5 Tips to Consider When Buying a Used Car

By Tokkie Ferreira       Last updated Feb. 22, 2018


Owning a car is a necessity. Public transportation is not an option for many in South Africa. A personal car is thus indispensable to facilitate mobility and avoid the hassles and inconvenience associated with public transportation.

Cars, however, are not cheap commodities. For most people, resorting to a used car is the best option. Buying a used car can be advantageous in a number of ways.

If the car is fairly used, for instance, you may still have the manufacturer’s warranty in place. Even when the car is out of the manufacturer’s warranty, you might still manage to get an affordable pre-owned warranty.

Overall, the major motivating factor behind opting for used cars is the price. They are significantly cheaper than brand new cars and one can save a lot by resorting to buying used cars.

While trying to save money, it is equally essential that you make the right decision in your car purchase.

While the date of manufacture of the car should play an important role in your decision-making process, there are other considerations you may neglect that are very important.

Here are 5 important factors you probably haven’t considered that should play a significant role in your decision-making process when buying a used car.


1. Mismatched Paint

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Most used car owners will not tell you about the accident history of the car they are trying to sell to you, even though they know this should influence your decision.

This is not to say that cars that have been involved in an accident are not good buys, but as much as possible, avoid cars that have been involved in a serious accident as parts of the car might have been changed with older or inferior parts after the accident.

Even though a used car seller will not tell you that a car has been involved in an accident, the best way you can see this is by closely observing the body of the car.

If there is any sign of mismatched paint, this suggests that the car has been damaged before and is only a refurbished version.


2. Cheaper than You Asked For

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If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Never let your desire to buy a car at a bargain price hamper you from making a sound decision.

If the price that the potential seller is quoting is too low that you can hardly believe it, have a rethink before making any financial commitment.




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3. Too Many Owners

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It is true that many people trade-in their cars after a few years of taking ownership, but a car that has been used by several individuals is generally not something you must consider.

When you confirm the ownership history of the car and notice that it has had too many owners, there is probably something serious going on that is making the owners pass it on after using for a little while. It many be best to reconsider making the purchase.


4. No Service Record

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You should never purchase a car without looking at the service record. A car that is not serviced properly will develop many problems in the future.

The problems may manifest in the form of oil sludge build-up in the engine that will inhibit normal flow of oil; unnecessary wear and tear that will eventually lead to more troubles; higher fuel consumption and other potential troubles that could have been prevented if proper maintenance of the vehicle was being carried out.

A car that is properly taken care of will make a great purchase, and the seller will be proud to show you the service record.


5. Consider Various Options

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Don’t decide based on the first car you see. Though the first car you see may be a great deal, it is always better to look at a few more options before deciding on the one to buy.

A tight budget is normally the major reason why people decide to buy used cars, but on many occasions, buying a used car may have several advantages over paying a high price for some overpriced new car.

To avoid some of the problems many used car buyers experience, you have to be very careful.

Once you find the ideal used car that will meet your needs, the next step to consider is the right car insurance that will protect you from the risks of owning a car.

Consult a reputable insurance broker to find insurance cover that is best for you.

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