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What to check when buying a used car

Buying a used car can be scary. There are so many things that could be wrong with second-hand cars, and nobody wants to be ripped off. Here are some tips on what to check when buying a used car.

  1. Costs after the purchase price

Every car has different running costs, so it’s important to check that it’s still within your budget once you take them into account when buying a used car. Consider:

–           Fuel consumption: how many litres per 100kms does the vehicle consume?

–           Car maintenance: check the owner’s manual for scheduled service items. How much they cost, and how often?

–           Insurance costs: get a quote from an insurance provider for the model and check that vehicle insurance costs will fit into your monthly budget.

–           Roadworthy certificate: does the car come with one, or will you have to pay for it yourself?


2. Vehicle safety

Safety features are one of the most important things to check for when buying a used car. Read used car safety reviews based on real-life car accidents online with a Google search.

The vehicle’s history

Some used cars have been well looked-after, but some have been in accidents, left for years between services or have extremely high mileage. When buying a used car, ask questions about its history like:

–          Has the car been involved in any crashes?

–           How many owners has it had previously?

–           Is the vehicle currently registered and insured?

–           Is the car debt-free?

The car’s condition, inside and out

If you don’t want to pay for a professional vehicle inspector, use an inspection checklist. The main things to check for are:

–           Paint job: check for bubbles or colour differences that may indicate rust or filler.

–           Oil leaks: check under the car for oil leaks.

–           Radiator: check that the radiator coolant is brightly coloured.

–           Dipstick: if the oil is milky or grey, there are probably serious engine problems.

–           Interior: check the upholstery and seat belts for wear.

–           Engine: open the bonnet and start the engine. While it idles, check that the engine runs smoothly. Watch out for exhaust fumes and strange noises!

–           Test drive: check that it changes gear smoothly, brakes well and stays straight if you ease your grip on the wheel to indicate good alignment.

With these basic tips on what to check for when buying a used car, you’ll protect yourself from being ripped off.

And most of all, remember that maintenance is more important than ever with a used car. Stay safe on the roads by sticking to the service schedule and bring it into any of our Express Lube outlets and we’ll take care of the rest.

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