You can never be sure about a used car until you are. So when you’re in the market for a second hand vehicle, be prepared for results that may not be in your favour. Sometimes, even the best used car buyers who have gone through two or three used cars in their lifetime still make mistakes. It’s just the nature of the deal: sometimes you get lucky, sometimes you don’t.
What matters is that you do your homework. The likelihood of getting a good car is higher when you know what you’re doing, and through time you become more experienced in dealing with such a purchase. Here are some tips you can steal the next time you want to buy a used car.
Do some research
Actually, do a lot of research. The Internet is useful for this so for once, stop using it only for Facebook. Find the model you want and read up on it. Reviews will give you an idea of whether it’s a good car, and owner forums will give you an idea of whether it’s a good second hand buy, how much it should cost to buy and maintain, and what certain problems (if any) you should look for. The good thing about enthusiast forums is the members don’t lie; they will tell you immediately about the things you should know and offer suggestions too.
Use your own mechanic
Don’t trust the seller’s own mechanic; that’s pointless. That’s like listening to someone’s mother praise their own child. There are sellers who allow prospective buyers to test drive the car for an hour or two, and bring it to their own mechanic. Check with cheap panel beaters in Perth if that little dent will affect the performance, etc. The point is you should not pay a lot more than you should, especially after buying the car.
If things don’t go smoothly, walk away. Is the owner/seller having difficulty answering your basic questions? Is there a lot of rust? Is it too expensive for the make and model, year or mileage? If things don’t add up, don’t hope for them to change. Walk away. There are other, much better cars out there.