For cost-conscious shoppers, a used car looks more tempting than a new vehicle with a hefty price tag. Notwithstanding, while this provides an opportunity to enjoy the perks of affordable prices and lower interest rates, getting a used car can be a quite daunting task. Due to complicated and technical car inspections, there is a risk of missing out on checking some essential parts.
Therefore, it is important to avoid making costly mistakes if you want to buy used cars with peace of mind. The checklist below outlines what you need to take a look at before making your purchase and best place to buy used cars online, continue reading and find out.
1. Checking the vehicle’s mileage
If you expect to enjoy a longer life of your vehicle, the number on the odometer should be the first thing owners check. The main reason for this is that, if overlooking a vehicle’s mileage, you can get swept away in best mpg cars, or other measures of efficiency and reliability.
The average mileage is 15,000 miles per year, so if the mileage is less than 70,000 after five years, it would be considered low. In case it’s much more, it would be classed as high.
Theoretically speaking, a vehicle that has covered more miles has more wear and tear. However, a car’s mileage depends on a lot of factors including whether the car has been cared for properly. Once a certain mileage has been reached, a part is likely to need replacing. As such, a well-treated secondhand car with 100,000 miles can easily be in better shape than one with 60,000 miles on the odometer and signs of poor repairs. Lower mileage is insignificant unless it’s a relatively new vehicle because you can get the powertrain warranty to run out.
In addition, cars with high mileage can help you budget and save a lot of money upfront. Not only they are considerably economical than low mileage cars but depreciation is also cheaper. One more essential thing to note is that larger V6 and V8 engines can withstand more miles and smaller or turbocharged diesel engines tend to have more problems at higher mileage. All in all, we recommend that it will be a reliable deal for you to buy used cars that have been frequently driven and maintained.
2. Inspecting exterior, and interior conditions
When it comes to exterior check, there is a range of things to keep in mind. Firstly, you should take a walk around the vehicle and look for problems with the frame and colour. Is the car sitting level on the ground? Are there signs of inconsistent gaps between panels that could be a sign of extensive repairs? Is the paint finish mismatched across different parts of the car? If the car has been repainted, there may be paint adhering to the rubber seals around the hood and trunk lid. You should bring them up as a bargaining point in negotiations to buy used cars.
Secondly, it is a must to keep an eye out for any cracks, scratches, and dents. When checking for rust patches, don’t skip the vehicle glass, wheel wells, the rocker panels beneath the doors, and the door bottoms. You had better use a flashlight for better vision. Minor cosmetic flaws and light scratches are not a cause for alarm because they can be fixed fairly easily. On the other hand, if there are places of rusty metal or large, pocked cracks in the windshield, you might want to reconsider the purchase.
Thirdly, inspecting the tires to see whether they are needed to be replaced. You can tell a lot only from looking at them from how well the car was driven to if the maintenance schedule followed. For example, side-worn tires are indicators of not being chronically underinflated. Tires that are cupped and unevenly worn along the tread’s circumference can be a symptom of steering, suspension or brakes issues. And be sure to check all four tires are the same.
Once going inside of a used car, sniff the interior. Check out under the floor mats, the lighter and ashtray for evidence. Some smells, such as mould or smoke, can be very hard to get rid of. You probably don’t want to invest in a car of which the smell you can’t stand.
Next, try all the seats, belts, and upholstery. The leather and rubber around the car interior should be firm and supple. Besides touching the surface, you should make some adjustments as well to feel their movement and determine whether they are frayed, rock-hard, cracked, or mushy.
Finally, turning on electronic interiors and trying out every switch, button, and lever of different car functions to make sure they work properly before you buy a used car. Here is a list of features you need to test:
- Air conditioner
- Radio reception on AM and FM and other infotainment operations: CD player, sound system
- Windshield wipers
- Signal lights, headlights, high beam, cabin lights
3. Testing driving performance and engine condition
When evaluating the engine performance, it’s common for inexperienced shoppers to simply do a visual check. However, no matter how good it looks, always do a test drive to examine its manoeuvrability, acceleration, braking and suspension. You should notice if there are any unusual noises, noticeable squeaks and steering vibration that could cause you headaches when driving.
Moreover, it’s always a good idea to have the parts under the hood checked by a trusted mechanic. They can determine if the vehicle has any underlying problems or areas that might become an issue in the future. Of course, it is not a free service but it is nothing compared with the amount of money you waste on repairs after being duped into a dodgy deal.
4. Look at the vehicle documents
Like the second hand car already? Don’t immediately close the deal. It’s time to take a careful look at the vehicle documents. The most important document you need to check is the V5C or the registration document. The V5C holds details of the car and the person it’s registered to. A legit registration document should be watermarked with lines of ‘DVL’ from top to bottom which you are able to see through the light. In case you don’t, it could be a forgery.
Then, requesting maintenance service and accident records. They will give you an overview of what issues the car has and what problems have been fixed. If the owner is reluctant to disclose this information, you can try checking with the car’s insurance company to get a sense of what might have happened before. While a vehicle history report cannot identify every possible cause for concern associated with a particular pre owned car, easy access to its well-detailed history is always a good sign when you buy used cars.
5. Finding a trustworthy dealership
Last but not least, what you are probably wondering now is where is the best place to buy used cars online. In today thriving market, there are endless lists of websites where you can find a pre-owned car for sale, you should have some filters to sort out dealerships to avoid having a bad experience. The first criteria of a good online market to buy used cars are the diversity of listings along with photos, videos and detailed information. Also, you should use the website where previous customers’ reviews are available. They can be evidence proving the marketplace trustworthiness for car seekers. Another filter is their dealership’s policy. In particular, used cars are only listed by sellers that are legislatively verified.
Haven’t thought of any sites yet? cintamobil.com is our suggestion. Established in 2017, Cintamobil.com has become one of the largest used-car marketplaces in Indonesia with over 1,000,000 users per month. Along with the perk of having a wide range of listings from pick up trucks to luxury cars of authorized sellers, you can keep up-to-date with the latest automotive news, tips, and reviews.
Above are our buying tips and tricks when you’re in the market for a second-hand car. Finding a used car suit your needs perfectly is definitely not a quick and easy process. However, with our checklist and advice on the best place to buy used cars online, you can soon make your wish come true.