What to look for when buying a used car?

Published: 24-02-2021

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The decision to buy a car should not be taken lightly. You want to get a car that is reliable and mechanically sound. You are buying a used car because you do not want to or are not ready to spend the money to buy a new car. The last thing you want to happen is to spend a lot of money repairing your car immediately after the purchase.

If you are not aware of potential problems with the used car you are buying, your car may break down unexpectedly and leave you on the side of the road. Nobody wants the inconvenience of staying on the side of the road while waiting for help. A broken-down vehicle is potentially dangerous. A vehicle in poor condition can also cause accidents and injuries.

Let’s go over some tips to help you find the best used car you can afford.



You need to know how much you can spend. Make sure the insurance and monthly payments are taken into account. You do not want to be caught short on funds. Do your calculations of what you can afford before you even start looking. There is nothing worse than finding a car that you like and seeing later that you cannot afford it.



If you are someone who likes to go hiking and has to drive on rough roads from time to time, a sports car that has no ground clearance is not for you. Perhaps the packing space is something you are looking for, so a small hatchback will not suit your needs. Match your vehicle to your personal needs and habits.



The average car covers approximately 12,000 miles or 20,000 km each year. To calculate whether the car you want to buy has high or low mileage, divide the number on the odometer by the age of the vehicle. A car with high mileage will have more damage on its mechanical components than a car with slightly lower mileage.


Don’t buy just anywhere

You need to buy from a reputable dealer that you can trust. A larger company will be more likely to work with you to make a deal that will benefit both of you. In such a company, you will find vehicles of better quality. It is likely that the salesperson will be honest about any defects in the vehicle and may even help you solve these problems. It usually also gives you the option to file a complaint if something goes wrong.


Get the history of the car

Once you have decided on the vehicle, the dealer should be able to provide you with the history of the car, including the car’s maintenance history and who performed the maintenance. You should check the history of any accident damage as well as any necessary repairs.


Test drive the car

You cannot under any circumstances skip this step. No information provided by the dealer can replace a physical test drive. Drive the car and pay attention to any strange noises or vibrations and make sure you are comfortable behind the wheel.


Additional advice

There is never a reason to pay cash for a vehicle. Whether it is a private seller or dealer, do not pay with cash. If you are asked to make a cash payment, walk away! An EFT or bank transfer is as good as cash today, but leaves a paper trail in case something goes wrong. It is also a good idea to make sure you get all the necessary documents for sale so that you can prove the vehicle belongs to you, renew the license, and so on, in the future.

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