Buying a car, whether it is new or pre-owned, is often your second highest expense where the first, is buying a house. There are no quick fixes if you make the wrong decision and choosing a car that breaks down often, will not only cost you money that you did not budget for, but also your time and potentially your safety.
We understand that it is important to make sure you are selecting a car that is in good mechanical condition. Buying or leasing a pre-owned car does come with risk, however if you do your research you can find a high-quality vehicle at a good price that is in great condition.
Here are a few tips to help you with this important purchase decision:
Questions to Ask
- How many kilometers has the car travelled?
- Does the car have a full service history from qualified car service stations?
- If the car has electric windows and other automated accessories, make sure these are all in good working condition.
- When you switch the car on, are there any warning light signals being displayed on the dashboard ?
- Is the seller willing to let you take the car for a test drive?
- When the car is idling, are there are any unusual noises?
- Has the car been involved in an accident?
Inspect the car in daylight and take particular note of the paint work. If the paint does not have the same reflectivity or hue all the way along the panels, then it could be an indication that the car has been involved in an accident. Scrutinize the gaps between the panels, especially where the doors, the boot and bonnet close. When you look at these seams, they should be perfectly aligned. These are the finer details that are very hard to repair and are good indicators that prove that the car has been in an accident.
Check the Tyres
Tyres are one of the fastest-wearing items on a car and are expensive to replace. Inspect the tyres, making sure that the tread is worn evenly and is not less than 5mm.
Look for Signs of Water Entry
Carefully inspect the rubbers around the car’s windscreen, windows, bonnet and boot for signs of decay. Water entering the car can cause a lot of damage.