Avoid the pitfalls of a second-hand car
Dramatic price increases over the last decade have made buying a brand new car more expensive than ever, and more and more people are looking into the second-hand market. While buying a second-hand vehicle comes with certain risks, don’t be deterred. Be aware of the dangers and how to avoid them, and you could be driving the right car for you at the right price. Jamie Surkont, director at used car retailer getWorth, highlights points to look out for:
Buying any big purchase from a stranger involves risk, so if something doesn’t feel right, avoid it. Buy your second-hand car through an accredited dealer, if possible. If you do choose to buy from a private seller, always
meet in a public space, never have the cash on you and take along someone you trust.
Buying a dud
No one wants to take on someone else’s problems. The last thing you want is to buy a car at what seems like a great
deal, only to discover it’s riddled with issues. Do your homework – check reviews and buy from a car retailer that stands behind the cars they buy and sell. If you’re still not sure you’re buying from a reputable retailer, have the car
Out of warranty
Knowing the car is still under the manufacturer’s warranty or the maintenance plan will give you peace of mind. With
second-hand cars, the warranty may have expired, but this can easily be addressed. Purchase an extended warranty from the dealership – they should have a few different options available. Paying the cost now could save
you in the long run.
Unfortunately, fraudsters are rampant in the second-hand car market. There are a few common tricks out there to
scam more money from you than the car is worth, such as tampering with the car’s mileage reading and representing a lower specification car as a higher variant. Check that the wear on the car interior, including the pedals and seats, matches the claimed mileage, and check the documentation carefully. You can also confirm the variant with the
The older the car, the more temperamental
As a car ages and racks up more mileage, it’s more likely to start developing problems. Even if the car has been well maintained, general wear and tear takes its toll. It’s also important to note that parts for very old cars can be difficult to source, so try and find a second-hand car that isn’t too outdated.
COMPILED BY CAITLIN GENG PHOTO: FOTOLIA.COM