Are you on the verge of getting your very first car?
If you are already aware of the basic guidelines, it is now important to focus on more vital concerns such as test-driving the car; checking the Vehicle Identification Number; unsettled financial obligations; and, vehicle safety aspects.
Once you have decided to go for a used but high-quality and reliable car, there are more concerns to cope with than buying a brand-new unit.
There are many things to check to ensure that you are acquiring a worthy vehicle.
Test Driving is Imperative
Make it a point to test drive the vehicle that you wish to purchase.
Begin with a cold engine before switching on the ignition so you will find out if there are any hard-starting problems. While doing the actual driving, pay attention to the sound of the engine and exhaust mechanism. If the sounds are irregular, there must be something wrong with the engine parts.
Check out the suspension and shock absorbers by driving over humps. The recoil will indicate if these warrant replacement. The process of changing gears should be easy. If this is not the case, the gearbox may be faulty and needs to be changed. Examine the electrical devices to make sure that everything is functional. Try to apply the brakes unexpectedly to determine if the brake system is fully operational.
After completing the road test, park the vehicle and scrutinize the following:Leakages from the engine oil and radiator Unwarranted clattering of the car engine Indications of black or blue smoke that originates from the exhaust that indicates a battered engine Gray smoke that means water seeping out into the engine
Verification of vehicle background and history
Look for the Vehicle Identification Number under the driver’s seat, engine chassis or sunroof for any indications of having been tampered. All vehicles possess legitimate V5 registration certificates complete with watermark, plate numbers, identification number and engine numbers. These should match those in the car and contain the seller’s complete name and address without any erasures and spelling errors. It also includes information regarding the vehicle’s assembly, model and engine size. These should tally with those of the actual car. If you choose a second-hand car, make sure that you receive the proper V5 certificate as well.
Examine well the mileage reading just to certify that the vehicle has not been clocked. This reduces the value of a vehicle and result in long-term running costs.
It is also necessary to validate the following aspects:Vehicle service history, service stamps and invoices Check the mileage that was documented during the time the service was conducted Determine symptoms of wear and tear Try to confirm vehicle registration
Make sure that there are no unsettled financial obligations. If you purchase a mortgaged car, it remains the property of the financing firm or bank. Obtain a history report to avoid this situation.
Inspect the safety features such as air bags, footing or grip of the tires, anti-lock braking system and the crumble zone which safeguards the passengers in case of a crash.