Buyer Beware: 5 Things to Check Before Buying a Used Car

2009 Saturn Sky X09ST_SK009

Buying a used car can be very exciting and a good way to save money. As exciting as it is to buy and drive a car that you really want, it can also be very expensive if you purchase a mechanically inferior car, spend more than you can afford or do not account for necessary expenses, such as insurance, registration, maintenance and other costs that come with running a car. Read on to discover the five things that should be foremost in your mind before buying your new car.

1. Know your budgetary limits

First, you need to work out how much you can spend. As well as the purchase price of the car, ongoing costs including registration, insurance and mechanical maintenance should be factored in. To purchase a vehicle, many buyers need finance in the form of a car loan and it’s important to shop around get the best rate and loan conditions possible. It can be worthwhile and very reassuring to seek professional advice regarding loan options; try consulting specialists in car loans and finance such as Dreamloans

2. Be well informed

If you want value for money and to purchase a car that not only looks great but is mechanically sound, research before buying is imperative. Commit to having a good look at the vehicles available and pay attention to the current market price of the car models in which you are most interested. Refer to credible price guides and refer to online and print advertisements to build your knowledge.

It’s also important to know that if the price of a car seems too good to be true – there’s probably a reason why it is being offered so cheaply.

3. If you’ve found a used car you love, have it inspected

Unless you have the skills necessary to undertake a comprehensive inspection of a car you love, make arrangements to have it mechanically inspected by a professional or someone who is mechanically minded.

While there are many things that should be checked, great expense, stress and inconvenience can be saved by paying particular attention to:
• Head gaskets
• Signs of rust
• Evidence of odometer tampering
• Signs that the car has been damaged by flood or involved in an accident

4. Drill the owner or salesperson for information

When buying a used car, you want to know about the vehicle’s history and why it is being offered for sale. For example, it’s sensible to ask:
• How long the car has been owned by the current owner or how long it has been at the car yard
• Why the car is being sold
• Previous damage to the car
• For specific information about the condition of the car and its service and maintenance history
• Compliance for roadworthiness
• Particular problems the car may have

5. Check the history of the car

When contemplating the purchase of a used car, it’s vital to ensure that it is not stolen, subject to a loan that has not been paid or that the car was previously written off.

To do this, obtain the unique VIN of the car and have this number checked against the relevant databases in the state in which the car is registered.

Being well-informed is incredibly important and by following these guidelines before buying a car, it is possible to avoid the outlay of a lot of money, stress and disappointment.