Buying a used car is often the smart move. You can get a much better vehicle for your money’s worth in many cases. However, the used market, especially when dealing with private sellers, can be rife with bad deals and you want to make sure that you’re getting stung by them. As such, here are a few ways to make sure that you’re buying smart when buying used.
Give them a test drive
If you want to make sure that a second-hand car isn’t more trouble than it’s worth, then you should make sure that you get behind the wheel with it, first and foremost. When test driving a car, keep your eyes, ears, and all your other senses out for faults. Furthermore, make sure that you’re taking a look around inside the car, making sure that it’s comfortable for you and with enough space to meet all of your needs.
Have them looked at
Of course, unless you’re a trained mechanic, then there is a good chance that you’re no expert. You’re going to want a professional opinion to make sure that the vehicle has no major problems underneath the hood that might sting you badly later. Make sure that the seller is okay with you taking the car to your mechanic or a vehicle inspection service for a check-up. If they’re not, then you should have no more business with them as it’s likely they have their own reasons to not let people take a look at the car. Of course, you want to inspect it yourself for any visible signs of disrepair, too.
Make sure that they’re yours
Just because you’ve driven off with the car, have the car registered under your name, and have the pink slip for it doesn’t mean that it’s entirely yours. You never know who else might have a copy of the keys to the car, after all. For that reason, it’s worth taking the time to get a car locksmith out to change those locks and cut some new keys. It might not seem like a common risk, but making sure you are the only key holder is the only way to guarantee peace of mind that someone else can simply unlock your car and drive it off after you buy it.
Run the plates
The car might seem like it runs fine, but if you really want to know it’s on the up and up, then you should run a vehicle registration check. This means using a vehicle registration number to learn more about the car’s history, including its ownership, whether it has expired from use, been written off, how it has been financed and even if it has been stolen. Needless to say, you want to make sure that your vehicle hold’s a valid registration before you put any money on it.
The tips above can’t protect you from every eventuality, but they can help you make sure that you’re no easy target for someone selling a car that’s less than it looks. Vigilance is the number one priority when buying used.