Buying a car is a big expense and it is in your best interest that you leave no stone unturned to buy the best car possible. Besides being a big budget purchase, you also have to consider why you are buying a car so that it serves the purpose of investment.
First-time car buyers can easily make a lot of mistakes when it comes to selecting the right vehicle, especially if they are looking to buy a secondhand (preowned) vehicle. Research is key to understanding the market and getting the best value for your money. Let’s look at some of the dos and don’ts of buying your first car.
1) Always Take An Expert With You
You can miss or overlook a lot of signs that the car you are about to buy is not right for you. A seasoned salesperson will be able to convince you that the car they are selling is a great offer and right for you.
This is why you need a second opinion. In the best-case scenario, you should have a car mechanic with you who can check the car from top to bottom to identify problems and tell you if you might have to shell out more money for repairs and servicing once you take ownership of the vehicle.
If you don’t have a mechanic friend, then take along a family member or friend who has extensive knowledge about vehicles and has experience buying cars before. It is also safer to have someone with you in case you are going to meet a private owner of a car at their home.
2) Fix Your Budget And Do Your Research
Determining your budget for the car you are going to buy is important and you need to factor in other expenses that crop up over time. You need to factor in the price of the car, maintenance costs, insurance, registration fees, repair costs, etc. before you fix your final budget.
Ideally, your monthly car payments should not cross 20 per cent of your monthly income to be on the safe side. Once you have decided how much you are willing to spend, start doing research online to identify the many car models that fit your budget.
You need to find a car that matches your lifestyle so look for one that is big enough to accommodate your family. If you are going to be driving long distances, you need to choose a car that gives great mileage.
If you are a parent, then you might want to buy a car that has a high safety rating. When doing research online also check for the known problems of the car model, how reliable it is, and how easy it is to repair and perform maintenance.
Read More: List of 6 budget-friendly cars to consider
3) Be Wary Of Car Dealerships
When buying a used car, it is advisable not to approach a traditional or physical car dealership store as they employ seasoned salespeople to move their inventory without actually seeing if the car is right for the customer. They are known to use a variety of sales tactics to convince potential buyers that the car they have in stock is the best and will try to sweeten the deal with useless offers and freebies. They are also known to add additional costs to the negotiated price. It is best to shop for used cars online as these websites provide detailed information about the car they are selling. These cars might also cost less as websites do not have to pay rent for a showroom in a prime location and do not employ a bunch of salespeople who they have to pay. Online stores also offer services where they will bring the car to you so that you can check it out at your convenience and go for a test drive. They also have a standardised refurbishment and repair process that ensures the car is in good condition.
4) Pre-purchase Inspection
This is a step you simply cannot avoid once you finalise the car you are planning to buy. It is a good idea to have a mechanic check the car thoroughly before you go ahead with the purchase. You also need to do a VIN (vehicle identification number) check to find out the exact history of the car. A VIN check can cost around 500 Dirhams and can be done at most reputable car dealerships and garages. The VIN check can reveal if the car was involved in a crash, flood-damaged or written off for some other reason. Some of these damaged cars may get repaired and sold to unsuspecting customers. Also, remember that vehicles that are more than seven years old do not get fully insured as insurance companies tend to think of these vehicles as coming to the end of their life.
Learn More: How to - Read Car’s VIN Code
5) Always Perform a Test Drive
When you have narrowed down the list, you should definitely test drive the car to see how well it performs on the road. It is advisable to have someone who has a lot of experience driving cars with you on the test drive as they will be able to tell you if something feels off. Listen carefully for sounds from the engine and also check the colour of the smoke emanating from the exhaust pipe. Run the air conditioner and try using all the accessories on the car to see if they work as they should. Remember to check the trunk to see if the car comes with a spare tire, otherwise, you will have to spend to get one.
Must Read: Ultimate Checklist for Buying a Used Car
Shop at CARS24 for the best-preowned cars in the UAE
When shopping for pre-owned cars, save valuable time and effort by shopping for them on the hassle-free and easy-to-use CARS24 website. Cars sold by CARS24 undergo a stringent 150-point quality check and a thorough refurbishment process before being listed on the site. We also provide a 7-days return policy and 2 years of warranty for every vehicle purchased on the site, ensuring complete peace of mind for all our customers.