8 Handy Tips for Second Hand Cars Buyers : Buying Second Hand Car Documents
The brand-new car market may be at an all-time high today, with more models becoming more accessible to buyers than ever. However, secondhand cars are still king when you want your own ride on a budget.
Since everyone is not a pro in checking pre-loved cars, we covered some of the most important points in case you’re buying a secondhand car. Check them out here:
Visit a Certified “Pre-owned” Showroom
Before you comb through classifieds for cars, check WITH your preferred dealership if they offer certified pre-owned vehicles.
Certified pre-owned cars are used cars that are rigorously tested by the manufacturers themselves before reselling. As the cars are guaranteed by the car makers themselves, you can be certain of their quality and you can take it back to the dealership if it performs otherwise.
Although cheaper than buying a brand-new car, certified pre-owned cars are not for those on a really tight budget as their mostly later-model units and still rather costly.
Check auto reselling lots as a second option
If certified pre-owned cars are too expensive for you, take a trip to your nearest secondhand car reseller and check their inventory.
One disadvantage here would be that, unlike a pre-owned car from a manufacturer, you don’t really know what kind of tests vehicles offered at car re-sellers have gone through. So you’re not as sure about the quality of a vehicle. However, you’re bound to get better rates from their cars for sale so weigh your options carefully.
Check the mileage
According to Top Gear, wear and tear shows its symptoms once the mileage clocks at around 60,000 kilometers. When buying a vehicle, you have to consider how long it has been on the road. The longer car has been used, the more prone it is to breakage.
While secondhand cars with a high number registered on the odometer means that they have been used extensively already, it doesn’t mean they’re bad already. Periodic maintenance can offset a vehicle’s age, and it can extend its road-worthiness if done correctly and regularly.
Get the service records
Diligent car owners know how important receipts are; they show future users how frequent the car makes a trip to the service center. It’s not the pieces of paper themselves that matter, but what they stand for. They mean that the previous owner took the time to keep his car in tiptop shape. As previously stated, periodic maintenance is a good way to keep the car in optimal running condition regardless of the age.
Do your research
Before you even consider taking a used car for a test drive, be sure to do some research on some of the most basic stuff like the year of the make and model, flooding in the seller’s area for the past few years, recalls for specific units, and others to help you make an informed decision when buying used cars. It is a wise move to do thorough research to avoid being scammed.
Ask for an inspection
Spending a day with your choice of secondhand car and make sure to look out for warning signs that the car isn’t as good a deal as it looks.
For instance, panels where there’s obvious discoloration and uneven surfaces may tell a history of an undeclared collision. Meanwhile, signs of a flooded car can include moldy smell inside the vehicle, corrosion and trapped bubbles in hidden parts like the chassis.
Sometimes, it’s the little things that tell you about the rough history of the car—and you’ll understand why the seller is desperately pushing you to take it off his hands.
Let a mechanic friend tag along
If you have a friend who works with or even just knows cars, you might want to ask them to tag along with you when you test drive the car. Your trustworthy friend will read the car’s fine print and check if there are red flags in place where you can’t see. Even if you’re knowledgeable with cars, it pays to have a fresh set of critical eyes looking at your prospective secondhand car. It is always good to have a second opinion after all.
Consider your budget
To properly plan your budget, you have to prepare for the total cost of the vehicle as well additional money for repairs that might arise from the use of the car. Consider applying for a loan if you feel like your current savings won’t be able to cover an amount you can set aside for future repairs. If you’re getting a car loan, don’t forget to keep some money for your emergency fund as well. This ensures that even when the car decides to act up while you’re on the road, you have extra money to cover it up.