Obviously, the main advantage of choosing a mileage car is the price. With the same money, you can spend on a new car, but most probably, you will get a car in the lower class with less comfort. Well, buying a car from other hands has also high risk and if you are unlucky, then, the car will make you disappointed by consuming unnecessary expenses. In order to avoid such situation, please, follow the simple rules of selection second-hand cars, which we will try to explain you in this article.
First of all, you need to decide type and class of the desired car. The secondary car market is rich and diverse enough, so selecting the car only on the basis of its price is not enough. Someone needs a compact city car, someone - an SUV for hunting or fishing, and someone can be looking for a roomy family minivan. Unfortunately, universal car for all these occasions does not exist, so you will have to make a choice according to your needs. In addition, some appreciate comfort and noise insulation business class sedans, others need maneuverability, four-wheel drive and high clearance, for the third person important spacious wagon, for the fourth - economy subcompact, and the fifth adrenaline from the dynamics and power of sports car. Decide in advance what you are looking for and start the search. If you have a preference for a certain brand or model, it makes the task much easier.
Although you find the preferable second-hand car to buy, no need to make a contract of sale straight away as you will need to make sure its technical and legal purity. So, let us list them in order:
Mileage should match with the production year. The average annual mileage is from 10,000 to 30,000 kilometers, so if the car is 3 years old and the mileage is already more than 150,000 km, you need to think very carefully before purchasing. Explore the interior condition attentively, wear braid and climate controls installation, the degree of sagging driver's seat. If the driver's seat compared to the passengers' seat is much softer and strongly pressed, erased colors on the handles of the climate control, window lifter, and steering wheel, then there is no doubt that the actual mileage is more than 300,000 km.
Exterior condition and refinishing. Visually inspect the car for damage in body, chips, dents, scratches, and rust. The thickness of the paint and its originality can be easily defined by using the special device - thickness gauge. If the car is completely in an original paint, that means it has not been in an accident. The presence of one or two painted elements is not critical, but it is a reason to check out the car in the presence of serious damage. Painted fender, bumper or hood could be a sign of small chips or scratches, as well as participation in a serious accident and the presence of hidden damage. In this case, it is worth looking through under the hood in detail and visually assess the condition of welds, as they must be smooth and covered by original factory paint. If the welds are rough and clearly made by hand, original painted color on them is missing or different from the original, then the car was recovered from a serious accident and it is better to stop assessing the car immediately. If the body elements have repainted for cosmetic purposes and car performance is not affected by this, you can surely do further investigations on it.
Conditions of suspension, engine, and gearbox. Ask the seller to arrange a test-drive for you. It is better that they allow you to drive the car. Make sure there is no background noise when the engine is running, lack of a rumble in bearings and gearbox, knocks in the suspension, check the brakes and ABS (if available). You need to note, that the car should not lead to the other side. Also, check the gearbox. Manual transmission box should switch clearly without an obstruction. The gearbox should not have a big backlash. If the car is equipped with an automatic transmission, make sure the transfer switches quickly and smoothly without jerking and unnecessary delays. If possible, try to chase the car and visually inspect it from the bottom. Make sure there are no drips of oil from seals as well as engine and gearbox tubes. In addition, look for the absence of leaks of other fluids such as antifreeze, brake fluid. Check the condition of the brake pipe.
Interior condition, operability electronics and salon equipment. Check whether outdoor lighting, interior lighting, illuminations of window lifters, door lights (if available) are working as needed. Turn on the air conditioning and check if it is cooling well. Note the air conditioner output boxes; direct the air to the windshield, central air ducts, and feet. Everything should work properly. Check whether rear window defroster is working, and (if available) electric heating of side mirrors, windshield, and the steering wheel.
Legal purity. Carefully review the technical passport of the car, make sure it is not a duplicate and original. Open the hood of the car and find written VIN-number and check visually whether it was broken or not. Make sure that the VIN-number painted on the factory paint, and all the numbers and letters in it must match with Technical passport. Also, there should not be any glue around the VIN-number. This is not so important but if possible, you can check the car VIN number on the basis of traffic police to make sure that all information including brand, model, and color specifications in the database correspond to the real features of the desired car. In addition, VIN vehicle identification number can be verified by the database of the manufacturer's official dealer, in this way you will be totally sure in its legal purity.
Registration the deal. If a second-hand car fits you and you are satisfied with the price, make sure you register the transaction correctly. It is best to take the help of a lawyer or a person that knows it, in order to correctly make a contract of sale. Of course, according to some modern rules, you can simply give the seller money and become the owner of the car based on the handwritten agreement, but in order to avoid possible problems in the future, we strongly recommend you to re-register the new car to be the owner in the presence of the seller.
As you have already understood, picking up a used car is not an easy task. In order not to run into trouble, such as buying credit or stolen car, you need to have a number of skills. If you possess the necessary skills and experience, understand vehicle specifications, can identify trouble in the engine, hidden damage in suspension, visually assess re-painted bodywork, make a contract of sale, and you have a lot of free time, you need to buy a used car on your own from the owner. Searching advertisements in newspaper and websites could be helpful. But even in this case, when you choose a car to purchase, make sure to make a comprehensive diagnosis of its condition from an authorized dealer. This procedure would scatter all your doubts.
If you value your time and nerves, do not want to spend days on searching, examining and checking cars, want to avoid risks buying credit or stealing cars, then the best place for buying a used car is official car dealers in used cars' showrooms. All cars offered for sale in such departments, undergo compulsory comprehensive diagnostics and pre-sales training as well as legal purity. Thus, you learn its history, as well as diagnostic results and you, will be able to take the test drive. Official dealer centers provide a guarantee on pre-owned. There is an opportunity to purchase a used car for the loan or exchange your car for another one. Immediately after the car purchased, you can make to its insurance and purchase additional equipment and accessories that you like.