Thursday, April 11, 2024

What To Look For When Buying A Car

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Are There Any Special Features Or Lack Thereof In The Vehicle

What to look for when buying a used car – Which? guide

When youre viewing the car in person, one thing to note is if there are any special features or lack of them in the vehicle. This could be things like automatic dimming mirrors, automatic seats, bluetooth capabilities or keyless entry. If the car lacks features that make you feel more comfortable when driving, then this is something to consider.

Check The Tires Of The Car

Tires are also one of the fundamental elements of cars that must be checked before buying a used car. Also, a very important measure here that must be kept in mind is the date of manufacturing of the tires, and see whether the tire is worn evenly.

Make a note that the dimension must match the dimension given by the manufacturer of the car. Due to the poor alignment tires, you often get to see uneven treads or extra wear on tires, which somehow indicates issues in steering, frames, and suspension.

Work Out A Used Cars Value

Do your research by looking at price guides and comparing similar used cars for sale online and in car magazines.

Arrange car viewings for the day, and at the sellers home if possible. Try not to go when its dark or raining as this can hide defects, such as dents and scratches.

Check beneath the car and under the bonnet for rust and any signs that the cars been in an accident. Also check the tyres are in good condition.;

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Disadvantages Of Buying A Car From A Private Seller

No dealer warranties

A private seller can’t offer you a warranty. But if the car is relatively new and has low mileage, you can check whether existing warranties transfer with the car.

No financing

The vast majority of private vehicle sales are made upfront with cash.

  • In some cases, if you have solid credit and a good relationship with a bank or credit union, you could get prequalified for a vehicle loan or personal loan.
  • However, you’ll typically have to line up financing yourself.

No right to cancel the sale

In some states, dealers are required to let buyers cancel the purchase within a few days if they have a change of heart.

With a private seller, once you sign the title and hand over your money, you’re committed.

No lemon law protections

Lemon laws are designed to protect car buyers who purchase defective cars. While each state has different requirements, the basic idea is the same:

  • If a dealer sells you a car with a significant mechanical defect that can’t be fixed quickly, it’s required to offer you a replacement or refund.
  • But only a few states extend lemon laws to include used cars, and most dont extend them to private sellers.

No social media recourse

If you’re not happy with your experience with a car dealer, you can leave a negative review on social media and review sites such as Yelp.

Risk of repairs

When you buy a used car from a private seller, you are taking on all the risk of repairs.

Always keep these risks in mind when you’re calculating your offer.

Check The Trunk Of Car

Buying A Car? What To Look For When You Take A Test Drive ...

I know..I know, you are feeling strange after seeing the headline check the trunk of the car in this comprehensive list of what to check for when buying a used car from a dealer or a private owner. But you should be aware that the trunk of the car is another valuable component that must be kept in mind while buying a used car.

According to numerous car experts, the trunk of the car indicates the utility of the vehicle as well as gives a hint of the way the owner has treated it.

Also, make sure to check the spare tire placed under the trunk inside the floor should not be damaged. If it is, then the has surely suffered an accident in the past.

Any openings for water and rust must also be checked as these may result in holes and cracks that will unequivocally need repair. If there are havocs present in the car, make a guesstimated cost before making the final decision.

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My Recommendation For Car Shoppers

Each week, I’ll keep you up-to-date on the latest car deals and news that might affect your purchase. This includes…

  • Best Rebates, Incentives, and Lease Deals
  • Latest Car Buying Scams and Tricks
  • The Best & Worst Time to Buy a Car
  • Which Cars You Should Avoid

Read Our Used Vehicle Checklist To Help You Make A Safer More Informed Choice When Buying Any Used Car

The checklist of things you ought;to be aware of when buying a used car isnt quite the terror inducing catalogue it once was. Improved reliability, better manufacturing practises and, of course, huge improvements in records for insurance write-offs, outstanding finance and MoT history mean you can get a good idea of a used cars past more easily than ever before.

Naturally, there are still risks, and that applies whether you are buying from an independent trader or dealership, privately or from an approved main dealer. Nonetheless, combining our used car checklist with a bit of common sense and diligence means you can buy with confidence.

Before we get into the specifics, the two main rules to keep in mind when buying a used car are: buy with your head and not with your heart, and secondly, if you arent convinced about anything, be prepared to walk away.

Unless youre in the market for a super rare classic or exclusive hypercar, there will be another set of wheels as good, if not better, just round the corner. How can we say that? Because weve been there and also, with more than 8 million used cars sold every year in the UK, the odds are stacked in the buyers favour.

