If you’re thinking of buying a used car, I’m willing to bet that you’ve come across more than a handful of guides that tell you how to do so. In some ways, getting a secondhand car is something of a gamble. You just don’t know whether you’ll end up with a good car or a lemon.
Image by Hugo90
Now, I know that you don’t want to end up paying for a piece of scrap metal on wheels. That’s why I have decided to write a handy used car buying bible just for you! Keep reading to learn the secret tips that all buyers need to know:
Appearances can be deceiving
Everyone knows that if you want to sell a used car for the most amount of money, you need to make it look brand new. Both car dealers and private sellers will spend a lot of time detailing their cars to prepare them for sale.
What you might not realise is that products like polish and wax can hide a multitude of sins! It’s not uncommon for used vehicles to have a few scratches on the paint, for example. But, we all know that polish and wax don’t last forever. When it goes, you could end up staring at a badly scratched car!
Just bear that fact in mind when looking at used cars for sale. You could always ask the seller if they know of any issues with the paint finish. However, you can’t guarantee that they will know or even tell you the truth.
Never buy a car without doing a road test
The Internet makes it easy to buy cars without even viewing them. It might sound convenient to those that lead busy lives, but it’s a bad idea to get a vehicle without taking it for a test drive first!
I recommend taking the car you’re interested in buying for a ride on a cold morning. Make sure that the engine is cold, so that you can be sure that it starts OK. The guys at Hilton Garage say that all good cars should start quickly the first time, whatever the weather.
Check for telltale signs of accident damage
Look at the car from either end down to the other side, and look down each side dead ahead. Does it appear “straight” to you? If not, it could indicate that it was involved in some heavy accident damage at some point.
Another telltale sign is mismatched paintwork. One car I used to own had signs of a bad spray job – different shades of paint, and areas where it wasn’t blended in with the original paint. Sometimes you can even spot “overspray.”
Use your ears and nose as well as your eyes
Looking around a car is one thing. But you also need to listen out for strange noises from the car, especially when driving it. And make a mental note of any strange odours coming from the engine bay.
After all; the last thing you want to do is buy a car that will end up having a seized engine soon! By following this guide, you can become a savvy shopper when looking for a used car to buy. Good luck!