Buying Selling Tips & Guides

5 Ways to Protect Yourself When Buying a Pre-owned Car

Buying a pre-owned vehicle can give you mixed feelings. Whether it’s your first car or a trade-in for a previous vehicle, you’d sure be excited to drive your new set of wheels.

However, do not throw all caution to the wind. You also need to go into it with open eyes and a clear mind so you can get the best deal possible.

Protection for Buyers of Pre-owned Car

It is easy to be distracted with the shine and sheen of nicely displayed pre-owned cars. From the most compact convertibles to the most practical of mini-vans, you will definitely have a stable of cars to choose from.

With the myriad of options available, you need to be on your toes and make sure that everything is in tip-top shape. This does not only refer to a car in good running condition. This also means that everything – from the car history to the customer service support of your pre-owned car dealer – must be taken into consideration.

Here are some top tips to protect yourself and secure the pre-owned car of your dreams:

Buying a Pre-owned Car

1.     Only buy from a reputable dealer.

To protect yourself from scammers and shady deals, it is always best to go to a certified pre-owned car dealer. Not only will you get the peace of mind that they have been in the business for years, you will also get the benefit of an established network of support services.

A reputable pre-owned car dealer can also offer some freebies, like free tint, as well as complementary services such as 24/7 roadside assistance, buyback and exchange offers, warranty, insurance and financing offers and many more.

2.     Check the car’s history.

It is very important that you get to see the car’s history. This way, you will have an idea of how the car was maintained by its previous owners. For example, if it has been involved in a car accident, the service records will show what repairs or replacements were performed. The car history will also show you if basic maintenance actions have been done or not.

It wouldn’t hurt to ask the pre-owned car facility if they have a copy of the car’s service records. If they don’t, then ask if they have the contact details of the previous car service center or sales dealer should you want to probe deeper.

3.     Ask for a pre-purchase inspection.

A reputable and reliable pre-owned car dealer will not hesitate to conduct pre-purchase inspections. This just solidifies their confidence that the cars in their lot have gone through stringent checks and meet rigid standards before being accepted into their garage.

It’s a crucial step in the purchase process, as it will show you any defects or possible repairs that need to be done. The comprehensive inspection report, generated with the use of special tools and specialized computers, will give you more detailed information about the vehicle you are interested to buy.

4.     Ask the right questions.

Aside from making sure that you personally take a look at the interiors and outside appearance of the car, you should also know what questions to ask.

Questions like who the originals owners were, what was the car used for (business or personal), what is the mileage, or what is its involvement in car accidents can give you crucial information to help you decide if it’s the right one for you. Ask relevant questions that will help you weigh if the car in question is really worth it.

5.     Test-drive the vehicle.

You will be using the car regularly, so it is important that you know its ride and drive.

Most car dealers offer test-drives to give you a feel of how the vehicle behaves on the road. In fact, test-drives are one of the major factors that help close the deal. If the suspension is bad or acceleration in lagging, you will know when you take the car for a spin. Of course, there is a standard test drive route, but at the very least you will know if the legroom is right for you, if there is enough headroom, or if the AC is working properly.

The Road to a Rewarding Car Ownership

It will also be helpful if the sales transactions are conducted in an orderly, hassle-free, and professional manner. Knowing you are buying a car from a respectable dealership will also give you peace of mind that you and your car will be well taken care of. The convenience of having a customer service center will also be a plus, as you won’t need to source out the maintenance of your car to third-party suppliers.

Buying a car is no easy task. Therefore, you should really take the time to get to know the ins and outs of a vehicle before making a decision. Knowing its history, checking its features, asking pertinent questions, and getting a feel of how it drives will help you determine whether you should proceed with the purchase or not.

AUTHOR BIO

Mahesh Rohra is the Director of Arabian Automobiles LLC – AW Rostamani Automotive Group, a trailblazer in the automotive fraternity with a legacy of over 50 years. AUTOTRUST by AW Rostamani is the largest automotive multi-brand one-stop shop in the UAE where you can buy and sell quality pre-owned cars.

About the author

Scott J Vargas

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