When you’re looking for a new car, buying used over a brand new car is a great way to save some cash and while also helping the environment, but there’s a lot of things you need to look out for to avoid buying a write-off.
With the amount of car resell sites, private/public dealerships and private sellers out there, it can become a very confusing and overwhelming experience, especially for first time buyers. But rest assured, with the proper research and mindset, you’ll drive away with a car best suited for your needs.
Here are some of our top tips and tricks for finding the best used cars to buy.
What’s the car’s main purpose?
Understanding what you need a car for can go a long way into picking the best one. Instead of just jumping on a site and looking at certain price ranges, figure out what you’ll be using it for. Will you be driving off-road a lot? City travel? Cargo space for transportation, or is it a people mover?
Start by really figuring out what you’ll use it for, then you can look at the right brands and models that fit the bill. Too many people sell their newly purchased car before a year of buying it simply because it didn’t end up being what they needed. It’s very exciting to buy second hand cars, and you may just want to drive off, but relax and take the time to do proper research. If you get a bit unsure about anything, you can always contact a certified mechanic for car inspection in Sydney, with information about the car you’re interested in, and they can give the best advice.
Inspections, seeing the car in person
Unless it’s brand new, always physically inspect the car you’re interested in before buying. You never know a car’s full history when going second hand, so it pays to be thorough and look for any signs of damage or hidden malfunctions that will give you more headaches down the line.
Here are some things to check for that can impact usage later on:
- Type of fuel it needs
- Tyre size
- Automatic or manual
- Car age
- Available Safety features (such as ABS, number of airbags)
- The market value of the vehicle
- Vehicle history check
- Signs of rust underneath the hood
- Any car documentation
- Check the locks and windows
One of the most important parts of the car to check out is the engine. An unreliable engine is the last thing you want to try and repair in an emergency. First do some research into the type of car you’re interested in, and how long the engine genuinely lasts for. If your car is a 2014 model and the engine is good for 8 – 10 years, then you have roughly a few years of use out of it if it’s been maintained properly beforehand. The easiest way to check the car engine is by contacting your trusty mechanic, who can offer professional and practical advice with your questions.
Type of fuel
With most cars using petrol tanks, some used cars you find on the market may offer diesel instead. Diesel works a bit differently to petrol. They may cost a bit more upfront, but they are far more fuel efficient, saving you money in the long run. If you’ve never dealt with a diesel engine before, take a read of some diesel engine maintenance tips to get yourself familiar with what’s to come if you go with diesel.
What’s important at the end of the day is to take your time, do your research properly, and ask around for the right advice from experienced professionals who can guide you to the best purchase.