Purchasing a new car is often a milestone in life, no matter if you’ve owned ten before it, every time you acquire one it can feel like its own event. However, no matter how many cars you’ve purchased in the past, it’s always possible for you to suffer a bad deal if you’re not paying attention.
For this reason, we hope to write and post a perennial guide that can help people avoid making a bad choice and ultimately feeling as if they’ve been taken advantage of. Unfortunately, there are many people out there hoping to sell vehicles for more than they’re worth, and bad garages counting on inexperienced or unsure buyers to give the benefit of the doubt and ultimately drive away with something they shouldn’t be.
Yet it’s also true that even if the party you’re purchasing a vehicle from is totally innocent, supportive and fair when making a deal, you can still come away from a pleasant deal with a bad result. Without further ado, let’s try and help you avoid that scenario:
Table of Contents
Read The Listing Through
It’s a good idea to read and re-read the listing through to make sure you know exactly what’s being advertised and if the vehicle matches up to that. Print it out and bring it with you, if necessary.
This can help you assess if the pictures are up to date and realistic, if the vehicle may have the necessary repairs and upgrades it has suggested, and sometimes, the vehicle is even of the same year that has been advertised. Most of the time it will be, but you’ll be thankful you had this resource to hand in those uncommon scenarios that it isn’t.
Know How To Inspect Cars
It’s important that you know how to inspect cars. For instance, checking the vehicle for signs of recent bodywork or repairs can be helpful. This might involve seeing that a mudguard has intensive scratches but the bodywork looks pristine, or perhaps while the interior seems totally new, the steering wheel is once again a throwback from the nineties.
It’s not a bad thing for a car to have undergone upgrades, but you can see from inspection if the vehicle has had thorough care to cover problems, or if those repairs are fine and permanent. Of course, the best way to test a car is to:
Don’t purchase a vehicle if you haven’t test-driven it. There’s almost nothing more instructive than this. From seeing how the brakes respond to checking the handling, and also if the vehicle has hidden issues such as the tendency to drift ever so slightly, all of this can only be confirmed when it’s in your hands and reactive.
This also gives you a chance to check out the dashboard, especially if any lights come on or if any buttons may not be working. Even something as simple as a faulty radio might lead you to think that other hidden problems in the vehicle may not be addressed. This isn’t to say a small problem should throw you from the purchase, but if the buyer has neglected to mention an issue, or isn’t too keen on sitting with you for a quick test drive, then odds are there’s something else going on.
Read Prior Tests
All vehicles should be sold with a comprehensive history of past MOTs, work conducted and a range of other servicing information. Reading the prior tests that come with the vehicle can help you assess just how much work has been carried out, and if it matches with what the owner has told you.
This can also help you identify just how extensive the work has been. Perhaps the car was once involved in a crash, but since then the entire suspension and engine has been replaced to standard at a reliable mechanics, and the vehicle works fine thanks to that. Reading the prior test and servicing information need not be a deal-breaker, but it can help you understand more about the whole picture of a vehicle, rather than the abridged version the owner may have told you.
Research The Model
Before you even show up to check a car out, it can be helpful to research the model and its quirks beforehand. Not all cars are built alike, and even the same models and manufacturers can implement disparities between models.
For instance, perhaps you’re really happy with the price and listing of a people carrier you intend to purchase. After doing a little research, however, you realize that they’re known for breaking down, for steering drift, and for certain internal systems breaking down, like the heated seating.
Now, perhaps that doesn’t necessarily scare you from a purchase, but it gives you questions to ask the owner before picking up the vehicle. Of course, they can tell you that they’ve had zero issues with the car, but you might be able to read more in the servicing reports or feel something in the test drive that indicates otherwise. Remaining as informed as possible is never a bad idea.
Check Reviews Or User Information
On many car auction sites or third-party reseller platforms, profiles are created before a car is listed. This might have a review section, or perhaps a history of vehicles that person has sold in the past. Checking that may help you understand if a seller is worth using or not.
Opt For A Trustworthy Auto Center
If you want a reliably good deal, it’s a good idea to visit a trader like the Bokan Auto Center, famed for their reliability and assurances. This can help you take the middleman out of the transactional deal, instead dealing with a professional outfit that commits to a standard of care. They’re almost always worth contacting first just to see what your options are.
With this advice, we hope you can not only know how to avoid a bad deal when purchasing a car, but avoid a bad deal entirely.