Many people who are planning to purchase a car or other vehicle, decide not to opt for a brand-new one. This could be for a range of reasons which include the limit on their budget, the depreciation effect that comes with buying a new car as you take it out of the showroom, insurance costs or lack of driving experience. Instead, they decide to choose a used vehicle but naturally want one that is safe, reliable and suited to their needs.
If you are considering purchasing a used vehicle, it is important to ensure you know what to look for. Even though you are buying a used vehicle rather than a new one, it is still a big outlay and still the second biggest spend for most people next to buying a home. So you want to get the most for your money. By taking a few key factors into consideration, you will find it easier to make your choice. We will look at some of these throughout this article.
01. The Price of the Vehicle
One of the reasons you may be opting for a used vehicle rather than a brand-new one might be your budget. If this is the case, taking the price of the vehicle into consideration is very important as you need to ensure you can stay within your budget.
Take the time to work out how much you can afford to spend before you start your search, as this will allow you to focus on vehicles that are within your price range. However, make sure you do not use the price of the vehicle as your only deciding factors, as you also need to consider other key points.
02. Service History Details
If you are purchasing from a private seller, you should always ask to see the service history of the vehicle. Naturally, when you buy a used car, you want to ensure that it has been properly serviced and maintained and well cared for. If the seller has taken it in for regular servicing, this is a pretty good sign that it has been properly maintained.
Checking whether services have been missed or extended beyond their scheduled date. A used car under warranty if not serviced regularly may breach some of its warranty requirements and make it void. So, before you make your decision, take a look at the service history to make sure it has been taken in regularly by the current owner.
03. Ownership History details
Understanding and knowing how many and the type of owners the vehicle has tells a richer story about the way a car may have been driven separate to its service history. Purchasing a used vehicle from a one owner car, accident free that was taken to only to the church on Sundays is different to a previously used ex-rental car that may have had a hundreds of different drivers and multiple scratches, accidents and repairs.
Understanding the way a vehicle is used by the owner can make the decision between two almost identical cars easier to differentiate and a better buy. If you’re looking for a family SUV 4WD the better buy maybe the car that has never been off road or towed and was only used to pick up the kids from school. This could be in preference to the same car that has been used for regular camping trips or heavy off roading on country roads. It may have been at higher risk of suffering extra wear and tear or even damage, exposure to water or damage to the undercarriage.
04. How Many Kilometres on the Clock
You should never assume that the only vehicles to have a lot of kilometres on the clock are much older vehicles. Some people who are selling their cars have clocked up a lot of kilometres in a short period of time due to extensive travel. So, always make sure you check the kilometres on the clock and see whether it seems realistic based on the age of the vehicle.
Understanding the owners driving habits may put a different context to the condition of a car. A higher kilometre vehicle driven over long distance and country driving as opposed to stop- start city and suburban driving may in some circumstances render it a better buy with less wear and tear on the engine.
05. General Condition of the Vehicle
The general condition of the vehicle also needs to be taken into consideration, and this means looking at various key aspects of the car. Some people get caught up with the aesthetic appeal of the vehicle but there is a lot more to buying a used car than just the paintwork and appearance. You also need to ensure that the engine is in good condition, all components work as they should, the clutch and brakes are in good working order, and even the little details such as the window wipers.
If the buyer doesn’t have the expertise to check out the mechanical and overall condition of the vehicle including any potential evidence of accident repairs there are options. Consider a friend with mechanical knowledge that may assist or seek professional assistance with a Pre- Purchase Inspection by a reputable 3rd party provider such as RACV, VACC or Repco.
06. Getting Expert Advice
If you are looking for advice and information on purchasing the right used vehicle for your needs, you can get in touch with the experts at My Next Car Buying Advocacy. They offer personalised one-on-one support for car buyers, including for those in the market to buy second-hand.
Car shopping can be a challenge but by keeping these tips in mind and not being afraid to ask for help when you need it, you’ll be driving away in your new vehicle in no time.