There are many advantages to buying a used car – most importantly the lower price and slower depreciation – but the process can be overwhelming and confusing, especially for first-time buyers. To help ensure you don’t waste your hard-earned cash on a dud, here’s a list of things to consider before making that important purchase.

Top 10 tips for buying a second-hand car

  • Exterior: Examine the paint job carefully taking note of rust, dents and scratches.
  • Interior: Look inside the boot to make sure it’s still in a good condition. Check the seats and upholstery for tears and stains.
  • Engine: Check under the bonnet for rust and dents. Each fender should have a VIN number (chassis number), if it doesn’t, it means that fender has been replaced. The hoses and belts should look new and not dry and cracked. Check for any leaks or corrosion – look for dark brown oil stains. Make sure the brake fluid is not leaking.
  • Brakes: Test the brakes by slamming down hard on them. Take note if the car brakes evenly or pulls to one side. Ensure the handbrake works effectively.
  • Tyres: Tyres should be worn evenly and should match.
  • Mileage: Check that the mileage, age and appearance of the car are all consistent.
  • Locks and lights: Turn the car on and check that all the lights work. Also test the windscreen wipers, locks and air conditioning.
  • Important documents: Every legitimate vehicle has three important identity numbers – the number plate, the VIN number and the engine number – check for these.
  • Service history: Ask questions about the history of the car – how many previous owners have there been, has the vehicle ever been in an accident and have there been any previous mechanical problems.
  • Test drive: Most importantly, before you decide anything, test-drive the vehicle for at least 20 minutes, paying attention to any strange noises.

Buying a used car doesn’t have to be so daunting. With the right advice and vehicle financing assistance from Earn-A-Car, together with our handy tips on what to look for, you can turn the headache of used-car shopping into a pleasant experience.

With Earn-A-Car you can own the car of your choice in four years. All you have to do is select your dream car and then start earning. If you have proof of income, can make a minimum down payment of R15 000 and meet our simple requirements, then we can help you.

If you know someone struggling to receive vehicle finance, you can even earn yourself a R1 000 bonus by referring them to us. Contact us today and start earning.