Set a budget
Begin your used car-buying journey by determining your budget. Consider not just the purchase price but also ongoing costs like insurance and potential repairs if needed. Sticking to your budget will help you avoid impulsive decisions.
Do your research
Research the specific make and model you’re interested in and look for common issues and recalls associated with that vehicle. Request maintenance and service records from the seller. These documents can provide insights into how well the car has been cared for and any recurring issues.
Verify the seller
While there are many online used-car selling platforms that do the verification stuff for you, it is crucial to verify the seller if you are making the purchase on your own. Hence, you should be cautious when dealing with private sellers.
Check the vehicle history
Obtain a vehicle history report, including accidents, ownership details, and maintenance records. A clean history and well-documented history report of the vehicle is a positive sign.
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Inspect the car in person
Physically inspect the car or, better yet, have a trusted mechanic do it. Look for signs of wear, rust, or recent repairs. Take it for a test drive to evaluate its performance and pay attention to unusual sounds or handling issues.
Be cautious if a used car has unusually low mileage for its age. It might have been driven very infrequently, which can lead to its own set of problems. Conversely, be suspicious of a car with a low odometre reading that seems too good to be true. There could be a possibility of alterations made to the odometre.
Verify the chassis number
Check that the chassis number of the car matches the one on the documents and records. Discrepancies can be a red flag for potential scams or stolen vehicles.
Be cautious of pressure sales tactics leading to impulsive decisions
Scammers may use high-pressure tactics to rush you into a decision. Take your time, and don’t be afraid to walk away from a deal that doesn’t feel right.