To buy or not to buy is no longer the question. The question is really which one to buy. Well, cars can make our lives comfortable in many ways. Especially, pre-owned cars, which are now in great demand for their low depreciation rates and overall affordability.
However, with the availability of a wide range of used cars, packed with a variety of features, picking the right one can become a challenge. Selecting a used car gets trickier than buying a new one, as the research required to get the best deal grows substantially. In such a scenario, we have just one suggestion - ask the right questions and you will get the right answers. Here are a few points to consider to narrow your sample size:
Question 1: How Old and Worn is the Car?
This is the first question you should ask as a potential user. Some cars are too old to have any more miles left in them. Cars that have travelled great distances are also not worth a buy because they are bound to be in need of repair and replacements, which might increase your expenses. It is also important to get the details about the car’s history - whether it has been involved in accidents or legal regulations. Ask for the vehicle identification number, and if you get to know the owner did not keep the vehicle for too long, please wonder why. The vehicle might be prone to regular breakdowns, or may have been involved in litigation.
Question 2: Do You Want to Buy From a Private Seller or a Used-Car Dealer?
As a second-hand car buyer, you need to understand the difference between buying from a private seller versus a used-car dealer. When buying from a used-car dealer, there is a high chance the vehicle is coming off a lease and getting tweaked by the seller to make it look better than it does. Such vehicles come with a warranty but might be limited on the mileage.
On the other hand, buying from private sellers mandates extra precaution, especially if you do not know them personally. Though buying from a private seller can mean the car is in impeccable condition.
Question 3: What will be Your Mode of Payment - Cash or Used-Car Loan?
Paying by cash, cheques or online does not require you to have a good credit score. However, taking this path means you have to pay upfront without getting the benefits of instalments. Unless you are well prepared, it can turn into a huge financial drain when you have to pay at one go.
Another option is to go with financing or to take a car loan from financial institutions. But with this, you cannot source your second-hand car from a private seller. A car dealer will connect you to a financial representative who will sanction the sale based on your credit scores and financial capabilities. This option presents you with easy EMIs, but you must still be prepared to make a down payment.
Question 4: Who Will Provide the Car Valuation?
Not everyone is a car expert. It is, therefore, important to know who will be assessing the car’s condition and set a base value. There are several online players who take up the baton of checking the vehicle and setting up a valuation based on its physical condition, mileage, service history, production model, registration certificate and drivability. A no-accident-history also gets bonus points.
Some financial institutions tie up with online valuation providers, or collaborate with automobile experts. With private sellers, there is a chance they might hamper the final valuation so as to make a profitable deal for themselves. You can take a mechanic to execute a detailed valuation for you.
Question 5: Are Your Paperwork And Logistics Taken Care of?
In case of getting financing, make sure paperwork and documentation are clear and legitimate. There is little to no scope for discrepancies, which might lead to eventual hassles. Buying from a dealer will also sort out the logistics for you, as they take care of these facets.
If you are comfortable with buying your used car from a private seller, be prepared to arrange for your own logistics and make sure the paperwork is in order. You can hire an expert to check your documents. You will also be liable to obtain the title on your own and register it later.
Purchasing a car is a dream come true. People plan a long time to buy one, but selecting the ‘right’ car is not really a cakewalk. That’s why experts suggest you ask and find the answers to the questions mentioned here so you can figure out which kind of a purchase for a used car will suit your needs the best. While an honest dealer will never hesitate in answering your queries, a little research will help you make the final call with more confidence.