5 Tips When Buying Second Hand Cars

woman inside her newly bought car

Buying a second-hand car doesn’t always have to be a minefield if you know exactly what you’re going to do. For those who decided on buying a used car, that should let you get precisely what you want at less the cost.

Focus on a Brand

Look for brands you can trust or those who have a long history of churning good quality products. For example, you can check out Honda or Audi cars for sale – those you know have a strong history in the car industry.

Some brands offer an extensive warranty that you might benefit from even if you buy secondhand.

Do Not Skip the Test Drive

No matter how sexy the car looks from the outside, you’ll still need to grab the wheels and take it for a spin. You’ll be using the car after all, so it’s vital that you get a sense of how it drives. When doing an engine check, make sure to pay attention to the sound the car makes.

Any clangs or pings should be noted and asked about.

Dig the Car’s History

Find out as much as you can about the vehicle starting with its VIN, any records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or any equivalent association in your country. The point is to find out if the car is registered correctly and if it has been in any sort of accident.

Note that even if no records come up, this doesn’t mean that the car is not damaged. Even without any accident involvement, some vehicles may not be adequately maintained by its owner. Any service or maintenance history should also be checked if the owner has one.

Do an Engine Check

woman checking her car's engine

A little technical know-how is necessary here, but watching a few YouTube videos should give you a fair idea of what you’re looking for. You’ll want to see the engine oil, the transmission fluid, and the coolant levels. It’s essential to check all of these when the engine is cool – so do before you actually do a test drive.

Hoses and belts should also be looked at. All elements must be clean with zero to minimal wear and tear.

Do an Exterior and Interior Check

An exterior check is more than just checking the paint or admiring how sexy the car looks. You want to look at the side mirrors, the lights, the tires, the windows, and the bottom portion of the vehicle. You want to make sure there are no leaks and that the tire treads measure at least ¼ of an inch.

It pays to have a ruler during the inspection because if the tire treads are already worn down, this can mean you’ll have to buy a new set or risk danger during a drive. Check for rust, paying close attention to the underside and the breaks.

Of course, those are just some tips on how to purchase second-hand cars while minimising the worries of getting a lemon. It helps if you have someone you trust with you who knows about cars.

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