Buying your first second hand car can be a very daunting task, especially for first-time car buyers. Firstly, if you go to a shady second hand car shop, you’ll find yourself getting pressured by the car salesman into purchasing a faulty car. Next, unless you’re an expert in cars (which we assume you are not or else you wouldn’t be looking at this post), it may seem like all used cars look fine. Well, that’s often not the case.
So in order to avoid making the wrong decision and potentially wasting thousands of dollars, here are 5 simple yet helpful tips on buying your first used car!
Used car buying tip 1: Check the car while there’s daylight
Never EVER buy a used car if you’ve only ever seen it in the night as there’s a huge difference when you check a car in the night vs during daytime. In the night, a second hand car may look flawless. However, daylight may bring all the car’s imperfections to surface, including uneven paint jobs, bumps and dents.
Used car buying tip 2: Check the panel gaps and the paint job of the car’s exterior thoroughly
When checking a car’s exterior, go beyond checking for the usual dents and scratches. While these are basic indicators of a car’s accident history, what you should also look out for are signs of the concealment of a car’s accident history. An easy way to do this is to check if there are any misalignment in the panel gaps of a car. Should the panel gaps be misaligned or are fitted far apart, it may indicate that a car has been involved in an accident before. Additionally, before buying a used car, it’s important to look closely for imperfections of the car’s paint job and check if there are any overlapping of paint.
Used car buying tip 3: Make use of all your senses during the test drive
Here are some easy ways to make use of your senses during the test drive:
- Check if car moves smoothly when moving forward and reversing
- Try the brakes at low speed to assess if there are any problems such as unusual vibrations or noises.
- Listen to the car mechanics if there is any rattling or whining sounds
- Watch out for any smell of petrol or anything burnt during the drive
- Look into the motor room and check if there are any leaks or smell of burnt substances once you’ve finished your test drive
Used car buying tip 4: Check the papers and car history
One of the most important things to check for when buying a used car is the mileage indicator to see how long the car has been driven. However, did you know that the mileage indicator can be easily manipulated? While many tend to place a lot of importance on the mileage indicator, car experts would tell you that what is more important is to look at the car’s service book and repair bills to check if the used car has had all its necessary servicing done. While we all prefer to get a used car that has been driven less, a car that has been driven more but have received all necessary regular servicing can work just as well too.
Used car buying tip 5: Don’t be paiseh
Last but not least, when you’re looking to purchase a used car in Singapore, you should never feel embarrassed about asking too many questions or voicing out any other issues that you might have. In fact, ask as much as you can or you might regret not doing so after realising the used car that you bought has many problems that you could have detected if only you did your due diligence.
Don’t forget that this is an expensive purchase and that you’re the one who has to be stuck with this car for the next few years… Better be safe than sorry to make the best decision that you can!
And there you have it! Make use of these 5 tips and it will give you a good basis on choosing a used car to buy.