What to Look for When Buying A Used Car
Buying a used car can be considered a reasonable way to get the desired brand of car for a reasonable cost. From the moment a new car leaves the dealership, it begins to depreciate rapidly. After the first year of operation, the new machine loses about 30% of the cost. In the second year, the degree of depreciation is reduced by about half. Purchasing a used car is much more difficult than a new one. A risk exists to choose a model with technical problems that are immediately invisible. A used car will not have a warranty and you will have to solve all the problems yourself. In this article, we will figure out how to choose it, at what time of the year it is worth buying, and how to check it properly.
Decide which car you require
What requirements do you have for the car? Decide on the type, model, and year of production. Diesel or gasoline engine, manual or automatic transmission. It can be one or several different models that you would like to buy and suitable for your budget. You can browse various private advertisements or find an option you want here.
Decide on the budget
Decide how much you are ready to spend. You have to take into account the money to register it and make insurance. You also need to understand that a used car may require additional expenses for the replacement of fluids, batteries, or the price of any repairs.
For the same cost, you may purchase an older vehicle of a better class and with a richer configuration, or a more modern model without some functions. You have to choose a model that suits your necessities and budget.
When is the best time to buy a car?
Once purchasing a used vehicle, it is hardly possible to name a specific most favorable time for this. Nevertheless, you can choose a period when there will be fewer other potential buyers. As a rule, this is the period before the New Year holidays, after the New Year holidays, or in the middle of summer.
How to choose a used vehicle? Examination and road test
It is worth studying beforehand the detailed information about the model you are interested in, its features, and the “diseases” of a particular model to understand what to give importance to first of all during the examination. Now the VIN code of the car is indicated in the ads, so you can discover more information even before meeting with the owner through special online services. Give preference to cars with a complete service history. This is a definite guarantee that they are regularly serviced and well-groomed, and will also give you an idea of how much money you need for maintenance. Always check the car during daylight. In the shade, in the garage, or at night, you may not notice body defects.
What to pay attention to:
- Mileage. You have to examine whether the mileage is twisted. If the odometer is mechanical, then all the numbers must be located exactly and easy to read. Uneven location is an indicator of the changed mileage.
The documents must be in perfect order. It is preferable to take a used car from the first and only owner.
- Make a general inspection. Determine the general condition of the body, and the presence of dents, scratches, or chips. Inspect and compare the gaps in the panels. Uneven gaps may indicate unskilled repairs. Check the body for rust. Surface corrosion is removable, but the rust that destroyed part of the metal is eliminated only by cutting out this area and replacing it with a new one. The most dangerous is the presence of rust on structural elements.
- Try opening and closing the doors. They should open and close easily, otherwise, it may indicate poor-quality body repair.
- Use a thickness gauge to determine the thickness of the paintwork. You will be able to identify repaired and repainted body parts. If the car was in little collisions, it does not matter, because it does not affect the ride quality and safety. If traces of a serious accident are found, then everyone decides whether to buy such a car or not. At a minimum, it should cost less.
- Inspect the motor. Are there any traces of oil indicating leakage of oil seals or gaskets? Check the oil level. Start the engine and look at the color of the exhaust gases. On gasoline engines, exhaust gases should be invisible or barely noticeable. Bluish smoke means that oil gets into the combustion chamber. White smoke means that coolant enters the combustion chamber. Black smoke means that the fuel mixture is too enriched (the engine burns too much fuel).
- Engine oil leaks may not be visible from under the hood. You can use the following trick to inspect the desired location from below. Take a picture or take a video on your phone from the bottom of the car, in the area of the engine and transmission. Eliminating oil leaks will not be cheap.
- Check how the gears are shifting on the automatic transmission. Gears should be switched without jerks and delays.
- Tires should have uniform wear. If the tires are worn out, then you have to take into account that it will be required to buy new ones. Winter tires can also be a great bonus if the owner gives them away at a bargain price.
- After a personal inspection, the car must be directed to a qualified mechanic for diagnosis. If you select from several cars, it is better to filter out the “bad” options yourself and show the good ones to the diagnostician. Remember, that any shortcomings you discover can be used as an argument to reduce the requested cost.