Things To Consider When Buying A Second-Hand Car
Buying a used car is usually a daunting task that vehicle owners or would be car owners have to undergo sometimes in their lifetime. In this simple guide, we outline some of the key things to consider when buying a second-hand car.
Now, most people get sentimentally attached to their cars, and given an option, they would prefer staying with their cars forever and never sell them. Unless one is a dealer, a few people would want to sell their cars if they developed a mechanical problem.
This already makes you want to be wary. But we’ve got you covered in this guide as you now have a near fool-proof checklist against which you could get way ahead of the curve against cons.
Vehicle History Check
Checking vehicle history is such a huge step you would never want to skip. This is chiefly because you could just discover a whole lot of red flags and safety issues in the car you are about to buy.
First, you could find out if the vehicle has an outstanding car loan on it even as the owners are putting it up for sale.
The other problem is that you are likely to find out if the vehicle has been involved in serious accidents in the past or even if they were written off.
If you are a law-abiding citizen like most people and you wouldn’t want to go through the experience of finding out later that the car you bought was stolen, then you will check the car's history.
Usually, checking your car history does not set you back as much as dealing with the investigators who may catch up with you.
Establish the Value of the Car
Now, like everyone else, you wouldn’t want to get less for more. So, you should do your own research about the value for similar used cars on different e-commerce websites.
This research will kind of give you a much-needed heads-up when it comes to haggling for a cut.
However, this research may not be conclusive as vehicles are different and this means you will somehow have to physically assess the condition of the car before you actually commit.
Find the Car Owner's Manual
One of the most ignored checks is the car owner’s manual. This document is very important as it lets you into the parts of the car that you could miss if you only took a quick spot check.
You should never leave it entirely on the car seller to provide the manual as it may have been lost or damaged depending on how careful they were. You could access websites like OwnerManual.co to get an idea of the car before you even see it physically.
Check for Clocking
Some sellers are cunning and may want to sneak away a few thousand miles from the odometer to increase the value of the car. To ensure you are safe from this malpractice, always observe the car based on the year of manufacture. If you feel that something is amiss, chances are it could be.
Check for cuts and Shuts
To avoid being a victim of cut-and-shut (a situation where two or more vehicles previously involved in an accident are illegally welded together.)
But you have one advantage over this. A physical examination of under the carpets, paintwork or the shape of the car could let you know this. Any irregular weld should raise your suspicion.
Check the Tires
While tires in themselves wear out regularly, the pattern in the wearing out could indicate a whole new problem in the car that you could miss from simple observation.
Irregular tire wear could mean the wheels are improperly aligned, and could result in more parts being damaged.
Vehicle Registration Number
One thing you actually never want to miss is the vehicle registration number. This number can be found at the base of the windshield, just below the carpet of the driver’s seat and under the bonnet.
You should ensure that the registration number on the vehicle log book is the same as the one on these three areas.
From the vehicle registration document, you are also able to see the previous vehicle owners of the car you are about to buy.
Check for Locks and Windows
Another important thing is to check the car windows and locks for any signs of burglary. If you notice that the locks are different, it could be a glaring sign that the car has been broken into in the past.
Also observe the condition of the windows and the sunroof (if any) before you actually settle down on the car of your choice. If it has been broken into in the past, it means it could be done again.