The Ultimate Guide for Buying a Used Car

used car

A car is one of the biggest investments most people will make, so it pays to ensure you are getting value for money. One could walk into a showroom, and pick a car, which is all very well if you are wealthy. For the average person, who has maybe saved for one year to scrape the deposit together, the decision isn’t one to be taken lightly.

Why not a new car?

Buying a new vehicle is nice, you have new upholstery, and everything is in perfect working order, yet as soon as you get behind the wheel, the value is dropping so fast, it’s in freefall. A new vehicle can lose up to 11% of its value the moment it leaves the showroom, and the slide continues. Click here for more information on why it is better to go second-hand.

The best option

A two-year old vehicle that has been properly maintained and serviced, will provide everything a new model would, at a much more realistic price. Yes, it is nice to be the first owner, as you can be certain the car hasn’t been mistreated, and that nothing has been “covered up”, but the big difference in price does not reflect the fact that there is precious little difference between the two cars. A car is designed to last at least twenty years, and anything less than three years, the vehicle will still be in first-class condition. If you do worry about potential issues with the car, perhaps a problem with the air conditioning, there are numerous helpful videos available online to help.

Engine wear

Many people cite engine wear as a reason to opt for the new car, yet with today’s technology, engines can run perfectly well for up to one million miles. If a used vehicle has a full-service history, this demonstrates that the previous owner(s) followed the manufacturer’s recommendations, and the vehicle is in good working order.

Checking the vehicle

In modern times, it is a common occurrence for someone to buy a used car, and later find out they were duped. There is a reliable way to check a vehicle’s history, which involves decoding the vehicle identification number (VIN) number, which is attached to several locations on the car. The VIN is a special code that includes a serial number, and is used by the car industry to identify individual vehicles. Using a VIN decoder like this will help you verify if the vehicle has been tampered with.

VIN

The VIN number system went into effect in 1981 in the US and Europe, and every vehicle manufactured after that date has a VIN number. The system is used worldwide, and enables buyers of second-hand vehicles to ensure that nothing is amiss, and the vehicle was manufactured in the year stated.

The VIN numbering system covers the following types of vehicles,

  • Cars
  • Buses
  • Trucks
  • Vans
  • SUVs
  • Motorcycles

Once you have validated the vehicle, make sure you have a competent mechanic with you, and let him inspect the car. Used cars are a more attractive proposition for the driver, as the vehicle is still in good condition, yet the price is considerable lower. Just make sure you check the VIN details before agreeing to the purchase.

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