When buying a new vehicle from a car dealer is not an option, most prospective car owners resort to purchasing vehicles from used car dealers or even known associates who are dispatching their current vehicles for whatever reason. While there is nothing wrong with buying a vehicle, there are times that people get gulled on getting a vehicle they do not deserve—hidden damages, tampered parts, and other possible potential risks that can endanger you and others. How can you tell if they used car your are eyeing is a good buy? Here are the steps on how to avoid getting duped when buying a second-hand vehicle.
- See if the vehicle has been submerged in flood
Over the past few years, the country has been hit by disastrous storms that left the country submerged under water—the damage includes vehicles drowned by floodwater. While some vehicles tend to be declared totaled or unusable, other shady owners try to pass them off to dealers and let the buyers suffer the damages. To know if the vehicle has been damaged by flood, check for details such as corrosion occurring in hard-to-reach areas, a very strong smell of mold and mildew, and other telltale signs that will definitely say that the car has been wrecked by flooding. Flooded vehicles may still be good when you get them, but problems caused by corrosion will definitely come later as the damage gets worse over time.
- Seek the help of a professional mechanic
Car mechanics know more about the intricacies of a vehicle more than any other people, and they can definitely see through the lies of scrupulous sellers no matter how they try to cover the damage. If you are planning to buy a used vehicle and know little about cars, ask for some professional help. Take them with you to the dealer for a simple ocular. Allow them to pop the hood to see if the engine is in good condition. Finally, take them with you when test-driving the vehicle. Honest car owners will definitely be more than accommodating to mechanics since they know that they are selling car vehicles. However, if your mechanic sees something fishy with the car, take his advice and move on to the next one.
- Check the vehicle’s history
When scouting for used vehicles, you might want to look beyond the car’s present condition and examine its history right from the very beginning. Prudent vehicle sellers or dealers will definitely have a complete history of the car repairs and modifications—and they will be more than willing to share them with you. These records will give you an overview on how the vehicle has been over the past few years, and you will see if there are major damages that may arise in the future. Aside from repairs and modification, take a look if the car’s chassis number is genuine. If the numbers do not match, you may be looking at a stolen vehicle, and buying stolen cars is punishable by law.
- Compare car prices
Although a certain dealer may offer you the best price in town, compare prices from different car dealers even if the car passed all spot checks. Sometimes, even the best deal can be topped off by another seller. Do not buy out of impulse or get swayed by the dealer’s sweet talking. Shop from one used car dealer to another and see which one offers the lowest possible price without compromising the quality of the car. Aside from second-hand car shops, don’t forget to check buy-and-sell ads as well as online shops. Just make sure to check the vehicle first from these sellers to avoid being duped.
- Consider certified pre-owned cars too
If your budget permits you to do so, consider looking at certified pre-owned cars from official car dealers themselves. A certified pre-owned (CPO) car is a type of used car that is repaired, refurbished, and thoroughly inspected by the car’s manufacturer to make sure that they are of top-notch quality. While their prices may be relatively higher as compared to the offers made used car dealers, you can never go wrong with the quality of CPO vehicles. Aside from being tested by car dealers themselves, most CPO cars also come with special warranties, financing, and benefits similar to purchasing a new vehicle. Go to your licensed car dealer to know more about certified pre-owned cars.
Buying a used vehicle may be a tricky task, especially that there may be some shady elements in the market who want to trick you into buying shoddy vehicles. With the right knowledge and patience, you can get a good deal even when buying a used car.