Buying a second-hand car can be a very daunting task, especially if you’re not particularly familiar with the risks involved.
Here are five things car journalist Wilmer Müller reckons you need to consider before signing that cheque:
1. Define your budget and needs
Be realistic about what you can afford and stick to your budget. Consider any repairs you may have to do and the increase in fuel if it’s very different to what you are currently driving.
Think of your lifestyle and what you might need in terms of interior space, finishes etc. If you are doing a trade-in, find out what your car’s trade-in value is and never accept the first price. Different dealers offer different incentives like cash back. The ideal car to buy will be a demo model of six months to one year old, with mileage of 10 000 -15 000km.
2 Do some research on maintenance
Ask around what a typical service will cost if the car is no longer under a motor plan. Consider your location and whether you have easy access to service centres. For example, if you buy certain models you might only find their parts in major cities, which may be hundreds of kilometres from where you live.
3 Make sure it comes with proper documentation
When you’re buying privately, it’s essential to make sure the car comes with all the necessary documentation. Why? Because if it doesn’t, the car could either be stolen, or the sellers could be hiding its actual condition.
The AA has a great list of documents you should ask for when buying a used car. Just two of the things you need to check include that the registered document has the appropriate watermark and whether or not the seller is the registered owner of the vehicle.
4 Do you have breakdown recovery?
When buying a used car, there’s a higher chance things could go wrong. The seller may have misled you about the condition of the vehicle for example. Having breakdown cover gives you peace of mind.
You know you’re protected if the car does decide to suddenly stop working and you could save a small fortune on recovery and call-out costs.
5 Take Your Time to Help Avoid Buyer’s Remorse
To avoid buyer’s remorse, never rush into buying a used car. Taking the time to do thorough research. Negotiating for the right price is one of the ways you can help ensure you’re getting a good deal on a vehicle.