Once your head is in the right place for used car shopping, its time to get down to the nitty gritty. The used car buying tips set out in our guide below will help to guarantee that unmissable used car deal is a genuine bargain.

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What To Look For When Buying A Used Car

You’ve probably heard the phrase “caveat emptor.” In Latin, this means “Let the buyer beware,” but when it comes to purchasing a used car, a more appropriate phrase may be “Let the buyer prepare.”

Fortunately, you don’t need to know Latin to avoid buying a lemonand you don’t necessarily need to be a car expert, either. Though there’s more to car buying than just looking for low mileage, a lot of used-car shopping just requires you to pair your common sense with your other senses: If a vehicle looks, sounds, feels, or yes, smells bad, it’s not a good sign.

The trick is telling minor faults from major ones. You’ll want to use the former to negotiate the price you pay, while the latter will tell you when to walk away. Both are important to the buying process. You can tell which is which by learning just a few things, including different options that can protect you and your purchase if you’re not entirely sure whether to buy a specific used vehicle or not.

Inspect The Engine For Any Leaks Corrosion Funny Sounds Or Smells

How to Check Used Car Before Buying – DIY Inspection

View this video to learn how to check car fluids, belts, and perform full under-hood inspection.Dark brown oil stains on the engine block indicate a leaky oil pan gasket. Check to see if the previous owner has documentation of oil changes, radiator flushes, any repairs, or any other regularly required maintenance. Evidence of preventative maintenance can be helpful in your purchasing decision because regular maintenance extends the cars life.

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Decode The Vehicle Identification Number

When buying a used car look at the Vehicle Identification Number . Some scammers will replace the VIN of a stolen car with one that is legally registered. Check the VIN for consistency on all service records, history reports, title documents, and on the car itself .

This VIN Decoding chart may also help.

Check The Registration Certificate

How to know if the seller is the real owner of the car? Is the car being sold for the first time or second time? Before buying a second car these questions comes naturally to anyones mind.

Well, all these things can be easily checked with the help of Owner Serial Number present in the RC that indicates the number of times the car has been sold till now.

Just you will have to fill out and submit Form 29 and Form 30 issued by the RTO. But while doing this, dont forget to get the form signed by both you and the previous owner.

In addition to all these things, make sure that the previous owner had paid all dues, including road tax. Also, go through Valid Pollution Under Certificate and Bi-fuel certification if the car is LPG/CNG fitted.

Checking the cars registration certificate is a very important thing to do for any buyer and thats why we mentioned it at the top of the list of things to check before buying a used car.

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Why Is A Pre

A pre-purchase inspection is essential to determine the cosmetic, mechanical and safety condition of a car. A mechanic can help pinpoint any existing conditions as well as highlight potential future issues. This information is critical and can help provide negotiation leverage.

Where to get a pre-purchase inspection.

Sell Or Trade Your Current Vehicle

What to Look For When Buying a Used Car

Like most do-it-yourself projects, selling your own vehicle to a private party can be cost-effective. In contrast, trading in your current vehicle at the dealership is certainly much easier.

Before buying your next vehicle, consider the pros and cons of what to do with your current vehicle and make an informed choice.

Trading in Your Vehicle: The Pros and Cons

Trading your car in at the dealership may be quick and easy but it may not necessarily always be painless. The upside of trading is that the dealer does all the paperwork. After settling on an acceptable price, all you have to do is sign the vehicle over and be done with it. The price you pay for the convenience of being relieved of your vehicle will likely be less money for you than if you sold it yourself. Some people expect the dealer to give the full retail value of the vehicle and are often disappointed by the offers presented to them. Such people are being unrealistic. To avoid any surprises, be sure to get the Kelley Blue Book® Trade-in value of your vehicle and the Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer option, which provides a starting point for trading in a vehicle at a dealership.

For example, if you trade-in an old, worn-out pickup truck to a high-end import luxury-car dealership, that dealership is not going to put that truck into its used-vehicle inventory. So that truck goes to the auction.

Selling Your Vehicle Yourself: The Pros and Cons

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Buying A Used Car From Auction

Many buyers are cautious about buying a car from auction.

Vehicles passing under the hammer are usually being sold for a quick sale, and come with little in the way of protection such as a warranty.

Buy carefully, however, and you could grab a bargain.

