Buying a second hand car can be just as exciting as buying a brand new one, but it requires the buyer to do their homework of careful research and inspection to make sure the investment is worth the hard-earned cash. In this article, we provide 7 common mistakes buyers make that can ruin the experience of purchasing and owning a car. We also provide some practical guidelines on how to avoid them.
1. Buying a used car based on its particular model and make
It's so easy to become enamored with a particular make and model especially when you've always wanted, for example, a fast and sleek 2-door sports car and now it's within your reach. However, purchasing a car based on its make and model may blind you to other vehicles that might be a better fit for you. Examine your needs first before deciding on which model and make to purchase. Do you have children? Then an SUV might be a better choice for you than a small two-door car. Compare different models and assess your needs before making a decision.
2. Skipping on the research
Research is so important especially when you're buying a used car. Not only do you have to research the vehicle's ratings, reviews and reliability but also research on the car's history to find out if it has been involved in any collision, crime or if it has been previously flooded. If research is needed when buying a new car, then it is doubly important when purchasing a second hand car.
3. Buying a used car well over your budget
Good research will pay off when looking at the price of a used car. Different makes and models will often have different resale values so if you know the resale value of the particular car you are looking at, then you can avoid splurging on an overpriced second hand car.
Before you go to your dealership, make sure you have your financing in place. This is to guarantee that you can arrange the best financing terms and avoid impulse buying which can lead you to agree to terms with high interest rates and tighter payment conditions.
4. Not having an independent mechanic inspect the car
Never buy a used car based on face value alone. It's easy for exteriors to hide damages that will cost you expensive repair and maintenance later on. It's best to have a trusted third-party mechanic to thoroughly inspect the vehicle to find out if the used car is still in excellent condition. A mechanic will also be able to spot damages in the interior, engine and suspension that you might have overlooked.
5. Failing to take the used car for a test drive
It's imperative for you to take any used car you're considering for a long test drive. This is the only way for you to gauge how it performs in different roads and conditions. The vehicle's exterior might look good but it might not run smoothly in bumpy roads or uphill climbs. Take the time to test drive the car to determine it if it is the right fit for you and your family.
6. Not inspecting the car down to the smallest details
You've asked a mechanic to inspect the used car and you've also taken it for a test drive and you find that it runs great. You made the decision to purchase it. A few days after purchasing the car, the air conditioning suddenly fails. You take it to an A/C mechanic and find out that the condenser needs to be replaced, which does not come cheap. After a few days, your headlights go out. You take the car to an electrical mechanic and find out that the electrical relay of the car is not set correctly. After just a few days you've already spent a significant amount on repair when you've just bought the car! Being very thorough will save you the trouble and costs of having the car repaired after just a short time of using it.
7. Ignoring safety features
Check the safety features of the car that you are considering. Some of the most basic and effective measures in reducing fatalities and injuries are the antilock brake systems (ABS), electronic stability control (ESC) and head-protecting side air bags. If the used car doesn't have these safety features, ask the dealership if they can be installed. These safety features are well worth the money as they might save your life one day.
This article was written by Tom Jerrat for Jupiter Motors. Jupiter Motors is one of Australia's leading regional car dealerships located in Wagga Wagga, NSW. We provide a comprehensive selection of new Subaru, new Mazda, and high quality Wagga used cars. For more information, visit jupitermotors.com.au