Buy a Used Car: 5 Ways to Avoiding a Beater

Woman bought a used car

Buying a used car is often considered a practical choice since it may still be as good as a brand-new one, yet cost only a fraction of it. That said, not all used cars are safe to buy. The trick is to know how to check one for potential problems.

Here are some ideas on how to be extra sure you’re buying the right used car:

Check the car’s stance on level ground

It’s easy to spot a problem with the car’s tyres and suspension when the car sags in one spot. You may also check for problems with shock absorbers or springs. Push the car down several times in one spot and if it keeps ‘bouncing’ when you let go, something’s wrong. If it doesn’t ‘bounce’ at all, the shocks are totally shot. Check the tyres for punctures, bumps, or scrapes.

Check for rust spots

Rust spots usually indicate a bad deal, as the car may no longer be structurally safe. An honest seller may volunteer information, but someone else might try to brush off the rust you point out. Walk away from that car if that’s the case.

Check if the fenders have been replaced

Fenders are attached to the saddle with bolts or welding. If there are scratch marks or if they look uneven, they may have been replaced. The most common reason for that is a crash. If you spot those marks, don’t buy the car.

Pop the hood

Unless you have lots of experience, it may not be easy to spot potential problems with the engine. Looking at it anyway, as if you know what you’re doing, may make the owner uneasy if they have something to hide. They might start volunteering information.

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To be sure, Dr Diesel recommends asking if they can accompany you to a nearby Auckland mobile mechanic who can check for engine problems. In fact, if you get a mechanic to check the car, you may not have to deal with most of the things on this list.

Check the market prices

Not all cars have the same market price, even if they’re the same make and model. Even if this is the case, you should still check the prices in your area to get a better idea and set a budget. A simple Google search can give you that information. You may also ask your mechanic or a friend who has more experience in buying or selling used vehicles.

Cars today last longer and need less work than their older counterparts, so buyers can find more good deals on used cars these days. Before spending money on a used car, however, make sure you have a list like this to give you a better idea of what car is safe to buy.