Car buying is a common thing that most of us do at some point in our lives. The goal is to find the best car, preferably one that will last for years and keep running reliably, so you don’t regret your purchase and end up with a lemon.
The process of buying a used car is going to be as different to buying a new car as “cars” themselves are from each other. The one thing that remains constant, however, is that there is always going to be a great deal of pressure to make your purchase as quickly and easily as possible.
1. Not Preparing Properly
You may think that you only need to know the basics about cars, but the reality is that you will run into more situations than you can imagine when purchasing a used car. Do you know the difference in value between a ford fiesta st hatchback and a Vauxhall Corsa 1.2SE?
Being prepared and knowing what to look for can help you get a much better deal than you would otherwise.
There are plenty of things that you should know, so the following list represents just the tip of the iceberg: how to tell if your car has been in an accident, how much a replacement part will cost, and whether your car is worth repairs and how to negotiate effectively.
2. Not Asking Enough Questions
If you’re going to buy a used car, that likely means you already have some experience with cars. Most of the time, this will be enough to evaluate the condition of a car. If you don’t ask enough questions, however, your chances of buying a lemon rise significantly.
You’re not just paying for the car; you’re paying for peace of mind as well. Always ask about a few things, like mileage and maintenance records.
3. Neglecting Safety Checks
As a car owner, you’ve already invested quite a bit of money into your vehicle. Once you’re driving it, you don’t want to be afraid it is going to break down and leave you stranded on the side of the road. So, if your car’s an older model, have it checked out by an independent mechanic before you make the final purchase.
4. Being Afraid to Negotiate
It’s common for people to buy a used car without even considering negotiating. This is a foolish thing to do. When you buy a used car, you’re taking a risk; it will cost you money if that “great deal” turns out to be a lemon.
When purchasing your car, ask the dealer how much he likes his vehicle and whether he would consider lowering his price because of issues with the vehicle’s maintenance or previous problems with it.
5. Looking at the Vehicle in the Rain
It’s not wise to only look at a car you are considering buying whilst it is wet from the rain. The water droplets can cover all kinds of problems from scratches or signs of painted-over damage to the bodywork.
6. Not Asking for a Test Drive
Most people take driving for granted, so they don’t realize how important it is until they’re about to buy a used car of their own. Driving the vehicle around will give you more than enough time to notice any issues with the engine and brakes, so make sure you get on the road before making your purchase decision.
Beware of these mistakes when buying a used car, and you’ll be much more likely to get the car you want.