For many people, buying a brand-new car is quite a fruitless expedition. Brand-new vehicles can lose up to 20% of their value within just one year and their value can drop significantly within the first four years. 

The used car market can be a terrific industry to dip into if you cannot afford something brand new or if you want a little bit more value for your money. Buying used can, however, be quite a head scratcher because there are so many pitfalls that you need to be aware of and manage. Risk management is a key aspect you need to consider when looking to purchase a used car.

In this guide, we are going to take a peek at the most important things to avoid if you want to make a secure, used car purchase that minimizes your risk exposure to potential faults and issues to future ownership.

1. Buying Without A Pre-Purchase Inspection of the Vehicle 

One of the biggest mistakes you can possibly make is to buy a used car without getting it professionally inspected beforehand. This is especially true of potential buyers that have very little or no mechanical knowledge or experience with cars. 

There is absolutely no telling how the car was treated by its previous owner. For all you know, the previous driver had a terrible habit of neglecting regular servicing and repairs,  driving on the clutch, thrashing the vehicle or getting into accidents.

 It is very important to get the car checked out by a mechanic or a Third Party Pre- Purchase Providers like RACV, VACC, NMRA, REPCO or REDBOOK before you buy. These type of services can potentially identify issues that are not immediately obvious to the untrained eye. 

You potential used car purchase may have been involved in an accident or had previous flood or hail damage or even been a previous “Economic Repairable Write-off with poor quality repairs. Carrying out a Pre-Purchase Inspection can potentially minimise the risk of purchasing a lemon of a car, one that may turn out to be unreliable through the ownership period and incur expensive future repair costs. 

It may also provide a proper assessment of the true value of the car compared to good examples of similar cars selling on the market.

2. Buying Without A Test Drive

It is quite tempting to buy a used car online or through an agent but this usually means purchasing without taking the car for a test drive. When you fail to test the potential car you are buying, you run the risk of out laying a substantial sum of money in something that isn’t performing up to standard or something that just doesn’t suit your driving preference.

By test-driving a car before you buy, it gives you the opportunity to closely experience the car inside and outside. Its load capacity, vision, ease of use, condition of its body and paint work that photos may not reveal accurately. You can assess the features, the working order, the condition and the performance of the car and all aspects of the drive experience.

 It also may identify obvious faults in the cars interior, engine, transmission, suspension and brakes as you test drive the vehicle by identifying obvious noises and squeaks. You can assess the tyre condition and the ability of the car to start, idle and drive from cold to normal operating temperatures.

You can test drive the car at various speeds, locally and on the highway on good and poor roads to evaluate its true condition. Ideally, drive the vehicle on a test route in your neighbourhood or that mimics your normal driving conditions. You will be able to ensure that the cabin has all the needed comfort features and that the vehicle is comfortable enough for you to handle on a busy road or highway. 

3. Over-Paying For The Vehicle

The used car market is quite complex. Currently, it is over priced due to the various impacts of Covid on the car market with the lack of supply of new cars, long delays and supply chain issues which have affected used car prices over the last couple of years.

Thousands of vehicles are sold on these markets every day and the market prices for different brands of vehicles can drop or increase at the drop of a hat. Paying too much for a used car is a pretty common mistake to make and the only way to avoid this mistake is by doing a lot of market research on the general value of vehicles in different class ranges.

4. Purchasing Based On Looks

Granted, the look of a vehicle is very important but buying just based on looks is a terrible mistake to make. In this category, we are not just referring to mechanical failures. Cars can often look great and feature all sorts of issues that can be costly to repair. But one of the biggest things you should be aware of is personal satisfaction.

A lot of stylish rides are not as functional as you might hope for. In many cases, the car of your dreams might be just too small to suit your body type or your family, it might not suit your lifestyle or it can be too expensive to drive. 

It is very important to access your personal needs against your budget and to look around for used cars that can accommodate these needs. 

Take into account the safety suite of aids the car offers, the ownership and running costs not just the purchase price. Consider in your potential purchase the cars reputation for reliability, the cost of insurance, servicing, repairs, parts and frequency of servicing rather than emotionally buying anything you just like but doesn’t actually meet all your car needs. 

If you want to avoid these horrible scenarios and make the safest, most risk averse outlay that meets your needs and budget then it is always best to source your next used car purchase through My Next Car Buying Advocacy. These specialists can offer you the best advice regarding used vehicles and they will steer you toward the right car so you will have the best value for your money and a trustworthy ride that won’t let you down. 

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