A Guide to Buying a Second-Hand Car

While there are still those who buy a new car, the majority of Australian motorists realise that the costs of doing so are very high, as you lose at least 15% off the value from day one, and therefore, the majority of motorists prefer to buy a car that is a couple of years old. If you do that and look after the car while you own it, you can resell it a couple of years later for a very good price, and in some cases, you can reclaim the total cost.

Avoid Buying from a Private Seller

The risks are far too high to buy a used car from someone you don’t know, and the usual deal is “sold as seen”, which means you have zero warranty. There are affordable cars for sale in Canberra from an established dealership, and they give you a reasonable warranty that gives you peace of mind. Also, buying from a dealer means you will get to know the history of the car, and the garage would also check the car from top to bottom, to make sure it is roadworthy.

Service History

The best indication you can get that a car has been well-looked after is to inspect the service history, and this data should be recorded in the rear section of the owner’s manual. If a car has a full service history (FSH), this means it has been maintained according to the manufacturer’s specifications, and it would fetch a higher price that the same car without a service history. The dealer would be able to furnish you with the details of the car’s history, which helps you to decide whether or not it is a bargain, and in the event it does not have a FSH, the price should reflect this.

Vehicle Inspection

While the engine is running, you should lift the bonnet and listen to the engine. It should run quietly and evenly, and if you hear any strange noises, mention it to the dealer. Rev the engine a little, to see how responsive it is, and, of course, you should take the car for a drive. In the same way you need to try on a pair of shoes before buying, you should drive the car you are thinking of buying, and any reputable car dealer would expect this. Whilst out in the car, you can get a feel of the steering and the general handling of the car, while checking out the brakes, lights and indicators, and anything unusual should be pointed out to the dealer.

If you are looking to sell your existing car, the used car dealer would be happy to offer you the market price, and perhaps a bit more if you are lucky. If you have had a good look at the car and it feels great to drive, then you can begin to negotiate the price, and with a bit of luck, you will manage to secure a small discount.

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