6 essential things to look for when buying a used car

When you buy a brand new car, you can be sure that it is in absolute top condition. Unfortunately, this does not apply to a used car. Certainly if you buy an occasion with quite a few kilometres on the clock, you are never sure what you are getting. Fortunately, you can rule out many problems and avoid misery before you buy.

1. Do preliminary research

The range of used cars in Australia is enormous, especially in Newcastle. There is more than enough choice, so be critical. Decide for yourself what you are looking for in a car and see which brands and models are suitable. Some cars are more reliable than other cars.

Once you have decided which brand and model it should be, the search really starts. Often you can still choose from different construction years, versions and mileage. As a result, prices often also vary considerably. It is therefore important to do many comparisons so that you do not pay too much. The mileage is an important indicator, but it is more than just number. 

Once you have decided which car it should be, it is important to check with the seller. It is best to buy a used car from a car company reliable. You then have more certainties with regard to warranty and service. You do not have this when you buy an occasion from a dealer or a private person, but often the price is lower.

2. See if all the given are correct

Nowadays you can find out a lot about a car by means of the registration number. You simply fill it in on the rego check website and a list of data is immediately drawn up. 

Once placed, it is important to check that the seller’s identity matches the name on the registration certificate. After all, you can’t be too careful. Also check that the vehicle identification number on the registration document matches the number on the hood or under the windshield.

3. Check the car from top to bottom

If everything is correct on paper, it is time to take a closer look at the car. Do this thoroughly and do not let the seller rush you. Check for scratches, wear, leakage and rust. Not only on the outside, but in all possible places. Don’t forget to check the seams and see if the tailgate and doors are still nice and straight.

Perhaps the most important thing is checking the engine. A bad engine can cost you a lot of repairs in the future. It is impossible to see the condition of the block from the outside, but a quick look can give you an idea. Make sure that everything looks neat and clean. Not only before the test drive, but also afterwards. If the engine still looks neat after a short drive, that’s a good sign.

Then it is time to check the inside. Do not only pay attention to the upholstery and dashboard, but also check whether all accessories are still working. Finally, check whether there are any leaks and the condition of the tires. It is certainly not strange to ask when they were last replaced. If they are very old, you can use this when negotiating the price.

4. Take a thorough test drive

Even if the paperwork is in order and your new used car looks great, that does not mean everything. That is why a test drive is very important. Therefore, never buy a car without driving it. If the seller does not want you to drive around, do not buy the car. Also pay attention to whether the engine is already warm. It may be that the car is difficult to start when the engine is cold and that the seller has therefore warmed it up first.

An engine that starts without problems is a good sign. Then listen to see if the engine runs regularly and without interruptions. If the speed remains nicely the same and you do not hear strange noises, you are in the right place. Do check the exhaust, because it may leak. You do this by holding your foot against the exhaust when the car is idling. Do you hear hiss? Then there is probably a leak. Also immediately check the color of the exhaust gas. This must be colorless.

When driving, your ears play an important role. Strange noises often indicate wear. Check this extra when you go through bends or drive over a threshold. Pay close attention to whether the car runs smoothly and that the gear changes smoothly. If this is not the case, the clutch or gearbox may be worn out.

During your test drive, try to make sure that all accessories are working properly. Think of the lighting, wipers, radio, air conditioning and electric windows. During the ride, make sure that the car is nicely on the road and does not pull to one side, for example. Also brake hard once to test whether the brakes and shock absorbers are still working properly.

Are you not sure and are you unsure about the condition of the car? Then you have the right to request a purchase inspection. You have this done by an independent party. They check the car for points that you may have missed and so you avoid buying a bad car.

5. Dare to negotiate

A used car is (almost) never in perfect condition. It is therefore not surprising to mention the negatives. Don’t crack the car to get a discount, but it’s not surprising to ask for a price reduction when the tires are very worn. Above all, be honest and don’t play the hard negotiator. It is in the interest of both parties to get out, so work together to get a nice price.

6. Make sure everything is handled properly

It is important to make clear agreements to avoid problems. Record all this in the purchase agreement and do not forget to include the delivery period. Also check whether there is a warranty period. This is not the case with a private individual, but often with a car company. So check this in advance.