/10 Points To Keep In Mind When Buying A Second-Hand Car
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10 Points To Keep In Mind When Buying A Second-Hand Car

Buying a new car likes everyone, but what we can find in the second-hand market is something that, as a general rule, we cannot achieve in terms of budget in the new vehicle market, and if we can achieve it, a car with a few kilometers always has a great discount compared to the new one.

We know that each teacher has his booklet and, although each one has his tricks, we are going to give you ours. If you see that you can contribute any, do not hesitate to tell us, we will review it and update the article so that the rest of the readers or navigators can have the most up-to-date content possible.

1. Before Searching, Do Your Research And Before You Buy, Check

That’s right, before you move, I advise you to investigate, ask, and look for everything related to the car you want to buy – if you are infatuated with a certain model.

Why am I telling you this? Very simple, it is better to know everything before to be in a more advantageous position at the time of purchase and thus be able to ask the seller certain questions that can give us key

information. The seller’s responses can reveal details about the car’s condition as well as its real value.

Personally, I would seek and inform myself about the endemic evil of the model that we are going to buy. Yes friends, all cars have a typical breakdown or a common fault and it is better to know what we are going to face. This is of vital importance to know if the car we are going to buy has passed the revision, has been called for revision, has been subjected to a repair campaign or if it has not suffered, to know if it will suffer and when …

2. External Check For Faults

We know that there are sellers who are honest, but nowadays you can’t even trust your shadow . The best thing is that in the first instance you carry out a visual inspection of the exterior. We advise you to focus on:

  • The visible damage because they can serve you as leverage to negotiate the price.
  • The damage not visible : Possible “orange peel” , imperfections, bubbles or small lumps in the paint that may reveal possible repairs. Look at the markings on the windows – I mean the logo of the company that manufactures them. All the brands of all the windows have to match, if they do not, it means that one of them has been replaced -the reason can be from a knock on theft, or an accident. This can be used to ask the seller and find out the hidden details of the car.
  • See that the headlights and other parts are original. Some brands stamp their logo on the parts . The fact that they are original can mean that they are from the factory or that if a repair has been carried out, it has not followed a savings philosophy. It may seem silly, but these details can help you ask the seller questions and see how they react. If you see that he does not know, does not answer or gets nervous, you know that you have to distrust …
  • Make sure that the gaps between the different pieces maintain a uniform distance – I mean the joints and grooves. I am aware that many cars come out of the box poorly, but this can also reveal a possible bump and mis-fit of certain body elements.
  • Check that all doors open and close correctly and that the locks work perfectly, including the child locks – their malfunction can reveal possible repairs.
  • Keep an eye on tire wear . On the one hand, they can indicate possible ” bad footfalls”, or mistreatment in case of strong blows to the sides.
  • The more light you give the car, the better. All the paintings have micro scratches, so be wary if everything is perfect. Polishing paint can look great, but a poor polish or over-polishing can make your car look great at first, and in two years worthwhile.

3. Checking The Interior

On the outside they can strain it, but the inside is very revealing, so be very careful at this point:

  • Check that the wear on the steering wheel, gear lever or seat matches the mileage of the vehicle -the advertised-. The pedals, the driver’s carpet, a given belt, a loose turn signal lever or a sun visor a little looser than normal can indicate that something strange is happening.
  • You have to test everything at standstill: lights, turn signals, brake lights, fog lights and combinations of these for electrical faults or burned out bulbs. It is also worth checking the stereo and seeing if all the speakers work – it is very common that after removing a door, the mechanic forgets to connect the speakers or the window motors. Checking the air conditioning system is of vital importance in our country, since its ability to cool or its smell can reveal problems.

Don’t forget to take a little look at the bass for dings, scratches and rust. You should also see the spare wheel well , in case some water could have damaged it. Take into account odors, as well as the color of the ceiling, looking for possible discounts on cleaning . Smoking cars tend to be cheaper for this reason, since as a general rule, the roof is darkened.

4. Look Under The Hood

Here the truth is that we will be lost unless we have the knowledge or the help of an expert. If you do not have either of the two things, it is best to check the fluid levels (oil, coolant, brakes …). You have to take a good look at possible leaks and above all, the condition of the timing belt (if equipped) in search of cracks or loose threads.

Personally, I am always in favor – even if it costs some money – to take the car to a mechanic shop to have an inspection carried out and to plug it into the machine to look for possible faults.

Although the mechanic knows what to look at, it is worth telling him to pay special attention to possible fluid leaks , especially oil – if the model has a crankcase cover, a stain on it can reveal many aspects, from a leak to a blow to a filling operation with pouring, something that is not dangerous and which is very normal.

The mechanic can also indicate the wear of the brakes, discs and others , in case it is necessary to have a little more money to repair it. Knowing the possible repairs or maintenance actions can also help us lower the price of the car.