  • Pros
  • Finding the right car for you at an auction that isnt overly competitive could result in a real bargain
  • You can snap up a car quickly and easily
  • It can offer a good environment to see what people are willing to pay for a particular vehicle
  • You usually have the chance to purchase before and after the auction, giving you more time to make your decision
  • Cons
  • Its getting more difficult to get a bargain at auction, as many dealers are now selling part-exchanges through eBay auctions and theres an increasing number of wannabe traders surfacing
  • The time to make your decision is less and you might have to do so in a more pressured situation, which could lead to poor decision making
  • Private buyers are cottoning on, too. Look out for cars that might be unpopular with dealers – those in unusual colours, for example, or with thirsty engines. Theyll be hard to sell on so you might get one for a good price
  • You wont be able to give the car a thorough health check or a really thorough inspection and test drive
  • Things to consider for first-time auction buyers

    Most auction houses allow a few hours of browsing before the sale, so get to the auction early and dont be afraid of poking around any prospective purchases.

    Have The Car Inspected By A Mechanic Who Understands Hybrids

    Having a pre-purchase inspection is a good idea on any car. When you’re buying a used hybrid though, it’s important that the mechanic conducting the inspection understands hybrid vehicles. Sure, any good mechanic can weigh in on the condition of the brakes, tires, and air conditioner, but once you get under the hood, you want a mechanic who knows what to look for.

    Checking the hybrid battery’s status is pretty easy in fact, most hybrids report on the status of the battery constantly. But take it further by making sure your mechanic knows how to evaluate your hybrid car’s electric drive, its different powertrain, and its computer controls, which differ from many of those in standard internal-combustion vehicles. A mechanic who isn’t used to working with hybrids may not have the complex knowledge to understand all the complicated computer technology used in hybrid vehicles. Specialized training is needed to inspect or work on hybrid cars safely, given the electric voltage generated by the car.

    Other hybrids, including the Toyota Prius, use other systems, known as strong or full hybrid systems, with larger electric motors and larger battery packs. It’s important to choose a shop that repairs hybrids regularly and knows what to keep an eye out for on the specific make and model you’re considering. Look for a shop that advertises that it works on hybrid vehicles or for a dealership with hybrid vehicle experts among their mechanics.

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    Mobile Mechanical Diagnostic Tools

    Until recently, you couldn’t get a computer code readout on a car unless you took it to a mechanic who has the necessary equipment to plug into the car’s onboard computer, read the code and translate it. But new technology makes it possible for you to get a computer reading right from your mobile device.

    For example, Fixd, CarMD, Hum+ and Zubie Key each let you run a computer diagnosis either on a handheld device or on certain smartphones.

    • When you buy the app, you’ll get a sensor that plugs right into the onboard diagnostics port in the car’s computer.
    • Then you can get a code reading and computer diagnosis of any problem right on your handheld or mobile device, depending on the product.
    • These apps should work with any vehicle built in 1996 or later.

    It’s not as good as getting an experienced mechanic to check out the car before you buy it, but it’s a good alternative.


    Consider meeting at the mechanic’s shop. If you’re serious about buying the car, this should be a reasonable request by the seller and indicates they aren’t intentionally concealing any vehicle issues.

    Be prepared to show proof of funds and agree on a fair price if the vehicle passes inspection.

    • If the mechanic gives the vehicle a clean bill of health, consider buying the car.
    • If the mechanic recommends repairs, then it’s reasonable to deduct the cost of needed repairs from the purchase price of the vehicle, if the seller is willing, and then buy the car.

    Make Sure The Price Is Fair

    What to look for when buying a used car

    No one wants to pay more than they should for anything. has an array of helpful tools you can use to determine if youre getting a fair price.

    • The;Car Research section gives average transaction prices and price ranges for most models.
    • Once you have a specific model in mind, our History-Based Value tool can calculate a more precise value based on the vehicles mileage, location, and condition. Just plug in your zip code and the cars Vehicle Identification Number or license plate number.
    • When you check out Carfaxs Used Car Listings, you can decide if the asking price is fair based on information in its Vehicle History Report and average selling prices in your area.
    • Use our payment calculator to estimate your monthly payment.

    With these tools, you can quickly determine the average retail price youd pay both at a dealership and from a private party.

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    Take A Test Drive Of The Used Car

    Always view the car in dry weather in the daylight. If you are buying from a private seller do so from their home so you have their address.

    When taking the car for a test drive, keep the following in mind:;

    • Drive for at least 15 minutes on different types of road and try and drive for an hour if you can

    • Check that all warning lights operate normally;

    • Check that the brakes work effectively and there are no unusual noises

    • Make sure the steering doesnt vibrate or pull to one side

    • Check the seatbelts operate correctly

    You may also want to get an independent report to give you detailed information about the cars condition. This will cost around £100 to £200 and the Motor Ombudsman will have advice on where to get an independent report in your area. The Motor Ombudsman is a government-backed self-regulatory body for the motoring industry.;

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