A Guide to Buying a Second-Hand Vehicle
If you are looking to change your car, the chances are you will go down the used route, which does offer better value for money, yet purchasing a used car is fraught with risk, mainly because you have no way of ensuring that the vehicle is in good condition. There are, however, things that you can do to reduce the risk of ending up with a dud car, and with that in mind, here are a few tips for those who are in the market for a second-hand car.
- Stick to Reputable Dealership – The only way that you can buy a second-hand car with a warranty is to go to an established dealership; one that is approved by the manufacturer to sell and service their vehicles. If, for example, you are looking at Canberra cars for sale, there are manufacturer-approved garages that offer a selection of quality used vehicles that are all under warranty.
- Full Service History – Known as FSH in the car trade, a full service history means that the car has been cared for as recommended by the manufacturer, which is obviously preferable to a car that does not have a FSH. You can find the details of all maintenance carried out on any vehicle by looking at the rear section of the owner’s manual, where the garage that carried out the service would record all of the details.
- Crunch the Numbers – The worst thing you can do is to make a commitment that you cannot meet, and this does happen sometimes when the heart rules the head. Be realistic about the monthly payments that you can afford; plus you need to be sure that you can afford to run the car.
- Look for Low-Interest Finance – While there are some finance companies offer an average rate of interest, there are those that offer a lower than normal rate of interest on a car loan. Indeed, some garages actually offer interest-free loans, although that might be restricted to specific models.
- Insist on a Test Drive – When you buy a used car, driving it is an absolute must; indeed, the dealer would wish you to experience the car from the driver’s seat, as this really allows you to see how the vehicle handles at various speeds. The garage representative would sit with you while you put the car through its paces and generally, you can expect to be allowed a 15-20 minute drive to test the vehicle.
- Vehicle Warranty – Sadly, when you buy a used car from a private seller, you buy the car on a ‘sold as seen’ basis, which is risky. The safest solution is to buy a car from an established dealership who offers a fair warranty on the vehicle, which really gives you peace of mind.
Making the investment when you purchase a used car can be a risky exercise, which is why you should only consider buying from an established dealership who has a good reputation within the local community.