You need to buy a vehicle and you've decided against buying brand new. That’s a smart decision! When you can find a vast range of used cars that are in mint condition and cost just a fraction of the price, it does seem such a waste to spend all that extra money on a brand new car. |
Today, it is easier than ever before to buy used car online by owner at prices that will surprise you. However, no matter how great the deal, you definitely do not want to make this major buying decision without first doing your homework to make sure that you are not getting scammed.
If you’ve shortlisted a car you like and have decided to go ahead with the purchase, before you put your money down, there are a few things you should look for when you want to buy used car online by owner:
The mileage on the car – The number of miles that a car has done plays a major role in determining the value of the car. The more miles it has done, the more wear and tear it has undergone and the lower its value is likely to be.
Service or maintenance records – Looking through the service records is a good way to see if the owner has followed the manufacturer's instructions with regards to things like oil change and others. If you can see that most services have been carried out in a timely manner, that would be a good indication that the car has been well taken care of.
Bumps, dents or other signs that the car has been refurbished – Even if the car’s exterior looks smooth and sleek, it is a good idea to run your hands over it and feel for any aberration in the body. Pay particular attention around the edges. If you feel any rough patch or a small bump or dent, ask the owner if the vehicle has been in any accident and whether it has been refurbished. If it has been in an accident, you may want to rethink your decision to buy it or get a professional to check it out. The damage could be more extensive than you think.
Is it a single owner vehicle? – Take a look at the vehicle’s registration book and see how many owners it has been through. As a general rule, it is always better to buy a single owner car as that car is more likely to have been maintained well. When a car has passed through multiple owners, it is impossible to determine its past history and whether or not it was well looked after.
If all of the above meet the inspection adequately, ask the owner why he or she is selling their vehicle. If it is because they are moving or because they are in a financial crunch, there is a higher likelihood that the car will be in good shape. However if they are selling it because it is old and they are looking to upgrade, you need to decide whether or not to go ahead with the purchase. You will get it at a great price because of the depreciation and if it meets all of your inspection checks, it could actually turn out to be a great buy!
Last but not least, do a test drive before you buy used car online by owner.
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