If your car has seen better days and you have finally decided to trade it in for a newer model, there is much to consider, as buying a second-hand car does have an element of risk attached. Of course, in a perfect world, you would receive the keys of a brand-new vehicle at the showroom, yet you lose 15-25% of the value the second you drive a new car out of the showroom. Here are a few tips when looking at used cars.
- Buy from an Established Dealer – There are cars for sale in Canberra from established dealerships, and they issue a fair warranty on all second-hand vehicles on their forecourt, which is much better than buying from a private seller, who would not give any warranty (sold as seen). This is one of the main reasons to buy from a dealer rather than a private individual, and you will have peace of mind, knowing that the car has been thoroughly checked and you have a warranty, should something go wrong.
- Check the Vehicle History – Every vehicle should have a full service history (FSH), which means it has been maintained according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, and when buying from a dealer, they would know the vehicle’s history, indeed they are likely to have serviced the car themselves. A lack of evidence of past maintenance should set alarm bells ringing, as the car might have been neglected, so do enquire about the service history of the car.
- Be Patient – There are a lot of used cars on the market and a rush decision might be regretted when you see another car that is a much better deal. Use the Internet to view vehicles, and when you see one that looks interesting, pay the dealer a visit, but don’t make a decision on the day, rather look at a few more before you make up your mind.
- Negotiate – There’s nothing to lose by trying to negotiate a discount, and sometimes, the dealer really needs the forecourt space and is therefore prepared to let a car go a little cheaper to get the sale. If you are trading in your old car, there is still room for a small drop in price, and with so many cars up for sale, you do have the advantage.
If you know little about cars, you are advised to hire a mechanic to give any potential car a thorough inspection, and while this will cost a little, it is far better than buying a dud.