The questions you must ask when buying a second-hand car – TopAuto
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Tuesday / 27 July 2021
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The questions you must ask when buying a second-hand car

There are several important questions you must ask when buying a second-hand car, according to Motus.

Motus provides a range of automotive services and is the importer of Hyundai, Kia, Renault, and Mitsubishi vehicles for South Africa.

“Very often pre-owned cars, even those with low mileage, can be found for quite a few rand less than their new-car equivalents,” said Motus.

“But there are a few questions you need to ask before signing on the dotted line.”

The main questions car buyers should ask are listed below.

Who am I buying from?

“Who you buy a pre-owned vehicle from is by far the most important consideration for any car buyer,” said Motus.

It stated that when you buy through a private seller or standalone dealership, the deal will often be “voetstoots” – as it stands without future guarantees.

Car buyers are encouraged to research a seller before moving ahead with a deal, and check elements like their website, social media pages, review ratings, and online forums.

What should I buy?

Along with deciding on which make and model you would like, you must also set out a defined budget for your purchase.

This must be combined with the age of the vehicles you are looking at and their mileage.

“A good average is 20,000km to 25,000km per year,” said Motus.

Is the warranty still valid?

Warranty and service plans are valuable add-ons to a vehicle, and buying a used car with these elements still valid is a plus.

If a car is out of its service plan or warranty, you should have the vehicle inspected by an independent expert to assess its condition.

Does the car have a full service history?

“A full service history means that the car was well maintained and will have a direct bearing on the warranty of the vehicle,” said Motus.

This is one of the most important considerations when buying a used vehicle.

Has the car been in any accidents?

Buyers must ask if the car has been in any accidents, and be on the lookout for uneven body panel gaps and alignment.

Additionally, it is prudent to find out if any components of the vehicle have been replaced, as this can save you money in the future.

“Conversely, if any of these items will need replacing soon, that could mean extra costs on the horizon.”

Can I take it for a test drive?

Always insist on taking the vehicle for a test drive before you buy it – and keep the radio/music off to hear any strange noises from the vehicle.

“This will allow you to get a feel for the vehicle, check that everything works as it should, and allow you to identify any apparent issues.”

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