It’s no easy task when you’re buying a second hand car. Get it wrong and it could cause you a world of problems until you finally get rid of it. On the other hand, if you know what you’re doing it’s possible to grab yourself an absolute bargain.
Even if you don’t know a lot about cars there are still some things you should be looking out for. Appeal a car can have is important, but there are many other important characteristics to look for when making this investment. Always remember there are tons of cars for sale, so don’t be afraid to walk away if they don’t feel right.
Do Your Research Beforehand
All makes and models of cars usually have common problems, which you’ll never know about if you don’t do your research beforehand. If you have a list of specific things to check you can focus on them straight away when you’re examining the car. Don’t forget we have things like YouTube today, so search for anything you don’t understand and it will show you exactly what to do.
Check How Much You Should Offer
Before you buy a second hand car you’ll want to know you’re getting a good deal. There are places you can get rough estimates based on the make, model, mileage, and other stats. It’s also clever to think about resale value because you won’t keep it forever. You always make your money when buying a car, so it pays to check what vehicles will let you recoup your money when it’s time to sell.
The Three Step Test Drive
When you take it out for a test drive you’ll get to know if you actually like the feel of the car, but there are also three specific things you should be focused on. When you’re driving along winding roads you’ll know how good the brakes are and whether or not it turns well. On the highway, you’ll feel what the engine is like when going fast. Lastly, you should always be listening out for strange noises.
Check For Any Leakages
It’s vital you leave this step until you’ve been driving around in the car for a while. It won’t work effectively if the car hasn’t been warmed up. When you’re out on your test drive locate the cleanest stretch of road you can find and stop the car safety. Let it run for a minute then drive forwards a little. Get out of the car and check for any sign of leakages lying on the road.
Inspect The Engine Compartment
You can tell a lot about how a car has been maintained by looking under the hood. If the engine looks like it should be sitting in a junk yard there is obviously something very wrong. It doesn’t need to look like it’s brand new, but if you see lots of dirt and rust it’s going to cost you money in the future. Make sure you don’t have a blocked nose so you can catch any bad smells too.
Interior And Exterior Search
Don’t forget to inspect the interior and exterior of the car carefully. On the inside you should be looking at the condition of the upholstery, but the most important thing is the electronics. On the exterior you need to check for rust to make sure it’s not falling apart. Pay close attention to any bumps too, because it could let you know it’s been in an accident.
The Vehicle Identification Number
By this point you might be getting excited, but slow down because you don’t even know if the car is legitimate. Everything is not always as it seems. It’s unlikely this last step will ever throw up a red flag, but you will need to do it before you part with your money to stay on the safe side. You need to check that the vehicle identification number (VIN) matches up with the car title and records. We’ve only touched on some of the bigger things, but if possible it’s always better to take a mechanic with you to inspect the car. Even if you have to pay one it could save you thousands of dollars in the future. Buying from a dealer and getting a warranty is another idea. If you do everything on your own listen carefully to what we’ve talked about today.