Buying a used car is no easy task, especially since there is such a wide variety of models available on the market. Moreover, both private sellers and companies are fighting for their share of the profits, making it even harder to choose the right vehicle and buy it from the right seller. Here are 7 steps you should take before buying a used car.
Research Several Models
You shouldn’t settle for a single model, especially at first. You may find a more affordable car if you do more research. Knowing your budget is essential for this step, as it allows you to filter out cars that you wouldn’t be able to afford. Moreover, it allows you to create a general idea about what types of trims and packages are available within your budget range. To get the best results, use an online website specialized in used cars in London. It’s going to make the entire process a lot easier.
Refine The Results
Once you have several models on your shortlist, it’s time to refine the results. The majority of car brands launch an improved model every year. As a general rule, the older the car, the lower the price. Of course, this also depends on mileage, motorization, trim package, and other factors. While refining your results you should keep an eye on customer reviews. More often than not, the reviews will provide a valuable insight on the performance and quality of a certain model. Narrow down your list to a few models and proceed to the next step.
Call The Seller
Calling the seller is a more straightforward approach that allows you to ask some key questions. Regardless if it’s a private seller or a company, you should ask at least a few of the following questions:
- When did you purchase the car?
- Why are you selling it?
- Was the vehicle damaged?
- What is the condition of the car?
- Are there problems that can’t be seen in the photos?
- Do you have the car’s entire service history?
These are just a few of the questions that you should be asking the seller. Note them down before making the call, to make it easier for you to record the answers.
Arrange The Meeting
At the end of the phonecall, try to arrange a meeting with the owner. This meeting should allow a closer inspection of the car. If the seller is a car dealer, you will have to go to the dealership. However, if it’s a private seller, make sure you mention that you would like to inspect the car at the seller’s home address.To get the best results, use an online website specialized in used cars. It’s going to make the entire process a lot easier.
You don’t have to be an automotive expert to be able to have a good look at the car. If you want a more thorough inspection, you can always opt for a second opinion from a car mechanic. If you’re going on your own, here are a few points that should be on your checklist:
- Every inspection should be done during the day for better lighting
- Always look for signs of rust, especially under the body, bonnet, and carpets
- Look for oil and petrol leaks under the bonnet and under the car
- Check the wear of the tyres, including the spare tyre
- Check the seatbelts and all the switches on the inside
- Make sure the engine is cold before starting it
Test Drive Before Buying
Even if you’re convinced from the close-up inspection, you should still take the car out for a test drive. While you’re doing so, pay close attention to the following:
- Make sure the steering wheel doesn’t make any weird noises
- Drive on a steep road and check the handbrake
- Drive with the radio off and listen for engine noises
- Try to cover as many different surfaces and speeds as the roads permit
- Change gears as much as you can