A second-hand car can be fraught with several pitfalls, so you cannot afford to throw your caution to the wind at the time of buying it. Many times, such cars are sold in the masquerade of being in good condition, but no sooner is the deal clinched than you find that the car you have bought is in a terrible state. Unfortunately, by the time you realise that you have invested in a bad deal, it is too late,
Used car dealers will certainly get an MOT certificate for cars they will let you drive away, but this proves that the car has met fundamental safety requirements. Do not forget that there can be some serious faults that require deeper investigation to be revealed.
How to figure out if a secondhand car you intend to buy is worth buying
Here are the essential steps that you should take to ensure that the car you are buying is not fraught with several pitfalls that spoil your driving experience down the line.
- Research the market
When you see an advertisement for the sale of a second-hand car, you should not immediately jump the gun. Ensure that the quoted price is right. Do some research and ask your local dealers. Chances are you can get the same model at a lower price. The knowledge of industry prices will help you negotiate for a better price. Read reviews about a car model that you are buying. Based on others’ experiences, you can easily decide if it stands to your expectations.
- Ensure that the car belongs to the seller
This will not be a concern when you are buying a second-hand car from a registered dealer. They typically do not sell a car unless the previous owner has absolutely cleared their finances. However, buying directly from a private buyer can be very risky.
You can get all the details by checking a registration certificate. If you are not allowed to check all the details, alarms should start ringing. Personal inspection is what you cannot ignore. Check the history of the vehicle you intend to buy at Vehicle Check Auto Trader. You can get all the details related to outstanding finances, written-off debts, the number of previous owners, and whether the car was recorded as stolen.
- Take somebody along for an inspection
When it is not suggested to take along someone for inspection, it implies that someone who has automobile acumen, such as a mechanic, engineer, etc. However, it is always better to have someone with no car experience than being on your own at the time of inspection.
When you both call on your mental toughness, you are more likely to spot some problems easily. Two minds are undoubtedly better, and above all, when you have a second person, they can take the buying pressure off, help you have some thinking time, and spot something you may have missed.
- Things you should carefully examine
Whether you are buying a car outright or you are looking to finance it with guaranteed car finance for bad credit, you should carefully examine your car before buying it. Make sure that it is in a good condition that it can serve you for at least four to five years. Here are the things you should look at while examining your car:
- Check all the warning lights are working when you put the car in motion. Make sure you are allowed to test drive the car to see if strange noises go off.
- Test all the controls, such as whether the air conditioning is up and running or you are able to move up and down the window. Windscreen pipes, rear-view mirrors, wing mirrors, seatbelts, gear and its lever, emergency brake, clutch, brake and accelerator all should be in perfect condition.
- Examine the pain texture, dents and uneven gaps between bumpers. This will most likely disclose the history of previous accidents of that car.
- You should also check the condition of the car. You do not have to lie under it properly. Just kneel down and take a look under the vehicle using a torch to see if there is any leakage, holes, or loose items. Check it when your car is on. Your car is likely making unwanted noise from there.
- Check wheels. Most of the time, sellers sell their cars with damaged tyres as they consume a lot of money. The tyres must not be worn out. If there are no cuts and bulges, they are in good condition.
- Open the bonnet and see what is inside. Check the condition of the oil. It should be golden–brown if it is a petrol car or slightly darker if it is a diesel car. Too much black oil ensures that the carbon emission is too high due to poor maintenance.
- Look around. Anything if there is anything loose, broken, leaking, etc., watch out for wiring connections. Check if the car’s engine makes a rattling sound when you start it or drive it.
All these factors will decide whether you should invest in a second-hand car or not. Of course, such cars will have some flaws, for example, worn out tyres. In such a scenario you may not straightaway turn down the car as you can get it repaired on your own. In case you do not have money to pay for them outright, you can take out bad credit loans from a direct lender. However, if you spot any life-threatening risks during the inspection, you will have to cast it aside.
- Run a systematic inspection
A systematic inspection of a car is equally important whether you should buy a second-hand car or not. Open all doors and check all handles and kid locks, and take a look inside each door. Do not forget to check the seat adjusters and mechanism for fastening the seat belt.
Check flash, brake lights, fog lights and parking lights. Press your weight to the side of the car to see if it returns to level. Your car should not be bounced up and down. If it happens, you have a worn-out shock absorber.
- Road test
The road test is not just for checking the smooth driving experience. Still, you should rather check for any peculiar sound, the condition of the steering wheel, the manoeuvre of the gear, the bulging and bouncing of the condition of the clutch, brake and accelerator.
It is vital to check the overall condition of your car. Do not forget that you might not be able to bear all the repair work on your own, and if you manage to do so, the cost of your second-hand car will be much higher.
The bottom line
Buying a second-hand car should not be too difficult, but you should be a bit careful to spot pitfalls that you cannot without being extra cautious. If you are still not confident about your inspection, you should hire a professional.
Professional inspection will improve your chances of getting caught up in a bad deal. Take care of your finances, too, when it comes to buying a used car. You should be able to meet the whole cost without a hitch.