concerns and decide whether or not you still desire for the unit and willing to repair the problems. When you finally decide and handle the repairs, this can become your bargaining tool for negotiating for the final purchasing price.

9. Observe the seller’s overall mood and outlook. Transacting for a second-hand vehicle purchase also entails studying the psychological aspect and disposition of the seller. Observe the seller’s eagerness, coolness or reluctance to sell you the car. You must be good at spotting the nuances of a liar. Never hesitate to ask questions directly, but in a polite manner, of course; find consistencies through the seller’s responses. Always be on your guard regardless of how alluring the car is.

10. Possess an adventurous spirit. Having the mindset of turning the transaction into a proposed project vehicle really helps in deciding your purchase. It gives you inputs about what you really intend your car to be and for what purpose does it serves. Upon buying your desired car, there are also several ways to make it a fun and interesting project. Since the car is out of warranty, you are free from the stresses of service rates from the dealership, and you can fix it up and modify it to have lots of fun blazing trails without being guilty about denting or scratching a brand-new car.

The bottom line is that, even if purchasing a second-hand car will be your sole vehicle for daily driving, you have to possess an adventurous spirit. Your car may no longer exude that brand-new scent, but owning a desirable, second-hand car can be a lot of fun when you only learn the proprieties of how to get it and recognize what experiences you are getting into.

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