Buying a used car can be a good option if you want a quality vehicle without a high price tag. However, buyers still need to make sensible choices. There’s plenty to consider when buying a used vehicle, but there are ways to choose the right car.
Check both the interior and exterior.
Inspect the outside of the vehicle for scratches, dents, and rust. Large areas of damage can be cause for concern. Check that the body panels line up accurately, as uneven panels may indicate poor repair work after an accident. Open and close the doors, hood, and trunk to see if they move easily.
Check for paint overspray on the inside of the hood, trunk and doors, and look to see if the color matches everywhere. If you see overspray or poorly matched paint, this indicates repairs and repainting. Sit in all the seats and look for wear and tear in the upholstery. If the interior smells musty, check the carpets for signs of water damage.
Take the car for a test drive.
Taking a test drive will help you assess the condition of the car and whether it’s right for you. Reputable car showrooms like Port Macquarie Car Dealers will always let you do this. Check that all the dashboard warning lights work. When you start the engine, listen for unusual sounds which might indicate a problem.
Drive the car on a variety of roads and at different speeds to check that the transmission shifts smoothly. Note any unusual noises, and check that all the electronics are working properly. Make sure the brakes work and do not pull the car to one side.
Is low mileage always a good sign?
Low mileage can certainly indicate less wear and tear on a vehicle. However, if a car isn’t driven often, plastic and rubber parts may become brittle and perish. It’s also good for the drivetrain to use a vehicle consistently. It makes sense to check the mileage on a used vehicle, but be aware that how the vehicle has been maintained and driven may be a more important consideration.
Check the vehicle for leaks.
Any fluid leaks in a car generally mean a repair is needed. Check under the car for fluid leaks. Black fluid might mean leaking oil, while green, yellow, or pink fluid may mean an antifreeze leak and reddish fluid may mean a leak in the transmission or power-steering fluid.
Research the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and history.
The VIN can tell you a lot about a car. This is a quick way to check the vehicle title and records. A vehicle history report will show you title problems, ownership history, service points, and previous accidents. A dealer may even provide you with a free history report.
Establish a fair purchase price.
Finally, compare prices for the same make, model, and year of car. This can be done easily online. Although the condition of the vehicle and mileage will affect the price, you can still establish a guide to the vehicle’s market value. Don’t be rushed into buying a used car. Take your time, do your research, and negotiate.