Drivers try to replace their car every few years with a new one. And if there is no possibility to take a car from the showroom, they look for a newer and more modern car with low mileage on the secondary market. The main reason and advantage of buying a used car is the price. However, the benefit of saving money has certain risks, so the driver needs to approach the choice of a used car with great responsibility.
We offer you step-by-step instructions for buying a used car, which will help you to invest your money wisely, and avoid risks and losses.
Step 1 – Determine your wants and needs
The first thing you should do is to establish what purpose you need the car for:
- For Long-distance Travel;
- For Fast Highway Driving;
- For Active Tourism and Off-road Travel;
- For Short Distances, Mainly in the City (Commuting to Work, School, Shopping);
- For a Family, for a Single Person or for Traveling in a Large Group;
- For Learning and Gaining First Driving Experience or for an Experienced Driver.
According to your needs and you should choose a car (body configuration, dynamic characteristics, comfort).
It remains to decide on the brand of car. Here you need to start from such criteria as ease of maintenance, availability of services and components in your region, reliability and safety.
Step 2 – Assess your possibilities (calculate your budget)
There are two components to the budget calculation:
- Buying Budget.
- Budget for auto repair and maintenance while in service.
Budget for insurance, transportation, and customs fees (if you buy a car in another country), re-registration, and 10% of the price for unexpected expenses.
As for operation, it is advisable to ask experts in advance how much the initial repair will cost (if it is needed), how expensive the components are for such a make and model of car. This will allow you to really evaluate your possibilities and make a rational choice.
Step 3 – Research the market
Now that you know exactly what kind of car you need and you know your budget, you can start looking. And the first thing you need to do is to decide where to buy the car. Recently, the practice of buying a car abroad is widespread, and such a purchase is much more profitable. Look at what offers are available, compare prices on different sites and choose the most convenient market for you, the method of purchase.
Step 4 – Explore the range, compare options
On the selected site look for several variants with the given characteristics and compare their price, condition, equipment. When choosing, take into account such parameters as age, odometer readings, technical characteristics, data on participation in accidents, damage, malfunctions, paintwork condition, interior and others. When buying a car remotely, you can ask the seller to provide you with additional information and additional photos. Based on the analysis, choose the best of the proposed options.
Step 5 – Check auto history
When you have made a choice, you need to make sure that the data about the car corresponds to the real condition, that the car has not been in an accident, is not listed as stolen, that there are no obstacles to its purchase. A good way to protect yourself from risks when buying a used car is to check the history of the vehicle by VIN code. With the help of special services you can check the VIN code in France and in any other country.
Step 6 – Check the documents
If you like the car, it fits all the parameters, if you are sure that it has a clean history, it remains to check the availability of all documents on the car and the seller’s documents. This check is carried out in order to insure and ensure the legality of the future transaction. When studying the documents, make sure that the VIN number in the technical passport coincides with the VIN code on the car body.
Step 7 – Conduct an inspection and test drive
Visual inspection and technical diagnostics with the participation of a master is the best way to check the real condition of the car. The inspection allows you to identify hidden damage to the body, possible malfunctions in the engine, assess the degree of wear and tear of the chassis and other factors that may affect the decision to buy the vehicle. If everything is in order with the car, its seller will not refuse you the opportunity to conduct an inspection and will allow you to conduct a test drive. A test drive is a great opportunity to evaluate not only the technical characteristics and condition of the car, but also how comfortable you feel driving it.
Step 8 – Seek support from experts
If you have little experience in buying vehicles and you are a novice motorist in general, it is recommended to seek help from an intermediary company, where they will help you choose a good car according to your criteria. If you buy a car from hand, invite an expert to inspect the car or arrange for a workshop. During the inspection, the expert will see something that will remain unnoticeable for you. This way you will protect yourself from buying a problematic car and unnecessary repair costs after buying a car.