Buying a car, even a used car, is usually one of the biggest financial purchasing decisions you will ever make. Because of this, the process of buying a car will likely also be one of the more stressful situations you may face. In some regards, buying a used car can pose more of a headache than buying a new one, as there are a few more things to consider in the buying process.
With a vast quantity and variety of used cars for sale out there, how do you choose which car to buy? What should you be looking out for when you find one you think you like? Don’t worry you’re not alone in asking questions such as these. You’re not the first and you won’t be the last.
In this used car buying guide we will discuss and attempt to help you navigate through some of the more common topics you need to take into consideration, or at the very least give you some awareness on what to expect or look out for when buying for a used car.
Choose the right car
Before you start your hunt, you first need to know what you are looking for. If you don’t already have an idea what make or model you are leaning toward, the best way is to make a list of the most important features you must have, think about what purpose the car will serve and the budget you have to work with. From those factors you should be able to narrow down your choices and come up with a shortlist of suitable cars.
Once you have your shortlist it’s time to start the actual search. When buying a used car you have two options, to either buy from a licensed dealer or from a private seller. There are pros and cons to buying from each and you can read up on that in further detail, but the main thing now is to decide whether you want to buy from just one of the places, or both, so you can ignore any unwanted listings you come across and focus your search more narrowly and quickly. Inspection time
Once you have located some possible cars that match what you’re looking for, it’s time to go do some viewings or inspections. During the inspections there are a few parts to this. Do a visual inspection of both the interior exterior of the car, checking for any defects or signs of potential damage that may have occurred or be occurring (such as in the case with corrosion).
You also need to test the functionality of all the different features to make sure they are in good operating condition.
Pop the bonnet and check the engine bay for defects, and don’t forget to test the running and condition of the engine itself.
If you are not confident in your own mechanical inspection skills, bring along a friend with good knowledge about cars for a second opinion, or consider getting a proper pre-purchase inspection done by an independent qualified mechanic.
Go for a test drive
The test drive is one of the most important parts of any inspection. It can reveal things you would not have been able to tell when the car was sitting stationary in the driveway or on the car lot. Getting behind the wheel also lets you experience firsthand what it would be like to be driving that car, and if you would be happy with it.
Make sure the price is right
Always try to negotiate, no matter who you’re buying from. Use information such as the research you did on the expected market price, and factor in any defects or issues you may have come across during the inspection of the vehicle. There is always a bit of wriggle room between the seller’s asking price and the final purchase price however big or small that amount may turn out to be, so put those haggling skills to work!
Know the history
It’s advisable to get as much detailed history about the car as possible, including service history. Conduct a Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR) check to make sure that there are no nasty surprises attached to the vehicle. You don’t want to have your newly purchased car repossessed from under you out of the blue.
Do you require finance?
Figure out if you will need finance beforehand. Getting finance can be risky, so it is recommended that you explore as many ways to avoid this if possible, such as negotiating a lower price or perhaps offering to trade in your old car to knock a bit more off the purchase price. You can try to source a loan on your own, though many dealers will be able to offer you something through them.
What’s the deal with warranty?
If you don’t already know this, dealers are legally obligated to provide a statutory warranty for cars over $4,000 provided they meet the age and/or distance requirements. This has provided a strong disincentive for the shady dealings that plagued dealership sales in the past.
However the statutory warranty does not apply in the case of private sellers, which pretty much means that private used cars are sold as-is, and you’ll be responsible for any repair costs after the sale.
Make sure Paperwork is done
Make sure all the necessary paperwork has been signed and properly dealt with before parting with your hard earned money.
In addition, check that they have a copy of the owner’s manual and all of the keys and remotes necessary for the operation of the car.
Add-ons and Insurance
Getting insurance for any car is always a good idea, even if it’s for third party property protection (Note: some third party policies will cover a small amount for not-at-fault claims. Read the terms and conditions carefully though before choosing).
On the odd occasion a dealer may offer some add-on products such as paint or upholstery protection, tinting or their own extended warranty, just as they would for a brand new car. Do your research on things such as aftermarket prices beforehand so you have a good idea whether something is worth considering.
Whenever you’re in the market for a used car, do take a look on the Perth City Peugeot website, give us a call or simply drop in to see what range of pre-loved vehicles we currently have for sale. Our friendly sales staff is always available to provide any assistance you require.