Buying a second hand car is a bit of a minefield, with so many vehicles on the forecourts, not to mention the private sale, which has shifted its focus from weekly mags to the Internet, with many sites, all offering bargains. Buying used has always been the smart man’s move, let’s face it, the moment you drive a new car off the forecourt, you’ve lost up to 11% of the value right there! Second hand cars offer the perfect solution, if they have been well maintained, and there lies the secret, finding a car that has been regularly serviced, with no concealed accident damage. If you are in the market to change your wheels, here are a few tips to help you choose the right car.
Work out your budget
This is important, as is determines the range of cars you will be looking at. As a guideline, your car payments should not exceed 20% of your net monthly income, unless of course, you are one of these people who keeps their money in a shoebox, and pays cash for everything, and even then, you will need to know how much you can afford to lay out on a car.
Every car has a vehicle identification number (VIN), and with a simple check you can find out the real history of the vehicle. If you are looking at a car with a view to buying, car history details are available here, and by simply entering the car details, you can receive a free report on the car’s history.
Don’t buy on impulse
We’ve all been there, you see the car of your dreams, sit behind the wheel, and the excitement rises, while you figure out if you can afford it. Stop! Take a step back, and think about the car as you would a commodity. Take away that personal desire, which only clouds your judgement. Many a poor chap has come home with a two seater sports model, while his wife and two kids stand open mouthed! What we want is often not what we need.
Time for reflection
If the car really is a good as you think, it will still be there tomorrow, so sleep on it, and if you still feel the same way in the morning, have someone check the vehicle’s history, and if all is well, then you can consider the purchase. For detailed information on vehicle data checking, here is an informative website that highlights the risks of buying second hand.
A full inspection
If you are mechanically minded, give the car a full inspection, which should culminate in a test drive. Many of us are not too familiar with the inner workings of an internal combustion engine, so there are vehicle inspection services available online, where a qualified mechanic will meet you at the vehicle’s location, and perform a series of tests, which will be the basis for a full report. Regarding tyre safety, here is some useful information about tread depths and general tyre conditions.
If a car passes the vehicle inspection, and the history checks out, then you can go ahead with the purchase, confident the car is everything you expect.