Buying a used car can be risky. There are many things to consider before making your final choice about what vehicle to buy. Unfortunately, there are countless horror stories about people who did not do their homework when it came to this type of purchase. You don’t always have the same safety nets you would have if you buy a new car. As well as this there are plenty of sellers who are willing to scam you out of your hard earned cash in exchange for a sub-standard vehicle. However, this doesn’t have to happen to you. There are many ways to avoid potential pitfalls when you’re purchasing a used car. These are some of the most important.
Research the Type of Car You Want to Buy
It’s important to get off to the best possible start as you look for your perfect car. The type of car you choose is vital. Like any commodity, some brands and models are better than others. A car may look great from the outside, but it’s what lies underneath that’s really important.
Before making your final decision about the type of car you will purchase, do some research. Talk to people in the car trade about the reliability and cost of operating and maintaining a particular type of car. Speak to owners of the same type of car and find out what their experience has been with that model.
History of the Car
Every automobile seller should have all the necessary documentation about the history of the car they are selling. It’s not a good sign when a seller is stalling or unwilling to give you the appropriate documents and information about the car you’re interested in buying. The most important information a seller should provide includes the following:
- Name of the individual or dealership the car was purchased from.
- Proof of previous servicing.
- Records of oil filter and oil changes.
- Car title.
- Vehicle history report.
A range of online websites also include a search tool that lets you quickly find out about the history of a particular vehicle. You simply enter the VIN number or license plate number of the car in question and receive the vehicle history report you’re searching for.
Check the Current Condition of the Car
If you don’t understand all the technicalities of a car, bring a mechanic or other motoring expert with you when you’re viewing a used car. This simple step could save you thousands of dollars in the long run. These professionals work with cars every day. This means they know what problems to look out for and what scams to avoid. Someone like this will check for rust, leaks and other problems which are sometimes hidden by car sellers.
Take the car for a test drive. You want a car you feel comfortable driving in. After all, you will be spending a lot of time inside your car in the coming years. It should be a place you feel comfortable in. During the test drive the mechanic or motoring professional you bring with you should test drive the car too. They will instantly identify any problems with the car when its operating which can’t be detected during checks when the car is stationary.
You can go one step further by checking the car you’re viewing using a car diagnostics tool. Unfortunately, not all of these car testing products measure up. Many are cheap clones which don’t do the job they promise to do.
The ELM327 USB scan tool on the other hand is a high quality car diagnostics tool that’s compatible with 99.9% of today’s cars. You simply connect it to the car and your laptop and the ELM327 USB scan tool will carry out a ‘dealer level’ scan of all the most important components in the car. If problems exist, they will be quickly detected. After a scan you can make a more informed decision about whether or not to purchase the vehicle you’re viewing.
Look for Hidden Problems
Sellers often find ingenious ways to hide problems with the car they are selling. Rust is a serious issue, especially in older cars. Rust affects the interior and exterior of a car. Check to see if any new upholstery and mats have been added to the car. The seller may simply want to present their car in the best possible light. However, these upgrades to a car could be hiding some serious problems such as rust.
Check underneath all of the mats, seats and other areas where the metal in the car can be seen. This check could help you avoid buying a car that’s not worth the price being asked for it. The exterior of every car is also prone to rusting. Check for any rust spots, holes or recent paint work which could be concealing rust underneath.
Other hidden problems the untrained eye may not be aware of includes damaged exhaust systems, worn tires, leaks, damaged windscreens, broken heaters, broken air conditioning systems and much more. To reduce the likely hood of missing these problems when you check a car, draw up a list of possible problems and get the help of a professional when your viewing a used car.
Most people buy a used car because it’s a cheaper alternative to purchasing a new model. However, used cars can be expensive too. Some sellers are not always honest and want to get the most money possible for their car. Make sure you check the car properly with tools like the ELM327 USB scan tool, bring a motoring professional with you to view the car and find out as much as possible about the history of the car before even thinking about paying for a used vehicle.