5. Test The Vehicle

This is not easy, since in most cases there is a simple walk around the block. This is not worth it. I recommend taking a lap long enough to cover

different roads. I highly recommend hitting the highway to boost your vehicle speed for strange vibrations or unusual noises.

At a standstill or at low speeds, I recommend a 90 degree turn, as well as looking for the steering stop in order to see how the steering pump sounds and how it behaves – watch out for unusual noises or strange vibrations -. Noises or squeaks in the brake system can detect wear or simply be something normal, it all depends on the type of discs .

6. Ask For The Maintenance Book Or Invoices

Okay, this is a complex point. The truth is that there are people who pass the services in the official workshops and there are people who do not. This does not have to be a problem. Having a book sealed in the official service is no guarantee , at least not 100% -. There are certain “bands” that have recently been dismantled and offered the possibility of sealing the books without the car passing the revision … be careful with this.

The truth is that to avoid this you can only ask for the invoices. Another thing is that the previous owners keep all of them, it is quite complicated. It is worth asking the seller where the service has been done and trying to try your luck there, perhaps the workshop can give you more information about that vehicle and its service history.

7. Before Buying, Check The Car Charges

If you are a veteran buyer or a cautious buyer you should know that  “they can sneak it to you . ” So that you do not try to  “do the cousin”  we must  find out the loads that a car has . In the event that there are charges or reservation of ownership , these are registered in the Register of Movable Property of the province of registration, although we may also request a report from Traffic. We can obtain the following information:

  • Garnishment : Indicates the existence of a charge on the vehicle ordered by a Judicial or Administrative Authority to guarantee the collection of a debt. You have to know that the existence of an embargo does not prevent the transfer of the vehicle , although the embargo will continue to be noted.
  • Seal : Indicates that a Judicial or Administrative Authority has requested that the circulation of the vehicle be prevented, as well as its immobilization. The existence of a seal does not prevent the transfer of the vehicle , the seal will continue to be noted, so the vehicle will continue to be unable to circulate and the circulation permit will not be issued in the name of the new owner.
  • Reservation of Title : Indicates that the vehicle was acquired through an installment sale contract in which the seller or the financial institution and the buyer agreed that the transfer of ownership of the vehicle would not occur until the buyer had paid the full price. If you have already made the total payment of the vehicle to the financial institution, you must request from it the corresponding writing in which the payment is recorded, and present it in the corresponding Register of Movable Property to cancel the reservation of ownership. Until it is canceled, the reservation of title prevents the transfer of the vehicle.
  • Leasing : Indicates that, through a lease with the option to purchase a vehicle, the lessee can acquire ownership of the vehicle by paying monthly fees and a residual fee at the end of the contract. Once all the installments have been paid, the lessee acquires the ownership of the vehicle and must request from the financial institution the necessary documentation to cancel thelease in the competent Movable Property Registry. Thelease, until it is canceled, prevents the transfer of the vehicle.
  • Renting : Indicates the existence of a lease under which a person uses a vehicle owned by the lessor. Once the lease term is over, the vehicle must be returned to the leasing entity and the contract must be canceled at the competent Movable Property Registry. Therenting, until it is canceled, prevents the transfer of the vehicle.
  • Movable Mortgage: Indicates that the vehicle is encumbered with a charge in the guarantee of the payment of a loan. If the credit is canceled, the creditor must request the necessary documentation to also cancel the mortgage in the competent Movable Property Registry.

8. Check The Documentation Of The Vehicle, The License Plate, The Vin …

The documentation of the car will reveal interesting details, from the date of first registration -that matches the letters of the license plate-, the possibility of being in front of an imported car …  Always look for the irregular and if it gives you a bad feeling, trust your instinct, and abort the purchase operation.

If you have already passed an ITV , it is best to check the kilometers recorded by the station and see if they are similar – they will be higher but you must assess if they are normal for the time that has passed since the inspection – to those that the vehicle has to see possible “shaves” of km – it is not possible to detect it, since shaves are usually done before the first ITV-.

9. Pay Special Attention To Diesel

Despite the demanding anti-pollution regulations and the dark future that is emerging for this type of vehicle, a second-hand diesel vehicle remains a very logical alternative for millions of drivers. However, in view of what is to come, you should take special care in some aspects when buying a used diesel vehicle:

  • Maintenance of anti-pollution systems : the most modern diesels have advanced systems to reduce pollutant gas emissions, such as the EGR valve, AdBlue- based exhaust gas treatment, or particle filters, but these are also a focus of breakdowns over time.
  • What has an environmental label? : This is especially important if you live in large cities such as Madrid (all about Central Madrid ) or Barcelona (all about the Low Emissions Zone of Barcelona ), or if you travel with some frequency to one of these cities, and the older diesel could be prohibited from circulating in the city.

10. Never Pay The Price They Ask You

You can use any of the points above to do some pressure. No matter the discount, the important thing is that you save something and be careful, because the more information you have, the more arguments you can give the seller.