10 Things To Check For When Buying A Used Car

10 Things to Look Out for When Buying a Used Car

10 Things to Look Out for When Buying a Used Car

The used car market has expanded exponentially over the past few years. The benefits of buying used cars over new ones are immense and hence, it is hardly a surprise that the former emerges victorious over the latter. A lot of potential car buyers prioritize monetary values and thus lean into buying a second hand car.

But choosing the right used car is a decision that must be taken smartly. While used cars are wonderful on the judicious front, they are often shrouded with issues and discrepancies that the customer must be wary of.

Unsuspecting buyers who invest in used cars without prior research tend to lose more money than they bargained for if they ignore some of the major precautions! Hence, one should absolutely be sure about the things to know before buying a second hand car.

In this piece, we bring to you a second hand car buying guide with 10 strategies to aware you about what to look for in a second hand car:

1. Where to Buy and How Much Should You Pay?

A ‘curbsider’ or an unlicensed individual, dealer, or retailer is one of the biggest red flags while buying a used car. These people buy vehicles, and instead of registering them under their own name, post the same vehicle for sale with a markup.

This makes it easier for them to falsely advertise a vehicle and misrepresent the issues and real condition of the vehicle. So, an individual should be aware of certified used dealers.

It is highly recommended to approach a digital used car platform like CARS24 so that your hard earned money doesn’t go down the drain.

The second thing after ‘Where to buy’ is ‘how much you should pay’ as money matters a lot in buying a second hand car. In purchasing a used car, a few thousands here and there can make the deal look worse, so one should evaluate the spending carefully. 

2. Do Your Research

One can never be completely sure of everything while making an investment, be it the case of used cars. To aid yourself, it is advisable to gather as much information by carrying out a rigorous research before making the purchase.

Always check the dealer’s license to ascertain the authenticity of the dealer. A thorough background check is not only recommended but it also helps in understanding the dealer better.

Right from the reputation, to the management style including the inventory and the commitment, everything should be probed. One must be physically present and check the condition of the other vehicles they have around for sale.

3. Choosing the Right Car

It is the hardest part in the entire process as finding a deal which is too good to be true is complex. A perfect product, a perfect dealer, and even a perfect price, this troika is seldom found. As they say, all that glitters is not gold and it is what one must keep in mind while choosing a used car.

If there is no visible or immediately perceptible “flaw”, be it the physical condition of the car or the dealer himself, walk away. Chances are there will be something or the other to turn the entire deal sour. Trust your gut before choosing the dream car for you.

4. Review the Vehicle History Report

The past leads the way to the present. It is always advisable to invest time in reading the history report of the vehicle to understand what you’re getting into. This will also help you in having a thorough knowledge of the vehicle, making it harder for the seller to try to trick you.

Make sure that the seller’s name and address match up with the owner info on the vehicle registration form. Double-check the make, model, year, color, license plate and VIN against the registration form.

Understanding why the car is being sold is crucial. Make sure there’s absolutely no criminal record and ask questions. Even if it seems like a dumb question, ask. It will only help you in the long run.

5. Odometer Tampering

Check for evidence of tampering in and around the odometer. If there is even a slightest tear or scratch which suggests sabotage, take it up with the dealer.

There are chances that the correct reading of km clocked is changed to make the vehicle more appealing. Beware of this fraud and check thoroughly for such evidence.

6. Inspect the Car’s Exterior and Interior

Maybe Santa Claus was onto something when he decided to double-check his lists. Take inspiration from Father Christmas and always double-check the car and its features.

Give the inside and the outside of the car a thorough inspection.

Take a walk around the vehicle with an expert to make sure that the car’s exterior and interior are as good as claimed by the dealer.

7. Look Up the VIN

Stolen vehicles are often sold with vehicle identification numbers (VINs) that have been swiped from legally registered cars.

That is why a thorough inspection of all documents as well as the vehicle itself (the dashboard, car frame, and door stickers in particular) is necessary.

Match to make sure the VIN is consistent to avoid being sold a falsely registered vehicle.

8. Mechanic Inspection

A very honest mistake most people make is paying upfront before getting the vehicle checked by a professional mechanic.

This may not seem like much but faulty engine or any other component of the used car is one of the most common grievances of people indulged in the process of buying second-hand cars.

Therefore be absolutely sure of the vehicle with the help of an expert mechanic, verify seller credentials and vehicle’s documents before making the payment.

9. How Are Your Negotiation Skills?

Be a skilled negotiator. Being well informed of the seller as well as the vehicle is a must, so that you can bargain harder.

Make sure to do prior research and understand what vehicle you’re looking for and its present position in the market in order to crack the best deal.

Furthermore, fair knowledge of the make, year, model, and mileage should also be there so that negotiation can be carried out wisely.

10. Double-check the Paperwork

In spite of all these precautions and strategies to avoid fraud, it is fairly difficult to assess the actual condition of the car without looking at the original documents.

More so, if the buyer has limited knowledge about papers involved with a car and how they could be forged.

In events like these, it is crucial to take an expert with you to ensure that the vehicle documents are real without any tampering. It is recommended that you get the car papers inspected by a certified legal eagle.