Buying a used car? Here’s what to look out for
At times purchasing a used vehicle may be a daunting exercise because you may not know what to look out for, and the last thing you need is a scam or to buy a lemon. So, we’ve compiled a guide on the things you may want to pay attention to when purchasing a good used car from a quality used car website like CHANGECARS.
Reputable dealerships from a quality used car website
It all begins with the site you're using to find your pre-owned vehicle. Some websites stock everything from any dealership that's willing to part with cash. This is how unwitting buyers end up losing money or falling victim to scams. Visiting a quality used car website eliminates many of the trouble you may encounter during the buying process. CHANGECARS prides itself in only advertising vehicles from quality-approved dealerships, which ensures that buyers are purchasing from reputable brands. This approach builds a circle of trust between the website, the dealership and you, the customer.
Vehicles from a quality used car website should have a full-service history
As with any relationship, you want to know the history of that person to have a better understanding of who they are and where they've been. The same applies to cars, but to an even larger extent. Maintenance plays a crucial part in the longevity and reliability of a vehicle. One that has been well maintained will last longer than one that hasn't and will give the owner fewer hassles if any.
It’s important that the vehicle you’re looking to purchase through a quality used car website has a trackable service record because, without this, you don't know what you're buying. It could be a ticking time bomb and could cost you a lot of money and stress down the road. To avoid any wool being pulled over your eyes, go beyond the service book and request a printout of the vehicle's maintenance history directly from the OEM. Not all brands are this savvy but BMW is. With the printout, you'll have all the information of that specific vehicle's overall history, from services performed to parts replacements due to an accident.
Vehicle condition, age and mileage should all match
Should you be offered a 5-year-old vehicle with worn seats and low mileage – run. This could be likened to telling someone that you're 21 years old but have grey hair, wrinkles and arthritis. Something doesn't add up. The vehicle in question should look like a 5-year-old car with matching mileage. If it has excessively high mileage then it would be expected for it to have worn seats. An inspection of easy-to-spot age-related wear and tear items like seats, the steering wheel and the gear selector will give you a good indication of the sort of mileage a vehicle should have. Sadly, sellers have been known to temper with the vehicle's original mileage, which is why you should always use a quality used car website when searching for a used vehicle online.
Proof is in the pudding
How will you know if it's the ideal car if you don't drive it? The proof is in the pudding. If everything else on our list for purchasing a quality vehicle through a quality used car dealership checks out, the last thing for you to do is to drive it. Getting behind the wheel of your potential set of wheels will give you an idea of whether you like the way it drives. Does it feel underpowered for your liking, or is the ride height too high or too low? You may also discover that it feels rather large and intimidating on the road or that the interior doesn't offer enough room for you to sit comfortably.
More importantly, test-driving a vehicle before purchasing it allows you to pick up on any underlying issues that may not be physically visible. Things like squeaking noises, worn shocks or excessive play on the steering wheel can only be discovered by driving the vehicle. Every car dealership should allow you to test-drive a vehicle before purchasing it. Take a mechanic with you if you're not car savvy, or better yet, request that the vehicle undergo a full inspection before signing on the dotted line.
Now that you have all the right tools to make the best purchase decision, there’s no better time to start shopping around for your next vehicle than now. Visit changecars.co.za and spend some time browsing and find what suits you.
Words: Gugu Masuku