Buying a used car has a number of benefits. Not only will you be saving money by not having to experience the rapid car depreciation experienced in the first two years but if you do your research you can find really excellent deals. If you are considering buying a second-hand car, you do need to ask these important questions first:
- How long have you owned the car?
Generally, if you are buying a used car from a dealership or from a rent-to-buy company like Earn-a-Car, they will have the car’s history and ownership papers readily available. However, if you are buying from a private seller you will need to be as vigilant. If the person has only owned the car for a very short period of time, ask why they are selling the car.
- Is the car paid off?
If the car isn’t paid off yet, then there will be another step to purchasing the car. You will need to confirm whose name is on the title and ensure that you are buying the car from the legitimate owner and not a stolen vehicle.
- What is the condition of the car?
You want to buy a used car that has not been in an accident or has any major mechanical faults, so you need to ask whether it has been in an accident or whether there are any other faults on the vehicle. Also check the wear on the tyres. The legal minimum tread depth is 1.6mm across the central thread quarters. Ensure that the motor does not make any unusual sounds and check that all windows, central locking and other essential mechanisms are fully functional. One of the ways for peace of mind is to have the vehicle inspected at your nearest AA assessment centre.
- What is the current mileage?
Some vehicles that are almost 100 000km’s need a major service which can add to high unexpected costs in the near future. Many vehicle service and mechanical warranties expire when a vehicle is either 5 years old or has reached 100 000km’s. It is important to contact a service centre for the vehicle make to establish what these risks are in the future and the cost of extending the warranty, depending on the age and the kilometres of the vehicle.