Ten Tips for Buying a Used Car Safely

Updated August 7, 2014

Times of crisis made ​​buyers to overturn in the used vehicle market. Last year sales of used cars doubled the sales of new cars. But buying used is risky and we have to take precautions so that the operation does not result in failure. The first thing is to take it easy, do not rush the process and devote the time necessary to find, compare and choose correctly.


1. Choose between an individual or a specialized company. In the second case, whether it´s business or resale of own distribution equipment brands, they offer greater legal purchase warrants to purchase an unsatisfactory car or a hidden vice. A particular claim is possible through a contract, but is more difficult, expensive and complicated.

2. Always check the vehicle fair pricing. Your price should be consistent with the provisions of the scales established. There are guides and price lists printed online where each model is rated according to their characteristics, age and mileage.

3. Be inquisitive with the seller. Do not hesitate to ask about anything that relates to the vehicle. Mileage, how many past owners, how they were used, the mechanical history, has it had accidents, reasons for sale? Any information you obtain will help you make a decision or negotiate.

4. Be careful to inspect the vehicle. From the exterior to the engine hardware, to the inside or the underside of the vehicle, all the details can give you clues about the maintenance that it has had and the current state of the car. Try to do it by day, with good light. Defects in sheet metal, paint, tires and interior will be more visible. Oil and coolant levels or proper operation of the air conditioning give good clues about proper maintenance.

5. Carefully check the vehicle documents. Logbook, data sheet, certificate of most recent ITV and make sure that the seller is the sole owner of the vehicle and there are no outstanding payments on it. All data must be square and it is best to verify the DGT than have problems after purchase.

6. Do not buy without trying. Insist to try it on a varied course that includes city and highway, where you can verify the operation of the engine and the state of change, brakes, shocks, etc? Drive taking in all the reactions of the car, even the reverse, to realize how it responds to the greatest variety of situations.

7. Should you buy it, perform all administrative tasks as soon as possible, giving priority to having insurance coverage from the moment you start using the vehicle.

8. Do not rush. If in doubt it is best to let it go and view other options. Although the seller will try to hurry you, stay calm and assess all data objectively. Do not hesitate to ask for advice and wait to be well informed.

9. Choose well and clarify the payment system with the seller.

10. In spite of all precautions, there may be a hidden defect in the vehicle that is revealed after the transaction. If you have purchased the car in a specialized business, sales collateral covers repair. How to act in the case of individuals is different. The best would be to first contact the seller and agree on a professional expert rate for the repair. If the seller were to not adhere to these reasons, you can always get the courts to dictate whether you have to repair the losses caused or even resell the vehicle.



Chris Riley
About Chris Riley

I have been wrecking cars for as long as I've been driving them but I keep coming back for more. Two wheels or four, I'm all in. gives me a chance to give something back to the automobile community.

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