Things to do Before Purchasing a Car

Not everyone has the means to get a car – so if you are about to buy one, congratulations! However, it is not as simple as picking the nicest looking car and paying – there’s so much more considerations to make before making the big purchase. Regardless if it is brand new or second-hand, there are several ways you can make sure that you’ll get your money’s worth.

Do some research

Purchasing a car is a big deal, and calls for big decisions. And these big decisions can be made if you are informed and well armed with the necessary facts about which car to purchase. It doesn’t matter if you are new to the world of automobiles or have been around them for quite a while, there is always good and useful knowledge that you can get from reading around and looking.

Go for automobile magazines, watch the TV advertisements, browse the internet and ask around about the factors that you should be looking at. While some advertisements may exaggerate on their products, customer testimonials will not – so it is perhaps a great idea to check online for reputable and credible reviews of vehicles you are considering.

Look around for possible options

You may have an idea of what type of car you’d want to buy – there even may be a specific brand and model, but it doesn’t hurt to look at other alternatives. Although the idea is that they are similarly the same in function and built, chances are that there will be small, yet striking factors that can make you reconsider. This way, you can look at the pro’s and con’s of each model and then weight it all out in the end.

Try first before buying

Now that you have narrowed down your options into a single car, don’t just go ahead and purchase the car. It is important to check first if the car was stolen or was written off. There are now many mobile applications that let you key in the number plate of the car, and then provide information about it. If everything works out just fine, then it is time to take a closer look at the car itself.

If you are a newbie to purchasing cars, don’t make it seem obvious when talking to the merchant or they may end up taking advantage of you. If you can, bring someone who is an expert so they can do the talking and questioning on your behalf. If you yourself are an expert, sometimes it helps to play dummy to see if the merchant will provide honest answers about things you’ll find in the car.

  • Check the exteriors

Look and feel around for any dents, scratches or other defects that may seem superficial, but may be costly if sent for repairs. Check as well if the paint is bubbling, as this could be a sign of underlying rust. Also, open and close the car doors to see if they function just right and that there are no damaged rubber seals.

  • Examine the interiors

Go for the odometer – does the mileage match the appearance of the car? If it is low and yet the car seats are torn or faded, then there could be a questionable discrepancy that should be brought up. Furthermore, examine the buttons – for the windows, the car’s sound system, the sunroof, the air-con, the fuel flap release, as well as the car’s navigation system if applicable. These small things, if added up, can be costly if sent to a repair shop. Also, it pays to look and feel the ignition switch – if it is scratched, then chances are, it may have been stolen.

  • Under the hood

Check under the hood for any signs of leaks of oil, water, brake and power steering as well as transmission fluid). Furthermore, it is advisable to check by the front wheels for any drips of the said fluids. Examine the battery as well if it is covered in white corrosion, as this may be a sign of wear and tear. You can also check the oil reading by pulling the dipstick out, wiping it clean, putting it back, and then pulling it back again. If the reaches the halfway mark between empty and max, then that is a good sign. Also, you can compare the VIN plate found under the hood and check if it matches the number in the car’s logbook.

  • Drive it around

This is perhaps one of the most important parts of checking a car, so it is important to take your time. It gives you an actual and genuine ‘feel’ of the car. Testing it around for half an hour may be worth thousands of dollars and hours of wasted time in the future. Check if you are comfortable with the car – is it too big, too wide or too long for you? Also, check the odometer if it is easy to read while driving, as this may be detrimental one day when you’re out driving and you don’t know how much gas you have, or the temperature of your engine. Furthermore, check if you are able to drive around without any trouble – can you park the car, put it in reverse and not hit anyone, are the brakes working fine? Are the pedals hard or too soft to step on? These small things play a big role when it comes to safety when the day comes that you are driving the car yourself.