Buying a used car is the best option when your budget is limited. However, the process of buying a used car is not as easy as making the decision to buy one. Purchasing a used car demands research on few crucial items. Hence, there arises the need to know about these essential items which make your investment worthy. Given below are some important items you need to check thoroughly before buying a used car.
An odometer is helpful in knowing the number of miles a car has traveled, which in turn helps in determining the age of the car. As odometer reading is linked with the price of the used car (the newer the vehicle, the higher the price), checking for correct odometer readings is necessary. Also be aware of some shady private sellers who tamper with the odometer (rolling back the odometer).
Vehicle History Report
A VIN, or vehicle identification number, provides vehicle history and maintenance reports for the specific vehicle it is associated with. These reports can be checked through websites such as CarFax. This number gives details about the current owner, the number of past owners, service reports, theft history, accident history, leased periods, etc. The VIN number is unique for every vehicle and is compulsory for vehicle registration. It also helps you know when the car was bought from a showroom and if it has been rebuilt.
Inspecting the mechanical condition of a car is a prerequisite for making a purchase. Different parts of it such as the engine, suspensions, brakes, transmission, tires, steering wheel, paint, battery, etc., should be checked personally or by a trusted and knowledgeable individual.
Check the engine condition for its performance, life, emissions, dirty oil caps, smell of burnt oil, engine oil pressure at idle, hesitation on acceleration, knocking, whistling, engine lights, etc. Also, check tires for the damaged rims, excessive or uneven tread wear, vibration at high speeds, etc. Check the steering wheel keeping the car idle. Check for the battery, brand of battery used, functioning of brakes, leakages of brake fluid, clutch, troubles changing gears, boots of shock absorbers, dents, corrosion, etc. Insist on a test drive as some mechanical aspects of the car can be experienced only on driving.
nteriors, accessories and documents
Checking for a vehicle’s accessories and interiors does not only mean to see if they are present, but it is also needed to check if they are in working condition. Look for the functioning of accessories such as stereo, air conditioning system; power locks windows, sunroofs, mirrors, seat belts, spare tires, wheel wrench, jack, rear window defogger, etc. Also, check the interiors and upholstery like seats, furnishings, carpets, etc., for stains, damage, tears and rips.
Document verification is very crucial when you are planning to purchase a used car. Proper documents remove half of the possibility of buying a lemon. Ask the owner of the car for important documents such as registration certificate, insurance certificate, emission test certificates, warranty reports, road tax receipts, ‘No Objection Certificate’ from financing company and other documents such as original invoice, etc. Verifying these certificates/documents for their validity and genuineness from concerned authorities is necessary before making a purchase.
uthorized dealers provide pre-verified vehicles
You need not check for all the above mentioned aspects on your own, if you approach authorized dealers. These dealers have certified pre-owned cars which ensure good quality purchase as these cars are already verified and reconditioned by expert mechanics. Since they are certified by dealers/manufacturers, you need not worry about the records and documents of the vehicle. Moreover, they also offer financing options, warranties and after-sales services.