Buying a used car is fraught with risk at the best of times, as you can never be sure about the vehicle’s history, yet most of us do end up with a second-hand car, as it is more affordable than buying new. If you are soon to be trading your car in for a used model in the near future, here are some common mistakes to avoid.
- Failure to Inspect the Car – It might look great and it drives like a dream, but without a full inspection, there could be a major issue that will reveal itself not long after you bought it. If you don’t know much about cars, you can hire a technician who will test a vehicle and give you a full report, or you could buy from an established dealer who sells second-hand cars in Canberra, which is really a guarantee in itself.
- Buying a Car you Cannot Afford – It is oh so easy to fall in love with a car, then convince yourself that somehow you will find a way to make the repayments, and by making your head rule your heart, you can avoid falling into a trap that might see you end up in serious debt. Crunch the numbers to discover how much you can comfortably afford to pay per month and let that be your guideline.
- Buying from a Private Seller – Only if you are very lucky will you get a good deal from a private seller, as the car would have zero warranty, and should the engine seize up the day after you bought it, that could see you with a hefty repair bill. If you buy from an established used car dealer, you will receive a fair warranty, which will give you some peace of mind.
- Paying too Much Interest – When you take on a finance package, make sure you have read the terms and conditions, otherwise you might end up paying a lot more than you should. Of course, most used car dealers offer very competitive rates on car loans, but there are some who use expensive finance companies.
- Choosing an Unsuitable Car – If you let your inner desires take control, you might end up buying a 2-seater sports car when you really want a small family run around. It is important to think about suitability, and if you do not plan on going off-road, you won’t need 4WD. Providing the vehicle is designed for what you have in mind, then you won’t regret your decision in a few days’ time.
- Forgetting Running Costs – You could have your heart set on a 3 litre 6-cylinder car with a turbo fitted, and while this would be exhilarating to drive, can you really afford to run such a gas guzzler? Large capacity engines use a lot of fuel, plus tyres and other parts are generally more expensive that with a family car.
If you are careful and have some patience, the right car will come along, and start your search at your local used car dealership, where you will receive a fair warranty when you buy.