What to Look for When Buying a Preowned Car?

Feb 15, 2021 2:05 AM

Here's your guide in finding your first used car.

New car's value decreases up to 91% of its market price as soon as you drive it off the dealer's lot. By the end of the first year, depending on its make and model, its worth may plummet further up to 75% of its initial value and will depreciate heavily during the first three years of ownership.

Purchasing a used car, therefore, is a viable option when you are in the hunt for a quality vehicle without taking the huge hit on its initial depreciation. Aside from taking advantage of its lower price tag, used car owners can also save a good amount of money on car insurance as older vehicles tend to have lower insurance premiums than brand new ones.

However, buying a used car can be trickier, more challenging, and financially risky than purchasing a new car. For one, a preowned vehicle may no longer be covered with a manufacturer’s warranty. Consequently, it may not be as reliable which could entail increased repair and maintenance costs. Moreover, when searching for the best deal, you may need to be patient to score a car with the better condition, history, and mileage.

You may also have to compromise your choice of vehicle depending on the availability in the market. Nonetheless, buying a second-hand car is a great alternative and a smart investment if you know how to shop for one. Get the most bang for your buck with these few simple tips in purchasing used cars.

Research on the car’s make and model.

Do your due diligence and arm yourself with as much information about the car’s make and model before purchasing.

Check the car mileage and overall condition.

Used vehicle with low mileage can be more enticing to purchase. However, gauging the condition and longevity of the car does not only depend on its mileage. One must also assess how the mileage was accrued. Other factors that must be checked are condition of the engine, transmission, braking system, tires, among others.

Get a professional mechanic to do an independent inspection.

Whether you are a car savvy or not, it is pertinent to solicit the expertise of a qualified mechanic to check the overall car condition, both exterior and interior including the car’s computer.

Investigate the car’s history.

Checking and verifying the car’s history is definitely a must prior to purchasing a used car, else you might be ending up with a lemon. Ask the right questions that will give you an insight on its current condition, and how the car was used and likely maintained by the previous owner.

Check its maintenance service records, particularly if the car had tune-ups, oil changes, brake jobs, and regular checkups at each of its milestones. These information are important indicators on whether it is indeed a good buy or not.