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Things to Check When Buying Second-Hand Cars

second hand cars buying guide

These days, many factors have influenced people to opt for second-hand cars. It’s economical and also provides them with more options at reasonable rates. Surviving without a car today is very challenging. It has become necessary to own a car to commute daily work and tasks. However, it’s not easy for everyone to afford a car, especially a new one.

The second-hand car market is exploding as the demand for these vehicles increases. Since the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, the automobile market has witnessed an upsurge. However, if you’re planning to buy a second-hand car, it is necessary to understand the pros and cons.

Here we have listed things that you must check before buying used vehicles. It’s easier to find second-hand cars for sale in the market. However, it’s challenging to buy a good one that meets your needs and expectations.

8 Things to Check When Buying Second-Hand Cars

Whether buying a new car or an old one, it is essential to make the right decision considering factors that impact your choice. It would help if you were more alert when buying a second-hand car. If you don’t act smartly, you can waste your money buying a car that costs you more than required.

Here is a list of things that you need to check before buying second-hand cars:

1.    Thorough Inspection of the Car Inside Out

When buying second-hand cars, it is necessary to inspect them in and out. You also need to focus on the engine and interior and exterior features and conditions. You’ll need to check the transmission and car body too.

We believe that a clean looking car looks appealing to everyone. However, you cannot make your decision only based on this. It can have engine-related issues, and missing this can cost a lot for repairing. Also, don’t miss the wheels and tyres. You’ll have to see the rubber condition, makes of each tyre, and tread depth.

It’s okay if you cannot evaluate the mechanical condition independently. You can always hire mechanics for this role. They have the knowledge and expertise to find out any hidden problem. It’s always best to make informed decisions to avoid any problems.

2.    Go Through the Service Records

We know that service records are not always available. However, there’s no harm in asking for it. You can ask the dealer or the seller to prove that the vehicle has been maintained regularly. If these records aren’t available, you can ask for mileage or oil change records.

Through the service records, you can assess the condition of the vehicle. A vehicle requires oil change after every 3000 to 5000 km. However, this might vary depending on the model and type of vehicle. The engine is likely worn inside when the owner fails to maintain oil change in the recommended interval.

Also, go through the records of a timing belt if a car has it. It also needs to be replaced every 60,000 to 80,000 km. If not, it might cost you very high.

3.    Look Under the Hood

Many times, the buyers miss this part. You visit a dealer and have a quick look at the exterior and interior while you don’t check under the hood. So, before you go for a test drive, have a quick look under the hood. Use a small flashlight and ensure that the engine is off and the parking brake is on.

Through this, you can find out if there are any leaks or signs of poor-quality repairs or lack of maintenance. Also, if there is any smell of burnt oil, you need to check that.

At this point, if you see that everything is shiny and clean, that does not mean that there is no problem. Many times, the dealers clean these parts to attract and influence buyers. So, involve a mechanic in this case.

4.    Test Drive

The experts suggest you should never buy a second-hand car without a test drive. You might find a car that looks as new as you know. However, you cannot judge its engine without testing.

A test drive can help you ensure that the engine is working smoothly or not. If there are any unusual sounds, there might be something wrong with the engine. Drive it until you’ve checked everything you want to.

5.    Evaluate the Exhaust System

Most used cars are prone to rust in the exhaust system. Thus, it’s necessary to check the car from all sides. Don’t miss the bottom too. Buying a car with rusted exhaust can be a bad deal. Such cars don’t last long.

6.    Check for Any Leaks

For this, you’ll have to start the engine and leave it at the same spot for a minute. Then, move a bit forward and see any leaks at the last spot.

If there’s any black fluid, it means there is some issue with the tank. On the other hand, green fluid indicates a problem in anti-freeze, and pink fluid indicates a leak in the transmission.

7.    Compare Prices with Other Dealers

Don’t buy instantly. Once you find a second-hand car of your choice, you can wait and take your time before making a deal. You can visit other dealers or check websites to assess and compare the prices. The dealers and sellers often try to sell cars at a higher price.

Thus, knowing the market price can help in making the right choices. However, it’s essential to keep in mind that the price of the car fluctuates depending on its condition.

When buying privately, you’re responsible for spotting the problems yourself. You have some legal rights here that you can use for inspecting the vehicle before making your choice.

8.    Safety Conditions

Before buying a car, it is necessary to make sure that it’s safe to buy. Begin looking at the tyres if these are in good condition. Check the specification and dimensions. If it’s less than 3mm of tread, you’ll have to replace them soon.

Also, it’s necessary to see if there is a spare wheel in a serviceable condition or not. Next, check the seatbelts. These must operate accurately and must not have any cuts or frays. Moreover, you’ll have to consider the airbags are fitted rightly. Consider the warning lights, other lights, and windscreen wipers. If all these parts are working correctly, you can consider buying the car.

Final Thoughts

Car prices are increasing drastically every year. Thus, it has become challenging for an average salary person to buy a new car or change cars frequently. So, they have the option of buying a second-hand car. The used cars market allows people to look for second-hand cars for sale.

These are cheap. However, finding a car in good condition is necessary to meet your need. The list mentioned above includes what you need to check before buying a second-hand car. It will help you save money and make the best of this opportunity.