When buying a used car from an individual or dealership, it is incredibly easy to get a bad deal. The seller probably doesn’t have your best interests at heart, and they’re more concerned with getting your money than anything else. For that reason, you need to be careful and read through lots of advice before arranging any viewings. Don’t worry if you’re not exactly a petrol head as none of the tips we’re going to list require you to understand much about engines. Failure to pay attention to the guidance below could result in you wasting thousands of dollars and being unable to return the product. That is something you don’t want to happen.
Research different models online
There are hundreds of reputable car websites that publish a full inventory of used cars online. You should always take the time to browse through these domains before looking at anything in the real world. That is because prices are usually a little bit cheaper, and there is a much wider selection than you might find at your local dealership. Also, looking online will allow you to learn a little more about your chosen model, and it should give you an approximate idea about how much it’s worth. Armed with that information, you should be more successful when trying to negotiate with sellers.
Always take it for a test drive
Presuming you don’t know much about engines, the best way to find out if a car is any good involves giving it a lengthy test drive. You should ask the seller to allow you at least twenty minutes in the vehicle before agreeing to part with your hard earned cash. Listen out for any strange noises and vibrations and mention them to the seller. They should then inform you about what is causing the issues. If you’re not happy with their response, they might be trying to pull the wool over your eyes about something more serious. When that happens, you should walk away and look elsewhere.
Employ the services of an impartial mechanic
If you’re only spending a few hundred dollars on a used car, it’s probably not worth paying for a mechanic to come along to the viewing. However, that is a fantastic idea if you plan to spend thousands. You will almost certainly have to pay for their time, but the advice you get could stop you from wasting a significant amount of money. If you think it will help, let the mechanic take your chosen model for a test drive and offer an assessment. They are the ones best placed to notice if there are any major problems.
So long as you follow all that advice, the chances of you getting ripped off should be limited. At the end of the day, most of what you need to think about comes down to common sense. Even so; it can be easy to forget everything and act irrationally when put under pressure by sellers. So, you need to make sure you’re fully prepared before visiting them.
Photo credit to Valerie Everett
It’s a never ending battle of making your cars better and also trying to be better yourself.